The Albany State University Golden Rams keep their hopes of a consecutive SIAC championship title and a NCAA playoff berth alive after defeating the Morehouse College Maroon Tigers Saturday night in the battle of the two East Division powerhouses. The Golden Rams claimed a 25-15 victory over the Maroon Tigers at the ASU Coliseum. With the win, the Golden Rams clinched first place in the East Division. Both teams are now 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the SIAC.
Albany State marched 66 yards on 10 plays to score the first points of the game when running back Nathan Hoyte rushed for two yards into the Morehouse endzone. The Golden Rams had to settle for six points after Tory Torstenson’s PAT attempt was blocked by Justin Oliver. Joshua Thurston returned the ball to score a defensive PAT for the Maroon Tigers, giving the Golden Rams a 6-2 lead.
Late in the second quarter, ASU quarterback Stanley Jennings hit receiver Octavius Staton with a 33-yard pass, capping a seven-play, 77-yard drive. Brandon Hamilton’s PAT was short, leaving the Rams with a 12-2 lead. With just 45 seconds before halftime, Jennings and receiver Ronnie Tubbs connected on a 22-yard pass and Hamilton’s PAT gave the Golden Rams a 19-2 halftime lead.
Morehouse added points to the scoreboard early in the third quarter on an Albany State turnover. Maroon Tiger Charlie Wilson forced Jennings to fumble and Christopher Bailey recovered the ball, setting up a scoring drive for Morehouse. Morehouse quarterback Byron Ingram marched the Tigers 70 yards on eight plays and connected with Derrick Hector on a 15-yard pass to score, and Brandon Hoffman’s PAT narrowed ASU’s lead to 19-9. On the Tigers’ next possession. ASU defensive back Rashad McRae intercepted Ingram’s pass and returned the ball nine yard with about two minutes on the clock. Hamilton nailed a 21-yard field goal to cap the drive with just five seconds off the clock in the fourth quarter.
On Albany State’s next series, Morehouse defender Darrius Williams intercepted and returned Jennings’ ball to the Albany 36, setting up another scoring drive off an ASU turnover. Running back David Carter rushed four yards into the Albany State endzone to score, but Hoffman missed the PAT attempt, giving the Golden Rams a 22-15 lead with 10:55 remaining. Later in the quarter, Bruce Ryles intercepted Ingram’s ball to put tlhe Rams in field goal range. Hamilton kicked from 25 yards out with just 11 seconds on the clock to seal ASU’s 25-15 victory.
Jennings led the ASU offense with 200 passing yards on 15-of-28 completions amd two touchdowns. Running back Luther Edwards led ASU rushers with 74 yards on 16 carries, while Tubbs had 87 yards on seven catches and a touchdown. Linebacker Larry Whitfield led the “Dirty Blue” defense with 12 tackles (six solo), including two for losses; and McRae recorded 10 tackles, including seven solo tackles with one for a loss. He also had two interceptions, two pass breakups and forced a fumble.
Ingram completed 21 of 40 passes for 291 yards and a touchdown. The ASU defense limited Carter to just 45 rushing yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. DeVance Harris led MHC receivers with four receptions for 75 yards. Brandon Houston led the defense with 13 total tackles and shared a sack, while Elijah Anderson added 12 tackles.