NEC kicker battle may go back and forth

(STATS) – Having faced each other for the Northeast Conference title last season, defending champion Duquesne and Saint Francis will do some scoreboard watching each Saturday.

Their kickers, Austin Crimmins of Duquesne and Lance Geesey of Saint Francis, will look for field goals in the scores.

The two seniors could go back and forth trying to extend the NEC record for field goals in a career. Crimmins owns it currently after kicking three against Bucknell last Saturday to move to 48 and surpass Geesey, who has 46.

The two schools are separated by less than 80 miles in western Pennsylvania. Duquesne was picked as the preseason favorite in the NEC and Saint Francis was one of the top contenders along with Sacred Heart.

Crimmins and Geesey will play a big part in the title race.

Crimmins became Duquesne's all-time leading scorer last Saturday, raising his total to 244 points. Also the Dukes' punter, he was the All-NEC second-team kicker in 2013 and last year. He kicked a school-record 16 field goals a year ago, when Duquesne beat Saint Francis on the final day of the NEC regular season to capture its first outright conference title.

Geesey, the NEC's first-team kicker the last two seasons, has 230 career points, just 24 shy of former Red Flash running back Kyle Hartbridge's school record. He made 16 of 17 field goal attempts last season to lead the FCS in accuracy (94.1 percent). Included was a school- and conference-record five in a game against Central Connecticut State.

Over the past four seasons, Crimmins is 48 of 68 on field goals and Geesey is 46 of 58.