Written by Stanley McCormick
Junior quarterback Frank Rivers was 19 of 28 passing for 236 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Albany State Golden Rams past the Benedict Tigers 31-6. With the victory, ASU improves to 4-4, 3-1 in the SIAC and remains in a first place tie with Fort Valley State for the East Division title. Benedict’s record dips to 4-5, 2-2.
The Golden Rams found points hard to come by in the first half. After some impressive plays, ASU still was unable to put points on the board. Benedict took advantage of Albany State’s scoring drought by scoring field goals in the first and second quarters to take a 6-0 lead at halftime.
The Golden Rams finally got on the scoreboard in the third quarter with 1:58 left. That’s when Rivers found Jessie Atkins for a 24-yard touchdown to cap a 6-play, 65-yard drive. Zachary Gayden-Holley’s PAT was good to give ASU a 7-6 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Rivers found Atkins again for an 18-yard strike, and Gayden-Holley added the PAT to give the Golden Rams a 14-6 lead with 14:49 remaining in the game. The drive went for two plays and 25 yards.
The Albany State“Dirty Blue” Defense’s second half stand was highlighted when linebacker Glenn Stanley sacked Tiger quarterback Brandon Thompson. Stanley forced a fumble and recovered it to give ASU the possession. That play sparked an 11-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a 20-yard field goal by Gayden-Holley. The Golden Rams led 17-6 with 7:46 left in the contest.
Rivers continued his stellar play in the second half. On the Golden Rams’ 4-play, 50-yard drive, he found Jaquan Rivers for an 18-yard touchdown with 6:02 left to play.
With 3:24 remaining in the game, freshman cornerback Kelderion Miller put an exclamation point on the Golden Rams’ dominant second half. He intercepted a Benedict pass and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown. Gayden-Holley’s PAT ended the ASU scoring parade.
Atkins caught four passes for 81 yards. Running back Adrian Alexander rushed 11 times for 63 yards. He also caught five passes for 30 yards.
Larry Whitfield led the Golden Rams’ defense with 11 tackles (nine solo). Tavarius Washington and Grover Stewart added eight tackles apiece and Marcavius Dudley recorded seven.
The Albany State Golden Rams return to action on November 9th against the Fort Valley State Wildcats in the 24th Annual Fountain City Classic. With the teams tied atop the SIAC East Division, the winner will play in the 2013 SIAC Championship game. Game time is slated for 2 p.m.