COLUMBUS, GA –Albany State University was pushed to the limit, but was able to use its tough defense and a late touchdown to secure a 19-10 victory over Fort Valley State University to claim the SIAC East Division title for the second time in three years at the 24th Annual Fountain City Classic played at AJ McClung Stadium.

Albany State will face SIAC West Division Champion, Miles College, which defeated Tuskegee 41-36 on Saturday Afternoon. The game will be a rematch of the inaugural SIAC football championship in 2011.

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For the season, the Golden Rams have improved to 5-4 on the season, 4-0 in the SIAC East Division, while the Wildcats ended their season at 4-6, 3-1.

Frank Rivers completed only 13 of 32 passes for 215 yards, but was able to make big plays when it counted the most. Trailing 10-6 in the second half, Rivers found receiver Jessie Atkins for a 42 yard touchdown, which gave Albany State its first lead of the game at 12-6, after a failed PAT attempt. Needing a big play in the fourth quarter, Rivers found his running back Adriane Alexander on a short screen pass, which led to a 63 yard touchdown.

Ironically, both plays were converted on 3rd and long plays.

Senior Marcavious Dudley had a game-high 16 tackles and had a key fumble recovery to lead the defense.

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After dominating the first half, Fort Valley State struggled to get into the scoring column, despite making several trips inside Albany State’s Red Zone. A few missed field goals and turnover on downs negated each potential scoring drive. Leading the way for Fort Valley State was its defense that held Albany to only 223 yards of total offense.

On offense, Fort Valley State was led by quarterback Malcolm Eady, who completed 14 of 25 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown. He also added 54 yards on the ground. His 23 yard touchdown pass to Donte Warren in the first quarter was FVSU’s only touchdown pass of the day. Chris Ward added a 23 yard field goal for Fort Valley State.

Providing the spark, was the Wildcat defense led by All-American linebacker LeRon Furr, who finished with seven tackles, two tackles for a loss, and a sack, while his brother, DeRon, added eight tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack. Thomas Wolfe added to his SIAC conference high with his seventh interception of the season.

For Albany State, Larry Whitefield and Glen Stanley had 10 tackles apiece and Dexter Moody added eight stops for a team that only allowed 229 yards of total offense.

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