Robbie Grill | Staff Writer
Nov. 3, 2022
The Duquesne football team dropped a two-overtime contest to Long Island on Saturday at Rooney Field, with the Sharks winning 50-48.
With that loss, the Dukes moved to 2-6, while Long Island is now 1-7.
The story of the Dukes’ day was Joe Mischler taking over for the injured Darius Perrantes.
“I think [Coach Schmitt] told me the same thing he probably told [Perrantes] last year,” Mischler said. “He said,‘ Go out there, don’t try to do too much and just do your job, and that’s what I tried to do.”
Mischler went on to throw for 414 yards and five touchdowns.
“I’m one of 11 on the field,” Mischler said. “I love the team. I love the guys. I love playing with them, so I was just honored to be out there with them.”
On the flip side, Long Island was led by true freshman quarterback Luca Stanzani. He threw for 346 yards with four touchdowns and an 81% completion rate. Stanzani had never previously made a college start.
“It’s pretty hard to game plan for a true freshman,” Head Coach Jerry Schmitt said after the game. “He’s a pretty good player, and we had to adapt on the run.”
Momentum also played a large factor in the game. Duquesne came hot out of the gates, going up 14-0, then Long Island got the momentum and took the score to 35-21, until the Dukes came back to send it to overtime tied 35.
“We came from behind and came back when it looked like we weren’t in the game,” Schmitt said. “I give our kids a lot of credit. We continue to fight back and make plays and take the game to a place where we had a chance to win.”
The Dukes got out to a strong start, with returner Dwayne Menders running the opening kick to the Long Island 42-yard line.
Perrantes then led the Dukes down the field in just shy of three minutes to jump out to the early lead on a 21-yard throw to Abdul Janneh.
During the drive, Perrantes got shaken up on a quarterback run, and appeared to hurt his lower right leg. He was unable to put any weight on it as he was helped off the field, and appeared toward the end of the game on the sideline in street clothes and on crutches.
Mischler took over seamlessly, and led the Dukes down the field on his first full drive, which ended with a 34-yard touchdown connection with Menders, his first of two scores on the day.
The following Duquesne drive ended in an interception by Long Island safety Victor Nelson. The Sharks went on to score 28 unanswered points..
The ensuing Sharks drive ended in a fumble, which was recovered by Duquesne safety CJ Barnes. Overall, the Sharks won the turnover battle 3-2, with Duquesne securing an interception and fumble.
“It was a crazy game to be a part of,” Mischler said. “I wish we did a couple of things differently so it went our way.”
Long Island was able to close out the first half with its first score of the game. Stanzani ran it in from eight yards out following a big pass to Davon Wells.
The Sharks opened the second half with a drive that ended with a 64-yard connection from Stanzani to Wells, who was able to beat his defender over the middle of the field to tie the game at 14.
Immediately following that drive, Long Island’s Caleb Nartey picked off Mischler for a pick-six. With Long Island now up 21-14, the following Duquesne drive ended in another Nelson interception for the Sharks.
Long Island capitalized with a touchdown pass from Stanzani to Wells almost identical as the one to start the half. Again, Wells worked his way from Stanzani’s right to the middle of the field, where he beat his defender and was wide open. The 58-yard score pushed Long Island’s lead to 14.
Duquesne was not to be counted out, however. The Dukes marched down the field after a big gain on a Mischler pass to Jalin Cooper. Mischler finished off the drive with a 9-yard rushing touchdown, cutting the deficit back to seven points.
The Sharks responded with another big gain for a touchdown, this time on the ground. Pat Bowen took it in from 44 yards out, and Long Island pushed its lead to 14.
Down 35-21 heading into the final quarter, the Dukes didn’t surrender.
Mischler found Menders for another touchdown, and the Dukes defense followed that up with an interception courtesy of Ezekiel Daure, putting them deep in Long Island territory. This was another big momentum shift in the game.
Mischler capitalized on this by finding Joey Isabella wide open in the end zone to tie the game at 35 with 9:19 remaining in the game.
With 1:25 left, Sharks kicker Michael Comey lined up for the go-ahead field goal, but it was blocked by Duquesne’s Ayden Garnes, keeping the Dukes alive.
The following Duquesne drive stalled, and Long Island once again had the chance to win. Comey lined up from 52 yards out, but missed wide right.
Both teams scored touchdowns in the first overtime period. Stanzani connected with Tosin Oyeknami, while Mischler found Isabella for the tandem’s second-straight score.
The second overtime period started with a touchdown from Mischler to Janneh. However, the ensuing two-point attempt was unsuccessful, leaving the door wide open for a Sharks’ win.
Stanzani found tight end Owen Glascoe for the touchdown, and the Sharks converted the two-point conversion, giving them their first victory of the season.
“We battled real hard, down two scores in the third quarter,” Mischler said. “Some teams could wrap it up and call it a game, but we battled.”