Duquesne Dukes running back Larry McCoy made history Saturday afternoon.
With his 29 carry, 131 yard performance against Monmouth, McCoy passed Donte Small to become the all-time leading rusher in Duquesne history. McCoy took a third quarter carry for four yards and passed the 69 yards he needed coming into the game to eclipse the 4,260 yards Small racked up from 1998-2001.
But McCoy actually had to break the record twice, losing four yards on his next carry. But he left no doubt when he scampered 22-yards in the fourth quarter to put himself alone in the record book.
“It’s an honor,” said McCoy. “Donte Small is a Duquesne legend and to even be in the same company as him is a tremendous honor. I was just a small kid who played Class A ball in Wytheville, VA. So to come all this way and be able to do something like this here at a great school like Duquesne speaks to how hard I have worked both on and off the field. But this record isn’t just for me; I’ve had some great people around me for four years.”
However despite McCoy’s accomplishments, he couldn’t help the Dukes overcome another early deficit as Duquesne fell behind a pair of touchdowns early on and ultimately fell to the Hawks 28-27.
Duquesne has made it a habit of falling behind early in games, trailing at one point or another in all eight games this season, and just like it did against Central Connecticut State two weeks ago, it cost them against Monmouth, in an NEC Conference game they couldn’t afford to lose.
“What can I say,” said Duquesne coach Jerry Schmitt. “If I knew why we started slowly, we probably wouldn’t. We are working on it and hopefully one of these days soon we will figure things out.”
Things started poorly for the Dukes when after the Duquesne defense forced an opening Monmouth three-and-out, Dukes’ punt returner Dave Thomas mishandled a punt that the Hawks recovered at the Duquesne 31-yard line.
Three plays later, the Hawks took a 7-0 lead when K.B. Asante scored from two-yards out.
After each team exchanged punts, Monmouth upped their lead to 14-0 when Julian Hayes scored from 10-yards out. Hayes was tremendous on the afternoon, racking up 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns, getting the ball a whopping 36 times.
The Dukes responded though when Thomas redeemed himself, catching an eight-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Sean Patterson, one of three Patterson touchdown throws on the day. But the Duquesne defense couldn’t hold after the offense turned it over on downs and allowed an eight-yard touchdown pass from Hawks’ quarterback Kyle Frazier to Neal Sterling to send Monmouth in the locker room with a 21-7 lead.
But just like they always do, the Dukes came out a different team in the second half, especially on defense where they allowed no first downs and only eight total yards for a 20 minute span in the third and fourth quarters.
“We made some adjustments,” added Schmitt. “The guys started tackling much better and they played with a lot more energy.”
The job the defense did allowed the Duquesne offense to get rolling.
Patterson hit Gianni Carter with a 15-yard touchdown strike to make it 21-14 and after a Charlie Leventry field goal made it 21-17, the Dukes took the lead when Patterson hit Sean Brady with a six-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-21 Duquesne.
But the Hawks marched down the field on the ensuing drive thanks to a pair of long pass plays and regained the lead when Hayes scored from two yards out to make it 28-24.
Duquesne had chances on a couple drives after that, including a first-and-goal situation from the six-yard line, but all they could come away with was a Leventry field goal to make it 28-27.
“This one hurts,” said Patterson, who finished the day completing 22-of-43 passes for 259 yards and the three scores. “To fight that hard and not come away with the win, it hurts bad. I didn’t make enough plays late for us. That was a game we just couldn’t lose.”
The loss puts Duquesne two games back of Albany in the tough NEC. Albany squeaked out a 23-20 win over Sacred Heart on Saturday. For the Dukes to have any chance of winning the NEC, they will have to win their final three games and hop Albany slips up somewhere along the line.
“We just have to finish strong,” said McCoy. “If we go out and run the table and get back to playing Duquesne football for four quarters, we will take our chances and see how it turns out.”
Notes: The loss snapped Duquesne’s home win streak at 10…McCoy had over 130 yards rushing against a Monmouth team that ranked 11th in the nation stopping the run…Junior receiver Sean Brady set career-highs in catches and yards with a seen catch, 110 yard performance, six of those coming in the second half…Junior linebacker Dorian Bell recorded double-digit tackles for the fifth consecutive game, leading the Dukes with 14 tackles. Reggie Eiland, who had 17 tackles all season had a career game with 13 tackles and a sack…The Dukes went only 5-for-20 on third and fourth down combined.
Score by Quarter
1 2 3 4 Final
Monmouth 7 14 0 7 28
Duquesne 0 7 10 10 27
MU- K.B. Asante two-yard run (Eric Spillane kick) 12:26 1st
MU- Julian Hayes 10-yard run (Spillane kick) 14:54 2nd
DUQ- Dave Thomas nine-yard pass from Sean Patterson (Charlie Leventry kick) 9:33 2nd
MU- Neal Sterling eight-yard pass from Kyle Frazier (Spillane kick) 3:22 2nd
DUQ- Gianni Carter 15-yard pass from Patterson (Leventry kick) 13:02 3rd
DUQ- Charlie Leventry 29-yard field goal 5:23 3rd
DUQ- Sean Brady six-yard pass from Patterson (Leventry kick) 12:18 4th
MU- Hayes two-yard run (Spillane kick) 9:40 4th
DUQ- Leventry 25-yard field goal 8:09 4th
Photo Credit: Duquesne