Junior receiver Ronnie Tubbs caught two touchdown passes to lead the No. 22 Albany State University Golden Rams to a 37-13 Homecoming victory over the Benedict College Tigers Saturday at the ASU Coliseum. The Rams improve to 7-2 overall and 5-1 in SIAC action, while the Tigers drop to 2-7 on the season and 1-5 in the conference.
After an interception on their opening drive at the Benedict 1, the Albany State “Dirty Blue” defense held the Tigers, forcing a punt to sophomore receiver Orion Ponder. Ponder scored on the 53-yard return and senior Tory Torstenson’s kick gave the Rams a 7-0 early lead. Later in the quarter, senior defensive lineman Antorio Wells sacked Johnny Carson at their 24 yard line and forced a fumble. Junior linebacker Demonte Queen recovered the fumble to set up a scoring drive for the Golden Rams. Sophomore Brandon Hamilton booted a 40-yard field goal to up ASU’s lead to 10-3.
The Rams scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter, including a 9-yard touchdown rush by junior running back Luther Edwards on a 6-play, 53-yard drive with 8:27 on the clock. Senior quarterback Stanley Jennings connected with Tubbs on passes of 21 and 12 yards and the Golden Rams cruised to a 31-0 halftime lead.
The Tigers put points on the board after scoring two touchdowns in the third quarter. Benedict’s Kendariss Brown recovered Ponder’s fumble on the punt return to set up the 1-play scoring drive. Thomas McBride rushed from 10 yards out to score, but Andy Polanco missed the PAT to make the score 31-6 with 8:17 on the clock. Later in the quarter, ASU freshman running back Adrian Alexander fumbled at the Benedict 47, and Anthony Davis returned the ball 53 yards to score for the Tigers. Palanco’s good PAT cut ASU’s lead to 31-13 with 3:09 on the clock.
Late in the fourth quarter, Junior running back Nathan Hoyte rushed for 52 yards on four plays, including a 1-yard touchdown run to seal the victory for the Golden Rams. Hoyte led ASU rushers with 118 yards on 10 carries with a long rush of 40 yards.
Jennings passed for 277 yards, completing 19-of-34, while Carson passed for 63 yards and completed 11-of-63 passes. He was sacked three times. Jordan Kelly led the Tiger receivers with 44 yards on four catches, while McBride led rushers with 17 yards on six carries, including the touchdown run.
The ASU “Dirty Blue” defense, led by senior linebackers Bruce Ryles with 10 total tackles (three solo), held the Tigers to just 76 yards of total offense, including 63 passing and nine rushing yards. Queen added eight tackles, with three for a loss of nine yards, while senior defensive back Jamarkus Gaskins recorded six tackles, a sack, and broke up a pass for the Rams. Dequan Starling and Jamaa Massaline led the Tiger defense with eight tackles each.
The Golden Rams will travel to Columbus, Ga., to take on the Fort Valley State University Wildcats in the 22nd Annual Fountain City Classic at the A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.