Albany Crushes Dukes, 55-10, on UA Homecoming

Northeast Conference two-time defending champion Albany scored 34 unanswered points in the first 29 minutes of the game on the way to a 55-10 scrubbing of the Duquesne Dukes at University Field on UA's homecoming Saturday.

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Tough enough taking on the NEC defending champion away from the more friendly climes of Rooney Field where the Great Danes scores three second half touchdowns to overtake the Dukes (33-23) last season. Then add that on Friday night, four of the school's best were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Finally, it was homecoming weekend!

UAlbany (4-2, 3-0 NEC) got further motivated after scoring three first half touchdowns on plays of 78, 81, and 32 yards and the Great Danes defense picked up two fumbles and snared an interception in those first 30 minutes.

The result, a commanding 34-0 lead with less than a minute left in the first half.

Duquesne's junior quarterback Connor Dixon hit junior Jay Spinks for a 12-yard touchdown that cut the lead to 34-7 with 15 seconds remaining.

There was just one second on the clock when UA senior QB Vinny Esposito took over at the Duquesne 32. Esposito connected with John Lullen for 32-yard touchdown that returned Duquesne's deficit to 34 points.

Albany, which had won the opening toss but deferred, scored on the first second half series, covering 80 yards on four plays. The drive was capped by David McCarty's 23-yard run that further stretched the edge to 55-7 with 11:58 left in the third quarter.

Head coach Bob Ford removed his starters on the next series, which gave sophomore Dan Di Lella his first action of the season.

Dixon remained in the contest for one more series that got the Dukes to the UA 17 for the second time this afternoon. In the first half, the Dukes didn't convert on a fourth-and-two. This time, freshman placekicker Eric Duale came in and made a 33-yard field goal with 6:22 left in the third for what turned out to be the final tally of 55-10. Freshman Sean Patterson took over the next time DU got the ball for his second opportunity behind center.

Dixon was 20-of-31 for 194 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a pair of fumbles on a sack and a running play. Spinks caught seven passes for 74 yards with one TD. Redshirt freshman Larry McCoy, the NEC Rookie of the Week, gained 59 yards on 24 carries and sophomore Bill Bair accumulated 30 on eight attempts. Senior linebacker Nathan Totino had nine tackles; freshman LB Horvin Lattimer had eight.

    Senior running back Cleodis Williams got one touch, a 35-yard kickoff return. Senior QB Kevin Rombach didn't see action for the second straight week.

Esposito was an efficient 7-of-12 for 173 yards and two TDs. McCarty, an NEC Offenasive Player of the Week, gained 145 yards via 18 carries and also accounted for two TDs. Senior Tim Bush caught four passes for 104 yards and one TD. Linebacker Justin Brancaccio tied Totino with nine takedowns, LB Dave Plungas added eight and sixth-year senior LB Dave Nicomini, who missed all of 2008 with a knee injury that required reconstructive surgery, also had eight--all in the first half--a fumble recovery and a pass breakup. (Nicomini also plays lacrosse for the America East Conference program, like Duquesne, in the NEC only for football.)

Next Saturday, October 17, 2009, Duquesne (2-4, 1-2) returns to Rooney for another NEC match with Central Connecticut State (4-1, 2-0) starting at 12:00 noon. CCSU topped visiting Robert Morris, 42-21, today.


 0    6   1ST  7:35 McCarty, 1 yd run
                    Herb Glass kick missed
 0   13        6:03 Justin Gannon, 78 yd punt return
                    Glass kick good
 0   20   2ND  7:04 Jon Morgan, 56 yd fumble return
                    Glass kick good
 0   27        3:39 Esposito to Bush, 81 yd pass
                    Glass kick good
 0   34        0:52 Esposito, 5 yd run
                    Glass kick good
 7   34        0:15 Dixon to Spinks, 12 yd pass
                    Eric Duale kick good
 7   41        0:00 Esposito to John Lullen, 32 yd pass
                    Glass kick good
 7   48   3RD 11:58 McCarty, 23 yd run, kick good
 10  48        6:22 Duale 33 yd FG
 10  55   4TH 13:39 Andrew Smith, 58 yd run
                    Glass kick good

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