Sam Hartman leads No. 11 Notre Dame to a thrilling 21-14 victory over No. 17 Duke

DURHAM, NC – SEPTEMBER 30: Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Sam Hartman (10) throws on the run while Duke Blue Devils defensive tackle Aeneas Peebles (16) during college football between the Duke Blue Devils and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish raises his hands on September 30, 2023 at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, NC. (Photo by Nicholas Faulkner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
DURHAM, NC – SEPTEMBER 30: Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Sam Hartman (10) throws on the run while Duke Blue Devils defensive tackle Aeneas Peebles (16) during college football between the Duke Blue Devils and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish raises his hands on September 30, 2023 at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, NC. (Photo by Nicholas Faulkner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Notre Dame wouldn’t fall short in another big game.

After a painful last-second home loss to Ohio State last week, the No. 11 Fighting Irish rallied and picked up a thrilling 21-14 win over No. 17 Duke.

Notre Dame blew a 13-0 lead and allowed Duke to storm back and take a 14-13 lead with 9:17 left. The Fighting Irish sputtered on offense most of the night, and things looked bleak when Duke pinned Sam Hartman and the Irish offense at their own five-yard line with 2:35 to play.

But Hartman didn’t let his team lose.

Hartman, the transfer quarterback from Notre Dame, has been the ACC’s all-time leader in touchdown passes since his time at Wake Forest. But the biggest play of the night was made with Hartman’s legs. With less than 1:00 minutes remaining in regulation, Notre Dame faced a fourth-and-16 play from the Duke 47.

Hartman dropped back to pass and no one was open, so the sixth-grader took off and ran. He knew a huge score was coming, but Hartman still dove into traffic and grabbed a 17-yard grab on first down to keep Notre Dame’s hopes alive.

After Hartman’s clutch run, the Irish found themselves in field goal range and fell back to the ground.

Instead of simply setting up a field goal attempt, Audric Estime broke through the Duke front and made a 30-yard touchdown run. It capped a gutsy 95-yard drive and proved game-winning for Notre Dame.

After a successful two-point conversion, Duke and quarterback Riley Leonard would get another opportunity with 31 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

Instead, the Notre Dame defense strip-sacked Leonard, securing a gutsy win.

With the win, Notre Dame improved to 5-1 and kept its College Football Playoff hopes alive. Additionally, Notre Dame extended its regular season winning streak against ACC opponents to 30 games.

Duke had a chance to start a season 5-0 for the first time since 1994. Instead, the Blue Devils lost 4-1.

Chris Estrada

Chris Estrada is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chris Estrada joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: chrisestrada@24ssports.com.

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