By Joseph Sykes | Sports Editor
In just their third home game of the 2015 season, the Duquesne football team improved their record to 4-2 after decimating the Alderson-Broaddus Battlers 53-18 this past Saturday, giving the Dukes their fifth-straight Homecoming victory.
The Battlers, who play in the NCAA’s Division 2, were 5-0 heading into Saturday’s meeting. While they did show promise early on in the first quarter, AB only held the lead once in the game after going up 3-0 early.
In the first half alone, the Dukes tallied over 300 yards of total offense. Chalk most of that success to quarterback Dillon Buechel who had a career high five touchdown passes. The last Duke to throw for five scores was Sean Patterson in 2010.
Senior wideout Chris King snagged three of Buechel’s touchdown passes, which came from eight, 33 and 21 yards out. Senior Wayne Capers and Reggie McKnight caught the other two, which were both deep fades down the middle of the field. Capers caught a 65-yarder in the first quarter, while McKnight caught an 18-yard pass in the third.
This outstanding demonstration of the Dukes’ receiving talent is what stood out to head Coach Jerry Schmitt after the game.
“We know Chris King is talented and Wayne [Capers] is really coming into his own, but some of the young guys, Reggie McKnight, Bobby Gustine, are doing some good things,” Schmitt said. “We’re happy to get them involved, get them some snaps and get them some experience for down the road for the future.”
While exceptional via air, the Dukes did some impressive things back on the ground.
Sophomore running back Rafiq Douglas had 13-yard rushing TD as well as 86 total yards on nine carries. The Dukes’ final score came from freshman receiver Nehari Crawford who recorded a 100-yard kickoff return with less than two minutes to go in the game.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Dukes had two players record six tackles in Sam Martello and Abner Roberts. Duquesne totaled four sacks and eight tackles for a loss.
The Battlers were no doubt the underdogs in last Saturday’s game since they hail from a division below the FCS. However, Schmitt was still impressed though at their work ethic and drive from the opening kickoff.
“We knew they had a really diverse offense,” Schmitt said. “They make you do a lot of things so we were concerned about that. It got our kids attention. But here is the bottom line what I’ve been preaching to them is: Great teams play hard every game and are focused every game.”
The Dukes are back on the road this week when they take on Bryant University this Saturday at 1:00. The game will be broadcasted nationally via ESPN 3.