The Duquesne University Dukes rolled up 37 unanswered points in the first half Saturday and cruised to a 47-7 victory over the Kentucky Christian University Knights as they opened the season at Rooney Field.
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The Dukes offense was firing on all cylinders as it recorded 571 yards of total offense to the Knights 276 total yards. The time of possession fell in favor of head coach Jerry Schmitt‘s squad 32.32 to 27:28 and they collected 27 first downs to KCU’s 15.
Duquesne was good on almost half of their third down conversions as they went 6-of-14 on the day. Here are four players that helped the Dukes begin the season with a victory on the Bluff.
1) It was a spectacular debut for running back P.J. Fulmore as he rushed for 131-yards on 18 carries against the Knights. The 5-foot-7, 197-pound freshman averaged 7.1 yards a carry for the Red and Blue, with his longest run going for 25 yards.
2) Klartel Claridy contributed a highlight reel performance of his own for the Dukes. The Brenham, Texas native ran just nine times, but still collected 105-yards against Kentucky Christian. The 5-foot-9, 208-pound senior also added a touchdown to the score sheet. The last time that Duquesne had two 100-yard rushers in a single contest was back in 2011.
3) It was senior defensive lineman Dane O’Driscoll, who got the job done as he returned a fumble recovery for 59-yards and a touchdown at the 8:36 mark of the first quarter.
With the First Pick
4) Some may overlook that junior placekicker Austin Crimmins made all four of his extra points on the afternoon. He also made a 19-yard field goal at 10:46 of the second quarter. He averaged 43-yards on his two punt attempts and averaged 61.5-yards on six kickoffs.
Offense Honorable Mentions: Zach DeNardo had a nose for the end zone for the Dukes. The redshirt junior put up two touchdowns. He carried the rock nine times and had 62-yards. Redshirt senior wide receiver Dominique Terrell had three receptions for 26-yards and a touchdown.
Defense Honorable Mentions: Senior defensive back Josh Jordan led the way with four solo tackles and two broken up passes. Junior defensive Xavier Nelson contributed an interception in addition to his four solo tackles.
Special Teams Honorable Mention: Freshman punter and placekicker Cory Griffith made a 24-yard field goal with 1:52 on the clock in the third quarter. He averaged 58.5-yards on his pair of kickoffs and punted three times for a total of 129-yards.
KCU senior quarterback Graham Johnston was the leading rusher for the Knights. He ran 13 times for 84-yards. He was sacked twice and completed just 9-of-33 pass attempts. Sophomore defensive back Cedric Legette had eight solo tackles and assisted in another for a total of nine against the Dukes.
The journey to a winning season for Duquesne continues Saturday, Sept. 12 as they travel to Bucknell University. Kickoff is 6:00 p.m. in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.