September 11, 2011

Duquesne Downs Dayton 23-13 in a Classic

The final 23-13 score was not a very good indicator of just how much of a classic back and forth and bitterly contested game this game was. Duquesne and Dayton are Atlantic 10 rivals in all other sports but it's a true shame that they aren't in the same football conference. The game truly came down to a 50 yard field goal try that was blocked and run back for the final score by Jared Williams. The 10 point final score margin was the widest advantage ether team had all day.

The game showed good offense and defensive play by both teams with Duquesne moving the ball well on their opening drives but with little to show for their efforts. Charlie Leventry missed wide left on an easy 25 yarder on the opening drive after the Dukes drove to the Flyers 7 yard line. Leventry would more than make up for the miss later. After a three and out by Dayton the Dukes drove again on the strength of Larry McCoy as far as the Dayton 34 before backing up and being forced to punt. McCoy ripped of runs of 19 and 6 yards on the drive.

Dayton's next possession was their shortest if you measure it by time of possession, but their longest in yardage. Taylor Harris took the ball 83 yards at the 5:26 mark to put Dayton up 7-0

The two teams slugged it out back and forth until McCoy and Bill Bair combined with Sean Patterson to move the Dayton 10 yard line. Bair looked like he was on the way into the end zone before he got tripped up on the turf and went down at the Dayton 10. Patterson completed a clutch third and goal from the 10 to newly eligible Conner Dixon to tie it at 7.

The teams traded field position and field goals back and forth with Leventry hitting a career long 40 yarder and a final 23 yard field goal with only 30 seconds left after a clutch defensive stop and a drive down to the Flyer 7.

Duquesne allowed Dayton to make it interesting at the end with a "squib kick" that gave the Flyers the ball out almost to mid-field. Dayton was able to move the ball just far enough to attempt the 50 yarder that would end the game with the deciding block and runback. Other than the missed field goal squib kick that can't be blamed on Leventry, he finally showed that he was becoming comfortable handling both the kicking and punting duties. He would blast a clutch 63 yarder in the 2nd quarter.

Individual Efforts: Leventry's game was probably his most satisfying but Larry McCoy just kept doing what Larry McCoy does with his 8th 100 yard game in his last 10 games. Patterson played well both passing and running the ball in a varied offense that rung up 198 running yards and 254 passing yards on a very good Dayton Defense.

Overall, the Dukes played with poise and refused to allow the Flyers to get a sizable lead, showing much better effort than their last second loss at Bucknell. Dayton's last loss and last home loss were both to the Dukes. Many felt that the Flyers deserved to make the FCS Playoff Field last year. Their 10 game win streak included two wins over last year's NEC Champ Robert Morris.

Next week the Dukes are finally at home to Valparaiso at a 12:10 start time at Rooney Field. The game can be heard on WMNY 1360 am and on Redzone Media.

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