ATLANTA–Using big plays on defense and special teams, Albany State University claimed the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Centennial Football Championship with a 17-14 victory over Miles College at Lakewood Stadium.
The Golden Rams win over Miles was the first time in the last four meetings, which included the inaugural SIAC Football Championship game in 2011. Furthermore, the game served as a rematch from a 22-14 win by Miles this past September in Fairfield, Alabama.
Dexter Moody, voted the championship game’s Most Valuable Player, blocked a punt and recorded an interception, which were both game changers, as well as scoring opportunities for Albany State.
The Golden Rams, (6-4) were also able to hold Miles’ explosive offense to 240 total yards of total offense for the game. Most importantly, the Golden Rams defense negated Miles from the big play.
The Golden Bears longest plays from scrimmage were on runs of 25, 24, coupled with a pair of 19 yard passes.
While the Golden Bears fast-pace, high-powered offense was limited, the team managed to take an early lead after falling behind in the first quarter against Albany State.
Following a Lenard Walker 17-yard touchdown reception from ASU quarterback Frank Rivers, Miles was able to score back-to-back touchdowns, orchestrated by quarterback David Thomas. After finding his receiver Antonio Pitts for a 19 yard touchdown, Thomas scored on a 5-yard run on the ensuing drive to give Miles a one touchdown lead going into the half.
Thomas finised with 117 yards passing, completing 13-of-24 attempts. Pitts, named the Most Valuable Player for Miles, finished with seven catches for 67 yards, with most of the damage occuring in the first half.
Trailing 14-7 late in the 3rd quarter, the All-American senior defensive back, Moody, blocked a punt that eventually led to a 28-yard field goal by Golden Rams kicker Zachery Holley early in the fourth quarter.
As Miles was in position to add to its lead, Moody cut-off an inside route to intercept Thomas’ pass that was thrown deep into Albany State’s end zone. While the turnover did not lead to an immediate score, the field position set up the play of the game.
Fielding a routine fair catch in traffic, Miles’ Darren Fife muffed a Ryan Latner punt that was recovered by Untayous Benson on the Golden Bears four yard line. The next play from scrimmage, Adrian Anders scored the go-ahead touchdown from four yards out.
Miles College had two more possessions, but failed to move the ball against Albany Sate’s “Dirty Blue” defense.
The win was Albany State’s first SIAC Championship since 2010, and 15th overall for the school.
Courtesy of thesiac.com
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