|« Fordham Faces Key League Match against Lehigh||Duquesne-Robert Morris Highlights »|
Robert Morris Runs Past Duquesne
MOON TWP. — Two years ago, Myles Russ was a tiny scatback from Florida, running away from defenses and piling up yardage as the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s 6A Player of the Year. His small stature kept the major schools away, so he found his way to Robert Morris and split time with Raphael Johnson as a freshman.
But even he couldn’t have envisioned this.
Russ set a school record with 37 carries — for 246 yards and two touchdowns — as Robert Morris knocked off Duquesne 34-27 in a Northeast Conference game played in front of 3,942 at Joe Walton Stadium.
With an already intense rivalry now a conference battle, Russ gained more than 100 yards for the fourth time this season, and more than 200 for the second time.
“He’s making people miss, he’s busting tackles, and he’s got good speed,” said Colonials coach Joe Walton. “And the offensive line is starting to come together, which is helping him.”
Duquesne jumped out to an early 13-3 lead, but Russ reeled them back in late in the second quarter. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound sophomore shook off several tackles as he approached the far sideline and walked a tightrope into the end zone. The referees took a moment to declare it a touchdown.
“I thought (the official) was going to say I was out, but I knew I wasn’t,” Russ said.
Then he laughed.
“I wanted to finish it off because I was tired and I wanted to get the touchdown from there.”
Robert Morris snapped a four-game losing streak. That it came in the rivalry game made it extra sweet.
“There’s been a lot of excitement generated on both campuses, and that’s good for both schools,” Walton said.
Duquesne joined the Northeast Conference this year as a football-only member after the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference lost several programs.
Duquesne lost some of their offensive consistency when starting quarterback Connor Dixon left the game in the first quarter with a left arm injury. Former starter Kevin Rombach, who lost the job in training camp to the Michigan State transfer, led the Dukes to their first 13 points.
With the score tied at halftime, Dukes coach Jerry Schmitt tried to juggle Rombach and Dixon throughout the second half. The two teams traded touchdowns through the beginning of the fourth quarter, but Duquesne stalled on offense. Robert Morris sealed the win with a 12 play, 17-yard drive.
Regis Flowers capped the drive with a 22-yard touchdown catch, but it was Russ who ate up the clock. Russ carried the ball seven times on that drive, and five more times on the following one to run out the clock.
Robert Morris runs past Duquesne
By Andrew Chiappazzi, The Beaver County Times (PA)