ALBANY — The Albany State “Dirty Blue” defense dominated Savannah State Saturday afternoon, holding the Tigers to only 59 yards of total offense in a 30-0 victory.

The win puts the Rams alone in first place in the race for the SIAC East title with a 4-0 record (7-1 overall) with two SIAC games remaining. The Tigers fall to 6-2, 4-1 on the year.

The Tigers tried everything to throw off the Ram defense. They switched quarterbacks, they used trick plays, they changed their lineups. Nothing worked. The Tigers got a first down here or there, but never got a sustained drive all day long.

On the other side of the field, the Rams scored on their first possession, and never looked back. However, the Savannah State defense was tough early on and stopped the Rams three times in the first half when they got close to the end zone. All three times Gabriel Ballinas put points on the board for the Golden Rams. He booted a 37-yard field goal first and then a 27-yard field goal and a 23-yarder in the second quarter.

The Rams did get one touchdown in the second quarter — a three-yard run by Kam Ward. That play capped a quick five-play drive that went 57 yards in barely over two minutes. The big play in that drive was a pass from Dionte Bonneau to wide receiver Rashad Jordan.

The Rams added two touchdowns in the second half while the defense kept the Tigers in check. The Tiger punter did his best to keep the Rams backed up but in the third quarter, but the Rams moved down the field quickly. ASU started inside the 10 of SSU and Bonneau hit two quick, short passes before connecting with Jordan again who ended up near midfield. Bonneau then found Javon Wooten open in the middle of the field and Wooten took the ball through the Tiger defense and into the end zone for a 50-yard touchdown play.

Early in the fourth quarter the Rams moved quickly down the field again. On that drive, Ward broke loose for a big run and was tackled at the 20-yard line. Moments later Bonneau found Jordan in the end zone. Jordan had defenders on each side of him but he pulled down the catch for another Ram touchdown.

Bonneau finished the day with 250 yards passing, completing 15 of 33 passes with two touchdowns and an interception.

The defense was led by Coemba Jones and Stephen Pierre who each had nine tackles. Jones was responsible for 2.5 sacks, costing the Tigers 11 yards. Brindon Manuel and James Hawkins each pulled down five tackles.

The Golden Rams have two more games on the schedule and then hopefully, playoff games. The Rams will travel to Atlanta next Saturday to take on Morehouse (3-5) and then finish the regular season in Columbus in the Fountain City Classic against rival Fort Valley State (5-3). Morehouse beat Benedict 20-5 Saturday and Fort Valley beat Clark Atlanta 40-7.

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