Renfree rescues Blue Devils

Backup QB throws 2 TD passes

The Associated PressSeptember 13, 2009 

— Duke coach David Cutcliffe knew he was going to play Sean Renfree at some point.

Renfree himself didn't know until the Blue Devils recovered a fumble at the Army 19 and he was sent onto the field.

Two plays later, he connected on the first pass of his college career for a 17-yard scoring pass that put Duke ahead on its way to a 35-19 win over the Black Knights.

"I just ran in there, threw that, and just all you can do is be the happiest kid ever and run down there and go celebrate with my team," the redshirt freshman said.

Renfree replaced starter Thaddeus Lewis, who completed 5 of 16 for 60 yards. Lewis completed his 50th career TD pass, becoming the 14th ACC quarterback to reach that milestone, to bring the Blue Devils to within 10-7 with 5:52 remaining in the first half. It stayed that way until Renfree's opportunity.

"I had intended to play him last week and didn't, and I made my mind up we would play him regardless of circumstance," Cutcliffe said. "It's not any kind of statement or anything other than just confidence in Sean. ... I had decided I wanted Sean in there in that series, unless we're backed up."

Leon Wright sealed the game for Duke by returning two interceptions in a 16-second span for touchdowns of 51 and 33 yards in the final 1:48.

Renfree gave the Blue Devils a 21-13 advantage on a 31-yard TD pass to an open Donovan Varner to start the fourth quarter.

Army backup Carson Williams completed 8 of 18 passes for 91 yards, all in the fourth quarter, and hit Alejandro Villanueva for the final TD.

Army (1-1) drew to within 14-13 on Alex Carlton's 31-yard field goal late in the third before Duke's 78-yard drive was capped by Renfree's pass to Varner.

Patrick Mealy ran 55 yards to the Duke 24 on Army's first offensive play of the game. The Black Knights needed only four additional plays to score on quarterback Trent Steelman's 2-yard keeper, capping a 79-yard drive.

"They threw a play we've never seen before," Duke linebacker Vincent Rey said. "They ended up scoring on that drive. But the main thing was for us to recuperate."

Duke 35, Army 19

Duke

0

7

7

21

--

35

Army

7

3

3

6

--

19

FIRST QUARTER

Army--Steelman 2 run (Carlton kick), 10:07.

SECOND QUARTER

Army--FG Carlton 43, 13:38. Duke--Vernon 14 pass from Lewis (Snyderwine kick), 5:52.

THIRD QUARTER

Duke--Huffman 17 pass from Renfree (Snyderwine kick), 7:44. Army--FG Carlton 31, 3:42.

FOURTH QUARTER

Duke--Varner 31 pass from Renfree (Snyderwine kick), 14:52. Duke--Wright 51 interception return (Snyderwine kick), 1:48. Duke--Wright 33 interception return (Snyderwine kick), 1:32. Army--Villanueva 8 pass from Ca.Williams, :00.

Duke

Army

First downs

14

20

Rushes-yards

32-70

57-266

Passing

166

119

Comp-Att-Int

12-24-0

10-24-2

Return Yards

100

8

Punts

7-36.3

6-38.8

Fumbles-Lost

2-2

3-2

Penalties-Yards

5-45

5-51

Time of Possession

23:56

36:04

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING--Duke, Boyette 21-48, Hollingsworth 5-24, Lewis 5-0, Team 1-(minus 2). Army, Mealy 10-99, Steelman 17-75, Carter 14-33, I.Smith 6-27, Ehie 5-17, Bulls 1-12, Fletcher 2-7, Hunter 1-2, McDaniel 1-(minus 6).

PASSING--Duke, Lewis 5-16-0-60, Renfree 7-8-0-106. Army, Ca.Williams 8-18-2-91, Steelman 2-6-0-28.

RECEIVING--Duke, Boyette 2-35, Kelly 2-29, Vernon 2-23, Williams 2-18, Watkins 2-13, Varner 1-31, Huffman 1-17. Army, Villanueva 4-68, Hunter 3-27, Barr 2-16, Carter 1-8.

Att.--25,698.

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