After dropping their season-opener to a talented Youngstown State team, the Dukes came into Saturday’s contest hoping to get their first win of the season. In the confines of their own stadium, the Dukes were firing on all cylinders, getting both the rushing and passing games started early. Freshman running back A.J. Hines tallied 74 yards on 10 carries, along with 3 scores, and Senior quarterback Dillon Buechel went 28-51 and threw for 342 yards.
An opening drive only produced a field goal after the Dukes took advantage of the Bison while moving the ball 67 yards downfield on an impressive display of both passing and rushing. The field goal, however, moved Austin Crimmins into the record books, as he becomes the all-time scoring leader in Duquesne history with 235 points, and also the Northeast Conference record holder for career field goals with 48.
After just a few minutes ticked past in the 2nd quarter, A.J. Hines put the Dukes on the board again, cutting across the field and getting into the end zone on a 16-yard rush up the middle. Crimmins would get on the board yet again, after another field goal would extend their lead to 13 right before half.
The halftime break would allow Bucknell to regroup and open the 2nd half with a score, after Joey DiFloria put the ball in from 1-yard out. A.J. Hines would find paydirt yet again after a 41-yard rush up the middle extended the Dukes lead to 20-7 with 13:55 left in the contest.
After the Bison’s mishap on the kickoff, Duquesne got the back right back on the 34 yard line, ready to score. The Dukes could not get into the end zone though, instead putting three points on the board from another field goal via Austin Crimmins. The very next drive for the Bison would result in Joey DiFloria catching a pass from his Junior quarterback Matt Muh to shrink the Dukes lead to 10. Hines scored for the third time late in the 4th quarter and pushed the lead back to 17.
The game would close out with one last score from the Bison as Muh would find another receiver, Will Carter, to put the final points on the board from Rooney field.
Dillon Buechel found success with eight different receivers, however, did not throw a touchdown for the first time since October 3rd, 2015.
The 30-19 win over Bucknell gives the Dukes their first win this season and moves them to 1-1 on the year. Duquesne will take on Dayton next Saturday at Rooney field with the game starting at 12:05 p.m. EST. The last time these two teams faced off, the Dukes lost 24-13, so Hines & Co. will look to change the books and continue the work they did this week.