By Edythe Bradley
Albany State’s Stanley Jennings threw a 35-yard pass to Ronnie Tubbs to give the Golden Rams a third-quarter lead and ultimately, a 34-37 come-from-behind victory over the Miles College Golden Bears at Sloan-Alumni Stadium Saturday night. Jennings, who completed 18 of 29 passes for 271 yards, threw three touchdown passes in the Golden Rams’ win.
Miles took an early lead when David Thomas, who completed 18-of-28 for 244 yards, hit Antonio Pitts with a 46-yard touchdown pass on the Bears’ first play of their opening drive with 14:40 on the clock. Patton Chambers PAT gave the Golden Bears a 7-0 lead. Albany State responded by scoring 10 unanswered points, including a 38-yard Brandon Hamilton field goal and a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jennings to Orion Ponder, to take a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Jordan Lewis scored back-to-back touchdowns in the second quarter and Chamber’s PATs gave Miles a 21-10 lead over the defending SIAC champions. But the Rams marched 50 yards on 10 plays to put the Rams in field goal range. Hamilton’s 34-yard field goal with 2:36 on the clock brought the Rams to within seven points of the Bears. With just 40 seconds on the clock, Jennings connected with Ponder on an eight-yard pass, capping off a six-play, 42-yard drive for the Golden Rams, but the Golden Bears held on to a 21-19 lead at the half. Ponder caught six receptions for 90 yards on the day.
The Golden Rams took the lead late in the third quarter with Tubbs’ 35-yard reception, and Darius Nelson caught a two-point conversion pass reception from Jennings to take a 27-21 lead. Tubbs caught three passes for 73 yards for the Golden Rams, and Nathan Hoyte led ASU rushers with 97 yards on 14 carries.
The Golden Bears tied the game at 27 points each after Lewis, who rushed for 59 yards on 25 carries, scored on a 10-yard run, his third touchdown of the day. With 8:50 remaining in the game, the Golden Rams capped off an 8-play, 60-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run by Darryl Carey, which prove to be enough to give Albany State the victory. Rashad McRae destroyed the Bears’ hopes for a comeback after intercepting Thomas’ passes with 1:30 on the clock.
Jamarkus Gaskins led the Rams “Dirty Blue” defense with 11 tackles, including four solo tackles, and a sack. Larry Whitfield and Bruce Ryles added eight tackles each.
Corey Robinson led all Miles tacklers with 12 stops.
The Golden Rams will travel to Indianapolis, Ind. to take on the Kentucky State University Thorobreds in the 28th Circle City Classic on Saturday, Oct. 1. Kickoff is 2:30 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.