Colonials fall to Duquesne in steel city showdown

Logan Carney and Logan Carney

PITTSBURGH— The Robert Morris Colonials football team (1-5, 0-3) fell to the Duquesne Dukes (4-3, 1-1) at Rooney Field on Saturday night by the score of 48-24. It was the sixth consecutive loss to Duquesne for Robert Morris, and they still have yet to win at Duquesne since 1996.

The Colonials came into this game on a three-game losing streak while the Dukes came in on a two-game losing streak, granted the two losses were to FBS Hawaii and NEC leader Bryant by the small margin of 21-20.

The Dukes started with the ball and drove down the field, but they were nearly stopped on a fourth and two situation inside their red zone. After converting, the Dukes pushed the ball within in the five but turned it over on an A.J. Hines fumble on first and goal.

The Colonials took over at their own 6-yard line. A combination of strong Terence Stephens runs led the team down the field. In the red zone, Robert Morris turned to start tight end Mathew Gonzalez to cross the goal line. The score put RMU up 7-0.

The next drive saw Duquesne running back A.J Hines led the team down the field similar to Stephens on the previous RMU drive. Hines capped off a 60-yard drive with a short touchdown run. Hines was already at 46-yards on just nine carries, good for a 5.1 average.

That drive ended the first quarter and the score was 7-7. Duquesne had 117 total yards of offense on 22 plays and 70 of those yards was from their rushing attack. As for RMU, they had 97 total yards with 69 of it being from their rushing attack.

The Colonials took over, but a fumble by Warren Robinson turned the ball over at the Duquesne 46. The Dukes resulting drive went three and out though, and the Colonials got the ball back on their 20-yard line.

After a three-and-out by Robert Morris, the Dukes only needed a couple of plays to take a 14-7 lead. That lead came when David Parr found Nehari Crawford for a 43-yard touchdown pass.

RMU’s next drive ended in a turnover when defensive lineman Tom Jurkovec intercepted Jimmy Walker. That gave Duquesne the ball on the 42-yard line. This time they rode a strong passing attack and capped it off with another Hines touchdown run. During the drive, Adam Wollet was ejected for targeting.

Robert Morris proceeded to turn the ball over again on their next drive. Duquesne took over on the RMU side of the field at the 31-yard line. They couldn’t find the end zone though and were held to a field goal to make it 24-7.

The Colonials were able to move down the field after Walker found Stephens for a 55-yard completion to give the Colonials a first and goal. Robert Morris tried to find the end zone on a pass, but it fell incomplete. A pass interference call on that play gave RMU another chance. The drive ended after Walker found Gonzalez for another touchdown to make it 24-14.

Duquesne took over with 39 seconds left. They were able to move the ball down to the fifteen after a few big receptions and a personal foul penalty on Myles Canton. Another Hines touchdown made it 31-14. The first half ended after that.

The Colonials went three-and-out on their first drive of the second half. Once again, it didn’t take the Dukes long to extend the lead to 14 and make it 38-14. That drive was capped by a Daquan Worley touchdown, the first offensive touchdown of the young defensive back’s career. In the remaining time of the third quarter, the two foes traded field goals and the third quarter ended with Duquesne leading 41-17.

Robert Morris scored immediately in the third after a touchdown pass to Brandon Magee. Duquesne followed that up with two huge runs by Hines and Worley to extend the lead to 48-24. Hines originally appeared to score a 78-yard touchdown, but was called out at the 48-yard line and only had a 30-yard run. Worley then had a 52-yard run to complete the two play, 78-yard touchdown drive. The third quarter ended with the score at 48-24. Shockingly, the two teams failed to score any points in the fourth quarter and the game ended 48-24.

The Colonials fell 48-24, but the loss included some strong performances from Colonials’ Mathew Gonzalez and Terence Stephens. Gonzalez had seven catches for 103-yards in the game while Stephens had 116 rushing yards on 16 carries, as well as six catches for 110 receiving yards. He was the first 100-100 player for Robert Morris since 1994.

The Colonials look to bounce back from another conference loss next week against D-II Central State (3-4) at home. The Colonials next conference game will be the following week against St. Francis (2-4, 0-1) also at home.