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Duquesne comes together for key win

PITTSBURGH— When Duquesne Football coach Jerry Schmitt met with senior defense back Daquan Worley and offered a return to the running back position, his hand could not go up fast enough.

Worley had not been a running back since high school, but he was more then up for the challenge.

“It meant a lot because it showed they had faith in me, just from asking me if I still had anything left in the tank,” he said. “I believe in myself when the ball is in my hands. We already have a great running back in A.J. Hines and P.J. Fulmore and they took me under their wings trying to catch me up with the playbook. I was comfortable come game time.”

Worley finished the game with 96 yards rushing and the first two touchdowns in his college career.

“Injuries were suffered at the position and we’ve always know he can play the position,” said Schmitt. “We kind of toyed with it a little just a bit. These last couple of weeks we taught him things, but obviously there is a ton of talent.”

With the passing of Marquis “JB” Brown still freshly in the team’s mind, the 48-24 win over Robert Morris Saturday night at Rooney Field was a needed result.

“We were loving and caring all week and it culminated in winning for each other tonight,” Schmitt said. “When you get out on the field you take you mind off of other things, just have fun and play football. I really wanted it for these guys to be able to play this way.”

When Worley scored his first touchdown, the entire Duquesne sideline was celebrating, embracing someone who has worked tirelessly to help the team win games. He considers hard work going until you cannot go anymore and giving absolutely everything, even when that moment occurs.

“I’m so proud of that man,” junior running back A.J. Hines said. “If you all knew him he is probably one of the hardest workers we have on this team. When he scored everybody went over to congratulate him. I’m happy for him.”

Worley’s second touchdown, which came in the fourth quarter had everyone catching up including one of the referees who suffered a right hamstring injury that ended his day.

“You want to recruit guys that are unselfish,” said Schmitt. “He’s just a great young man who works his tail off in the classroom. Any guy that plays somewhere where we ask him to when he would rather play somewhere else, that’s when you have guys that much up the true team aspect of college football.”

Three thoughts

1. It was Robert Morris who scored first in this game after the Duquesne offense fumbled in the red zone. Duquesne had won the coin toss and elected to receive. As it was moving the football, it was embracing more of a hurry-up offense but an exchange led to the fumble and subsequent RMU drive.

Throughout those moments, the Duquesne sideline provided one audible thought.

“We’re better than them.”

The thought continued until the second quarter when Duquesne started to make key plays that ended up turning the game in its direction.

“We started to dial in and the big thing was the defense got a turnover and stopped them,” Schmitt said. “We gained some confidence and just started playing without worrying about anything.”

2. Hines ran for 182 yards and was dominant in his effort to break tackles. He even burst out a long run the play prior to Worley’s second touchdown which should have been a score itself but a referee ruled him out of bounds. His effort definitely was not overlooked.

3. Early on in the second quarter, Duquesne junior quarterback Daniel Carr went deep on a pass Nehari Crawford caught that put the Dukes in front for good.

Normally that is the end of the play, but it was the way the route that was run which provided interest.

Six-foot-two, 270 pound senior tight end Stew Allen was trailing on the route and the pass initially appeared under thrown and intended for him, with Crawford playing backup, similar to a baseball outfielder.

Schmitt did confirm the play was for Crawford before sharing a genuine laugh.

“We were laughing because Stew Allen was the clear guy and he usually isn’t that fast to get down the field,” a smiling Schmitt said. “Seriously, he’s clear of the safety so we’d go over the top with Nehari. Up in the booth, they said ‘Stew was flying.’ We were kind of shocked, maybe all of those touchdowns he is getting this year is making him faster.”

Up next

Duquesne travels to Loretto to take on Saint Francis Saturday at noon.

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