Tag Archives: Leon Wright

Duke defeats Virginia 28-17

DukeDuke utilized a clutch fourth quarter performance to defeat Virginia 28-17, on the road, in Charlottesville, to improve to 5-3 (3-1 ACC) on the season. The victory was the third straight conference victory for the Blue Devils. Duke scored the games final 16 points to comeback from a 17-12 deficit.

Duke dominated first quarter action by limiting the Cavaliers to 1 yard total offense. However, Virginia's defense bent but didn't break by limiting Duke to two field goals. Will Snyderwine kicked a third field goal five seconds into the second quarter to expand Duke's lead to 9-0.

Virginia managed a field goal in the second quarter and then took the second half kickoff and marched 66 yards in eight plays for a touchdown and a 10-9 lead. There were no additional points scored in the third quarter.

After three low scoring quarters, the two teams exploded for 26 points in the final stanza with Duke outscoring Virginia 19-7 for the victory. Thaddeus Lewis threw a 42 yard touchdown pass to Conner Vernon and Charlie Hatcher returned a Jameel Sewell fumble seven yards for another score. The fumble was forced by defensive lineman Ayanga Okpokowuruk. Will Snyderwine added his fourth and fifth field goals of the game.

Thaddeus Lewis completed 24-40 passes for 343 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Lewis has now thrown for 9,050 yards in his career and has passed Spence Fisher to move into second place all time behind Ben Bennett.

Donovan Varner (113 yards) and Conner Vernon (103 yards) each had seven receptions to pace seven Duke receivers. Varner and Vernon both recorded over 100 yards receiving for the second consecutive game.

On the defensive side of the ball, Leon Wright recorded his fourth interception of the season, while Vincent Rey led the team with 10 tackles. Jeremy Ringfield and Vince Oghobaase each recorded a sack.

ACC names Duke’s Leon Wright Defensive Back of the Week

0001wrightDURHAM, N.C. -- Duke senior cornerback Leon Wright has earned ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors as announced by the league office on Monday afternoon.
A native of St. Petersburg, Fla., Wright helped the Blue Devils to a 35-19 win over Army by returning two interceptions for touchdowns in a 16-second span late in the fourth quarter.  The touchdowns covered 51 and 33 yards, respectively, as Wright became the first player in Duke football history to have two interception returns for touchdowns in a single game.
Wright added four tackles, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup in the win over the Black Knights as Duke rallied from a 10-7 halftime deficit for the victory.  Coupled with a 24-yard fumble return against Georgia Tech in 2007, he now has scored three defensive touchdowns in his career to rank tied for first on Duke's all-time list.  In addition, Wright also was named the National Defensive Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.
Other weekly award winners include Wake Forest's Riley Skinner (Offensive Back), Florida State's Caz Piurowski (Offensive Lineman), Georgia Tech's Derrick Morgan (Defensive Lineman), Georgia Tech's Scott Blair (Specialist) and Clemson's Kyle Parker (Rookie).

Duke rides Wright and Renfree to victory – Duke 35 Army 19


There was no shortage of second half heroics in Duke's 35-19 win over Army as the Blue Devils evened their record to 1-1 on the season.  An elder in Leon Wright and a cub in Sean Renfree scored two touchdowns apiece all of which came in a 28 point second half.

Renfree had one of those freshman debuts kids dream about.  On his first collegiate snap from center, Renfree went to a wide open Brett Huffman for a 14 yard score which put Duke up on their opponent for the first time this season 14-10.  It was the shot in the arm that Duke needed in that a lot of bounce returned to their legs.

The young freshman wasn't finished.  After an Army field goal cutting the lead to 14-13 and on Duke's twelfth possession of the game, Renfree found Donovan Varner in the corner of the end zone in a play that covered 31 yards.  Just like that, Duke was up 21-13 and just like that the kid wearing number19 in royal blue looked like HOF'er Johnny Unitas, uniform and production.

This of course brought about smiles  from the Duke sidelines including a sigh of relief.  The sigh was for good reason for Army came out of the gate and outplayed the Devils as the Duke offense looked disjointed.  If the Army game plan was to go after Thaddeus Lewis then they succeeded for they pressured him more often than not on his throws.

There was simply a lot of bad "mojo" for Duke in the first half including the proverbial missed field goal a four year or more Achilles heal for the program.  But Duke dodged a late bullet when Army missed a field goal as time ran out in the first half and Duke was fortunate to go to the locker room down 10-7.

That may have been the start for a momentum surge from the Devils, but when Renfree replaced Lewis and tossed a TD, it was clear to see that the tide had turned.

To seal the win, Duke senior Leon Wright intercepted two passes scoring on each one.  Amazingly, those two scores came on consecutive plays within less than a minute of one another.  Duke was also helped byVince  Ogohabasse, Ayanga Okpokowuruk and Vinnie Rey, all of whom made some huge plays.

It was quite simply a day where everything went right for one team in each half, but Duke half was by far the most impressive.  Despite being out gained in the offensive stats Duke found some kids to make some big plays today and you could see the chemistry coming together where both senior leadership and freshman talent played a big role.

Sidebar - No word yet on the condition of talented freshman wideout Conner Vernon.  Army scored a late TD on Dukes second and third team defensive players.  Duke will play their second consecutive and last game on turf this season when they travel to Kansas next week.  Check back for more football all day tomorrow ending with a talk with Cut.