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DURHAM, N.C. (GoDuke.com) – Senior kicker Ross Martin accounted for all nine of Duke’s points to lead the Blue Devils to a hard-fought 9-7 ACC football victory on a rainy afternoon on Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium.
Quarterback Thomas Sirk was 18-of-36 for 195 yards through the air, and freshman T.J. Rahming led the receiving corps with five catches for 75 yards.
Linebacker Dwayne Norman carded double-digit tackles for the second time this season to headline Duke’s defensive effort. Eight of the senior’s 12 stops on the day were solo, and he also logged a pass breakup and two quarterback hurries, while DeVon Edwards added nine tackles and Jeremy Cash eight.
All nine of Duke’s points came in the first half with Martin kicking field goals of 26, 28 and 53 yards, respectively. The 53-yarder was the seventh longest in program history and tied his career-best effort.
Duke, after having to punt on its first two possessions, crossed midfield for the first time midway through the first quarter and made its way into the red zone after big receptions from Rahming and Jela Duncan. The drive stalled on the Eagles’ 16-yard line, setting up Martin for the 26-yarder.
Martin’s second kick was nearly identical as the Blue Devils began finding holes in Boston College’s defense. Unable to reach the end zone, Martin came on to put Duke up 6-0 with a 28-yard kick. On the next drive, Martin easily sent his 53-yard field goal through the uprights despite kicking into the wind late in the second quarter to give the Blue Devils a 9-0 advantage heading into the locker room.
An impressive defensive effort from the Blue Devils in the first half kept Boston College off the scoreboard. The Eagles, facing a 3-and-12 from the Duke 21, seemingly found the end zone before sophomore Alonzo Saxton II knocked the ball out of the Boston College receiver’s hands at the last moment. On fourth down, the BC holder mishandled the snap on what would have been a 45-yard try and the Eagles remained scoreless. Duke held the Eagles to just 100 yards of offense and 0-for-9 through the air in the first half.
The second half proved to be a slight reversal for the two teams. Boston College made its way into Duke territory on a few occasions, but the Blue Devils’ defense was outstanding overall.
Boston College cut the lead to 9-7 late in third quarter, finding the end zone on a 66-yard strike from Troy Flutie to Thadd Smith. The 66-yard grab was 20 more yards than the Eagles had amassed through the air all afternoon.
That touchdown proved to be all the Eagles could muster. Boston College kicker Colton Lichtenberg missed a potential go-ahead 45-yard field goal with 3:35 remaining in the contest.
Following a 25-yard punt from Will Monday that left the Eagles on the 50 in the waning minutes, the Blue Devil defense answered the call and stopped Boston College on four straight plays to take over on downs. From there, Duke ran out the clock to move to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in ACC action.