Monmouth's second interception put DU's defense on the field with 2:27 left in the game. They stopped Monmouth senior David Sinisi, who gained 122 yards, on third and three. The Dukes got the ball again a minute-and-a-half later. Duquesne had a fourth down play from the MU 12 that could have tied the score.
Four turnovers, all in the second half, reversed Duquesne's season T/O advantage of 6-3 to 6-7.
Freshman Larry McCoy, who is the Northeast Conference (NEC) Co-Offensive Player and Co-Rookie of the week, started the game and gained 16 yards on two carries in the game's first series, 20 in the first quarter.
Senior Cleodis Williams entered the game in the second quarter during DU's fourth series and gained 27 yards on five of six plays, four carries in a row. That set up Eric Duale's second field goal of the season and a 3-0 lead with 10:34 left in the half.
Monmouth responded with a 10-play drive, gaining 47 yards on two completions with Sinisi scoring on his seventh carry from a yard out.
The Dukes answered with an 11-play, 57-yard drive via Cleo Williams' running and Rombach's 4-of-5 passing capped by junior fullback Marek Lapinski's third down reception in the flat that went for an 11-yard TD. Duquesne was back on top, 10-7, with 32 seconds left before the break.
Monmouth had won the coin toss but deferred in order to receive the second half kick. The Hawks gained just five yards, a good 3-and-out job by Duquesne's defense. Only Jack Daniels' 47-yard punt was flubbed by junior Dave Williams and recovered by MU's Booby Giles on the Dukes' 20. The Red & Blue defense again answered the call, limiting the Hawks to a 30-yard field goal by Eric McCutcheon, who had been short on a 37-yarder in the first. That tied the score, 10-10, with just under 12 minutes left in the period.
Dave Williams returned the ensuing kickoff to the 25. After two first downs and the ball at the Monmouth 47, Rombach hit the wide receiver for 31 yards to the Hawks' 16 when Kendall Haley stripped the ball that was picked up by Mike Avent who moved it up 14 yards.
The Dukes' defense answered again with another 3-and-out. Eric Daniels' punt was a roller headed to the end zone that instead went sideways and out of bounds on DU's four.
Rombach, who played the entire game, started the series with a first down 47-yard pass to senior Michael Rasky. On the next play, the pair combined for seven yards to the Monmouth 42. A Duquesne unsportsmanlike penalty made it 3rd-and-19 from their own 42. Rombach's overthrown pass was snared by Haley who took it through many Duquesne players for a 65-yard TD. The score now 17-10, favor the hosts.
Lapinski returned a short kick to the Dukes' 32. The Dukes pushed it to the MU 23 but were knocked out of FG-range on a holding penalty and a seven-yard sack.
Monmouth ran a 12-play drive to the Duquesne 40. Daniels' punt was downed at the three with 11:36 to go. Duquesne gained just one yard. Charlie Leventry, in the end zone, scooped up a low snap and got it away though only to DU's 30.
If I say the defense did it again, would you be surprised? Yeah, me neither. Three and out, aided by a MU holding penalty, put Daniels back to punt again. This time it made the end zone.
After two moves of the chains, things went wrong. A scrambling Rombach, two yards from the line of scrimmage, tossed the ball into the MU bench. It didn't cross that starting point. The damage of the intentional grounding call wasn't the yardage (-2) but the loss of down. Rombach was sacked on third-and-12, back to the DU 45. Leventry's punt and strong coverage put the ball at the MU 22.
Three-and-out yielded another punt to the Dukes' 33. The unrelated Williamses combined for 44 yards; 18 passing (Dave) and 26 on the ground (Cleo). Rombach's 1st-and-10 pass was snatched by a speeding safety, Amsel Mull, moving in front of Jay Spinks. The Dukes stopped Sinisi on third-and-three from Monmouth's 23 that kept hope alive.
Duquesne, without any time outs, got the ball at their own 43. Two Rasky catches moved it to the hosts' 14. Monmouth reacted quickly to a 2nd-and-10 draw and caught Cleo for a 1-yard loss in the middle of the field, with the clock turning. Rombach hit Dave for three yards but more importantly, Williams battled out-of-bounds and stopped the clock.
On 4th-and-8, Rombach's pass intended for Isaac Spragg in the back of the end zone was a bit too high.
This was Cleo Williams's first extended action of the season. He gained 109 yards on 23 carries. Rombach was 22-of-36 for 252 yards and a touchdown.
Rasky led the game with six passes for 106 yards. Dave Williams, the NEC Co-Player of the Week after the Bucknell win, gained 92 yards on nine passes.
Duquesne (1-2, 0-1) finishes their three-game road trip next Saturday, September 26th against the Pioneer Football League's 1-1 Dayton (like DU, an Atlantic 10 Conference member) at 1:00 p.m. in Ohio. The Flyers got a road win today, 21-14, over the NEC's Robert Morris.