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ASU two games from title

Photo by Joe Bellacomo

Photo by Joe Bellacomo

ALBANY, Ga. -- Only two wins stand between the Albany State University football team and the Division II National Championship Game.

The first is Delta State (9-3), which the Rams (11-0) take on at 1 p.m. today in the D-II quarterfinals and Super Region II Championship at Albany State Memorial Coliseum.

The second will be the winner of Saturday's Mercyhurst (10-2) and Shepherd (11-1) showdown. But before the Rams can even start thinking about that matchup or the title game in Florence, Ala., on Dec. 18, they must take care of business today.

"We're taking it one game at a time," ASU quarterback Stanley Jennings said. "It's still the same attitude in the locker room. We're not even talking about nationals right now."

Yes, coaches and players are thinking only about the Statesmen, who play the Rams for the first time in school history.

"I have not seen them prior to this week, so it was good to see them on film and see what they do," Albany State head coach Mike White said. "They have a good O-line, two good running backs, a good quarterback, so it's just going to be a tough matchup."

Quarterback Micah Davis leads an explosive Delta State offense with 3,475 passing yards and 26 touchdowns. The team also has depth at running back, but Davis said the Statesmen are wary of the Albany State defense.

"They're a pretty good team," Davis said. "Winning 11 games is hard on this level, and they have some really good athletes. They run to the ball well, and they play pretty sound defense."

If Albany State wins, it will be the first 12-win season in school history and the Rams will advance to the national semifinals, where the NCAA will re-seed the teams. If Delta State wins, it will give the Statesmen -- who won the national championship in 2000 -- an 11-4 record in the playoffs all-time.