The Albany State Golden Rams scored four touchdowns during the third quarter Saturday afternoon to break open a tight game and blow-out arch-rival Ft. Valley 42-6 in Columbus at the Fountain City Classic.
The win means Albany State is the SIAC East division champion and will now host the SIAC championship game in Albany next Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Albany State Coliseum. The SIAC championship game will be a rematch from last year’s game when Mile beat the Rams. Miles knocked off Tuskegee 20-6 Saturday to win the SIAC West.
The Golden Rams and the Fort Valley Wildcats were locked in a tight battle at halftime with the Rams ahead 7-6. Neither offense was getting anywhere during the first half. Albany State’s only points came from a blocked punt by Malachi Brown. Brown blocked the Fort Valley punt, then picked up the ball and raced into the end zone for the touchdown. After Gabriel Ballinas booted the extra point, the Rams were up 7-0.
That was the score was until seconds before halftime. The Wildcats had gotten down the field with the help of a couple of penalties, but then could not get past the “Dirty Blue” defense. The Wildcats had seven plays inside the five-yard line and ended up scoring after two pass interference calls gave them first and goal at the inside the one. It took a total of 15 plays to finally get to the end zone and put six points on the board. The kick attempt was no good.
The Golden Rams dominated the third quarter. They took advantage of every opportunity to put points on the board. To begin the second half the Rams kicked off to Fort Valley and the Wildcats fumbled, but when the pile was uncovered Fort Valley had the ball. But they couldn’t move and went back to punt and that led to first of four third quarter touchdowns when the James Hawkins blocked another FVSU punt and recovered it in the endzone.
On Fort Valley’s next possession, the “Dirty Blue” defense hit quarterback Demontay Jones hard and he fumbled, and the Rams took over. The Rams got the ball at the 12-yard line after a personal foul penalty was called on Jones after he responded to the hit. The Rams scored on the next play when Mckinley Habersham blew past the Wildcat defense and got into the end zone.
After than it was Tracy Scott’s turn. The running back from Greenville, SC got loose for a 49-yard touchdown run on the Rams’ next possession. He scored again on a two-yard run after another turnover a few minutes later, bringing the third quarter score to 35-6.
Freshman Marcus Fulks scored the final touchdown for the Rams on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The statistics from the game show the difference in offenses. The Rams rolled up 178 yards on the ground compared to just 11 for the Wildcats. The Wildcats, however, picked 162 yards passing while the Rams had only five.
The win gives ASU a 7-3 record on the season and if the Rams can take the SIAC championship next week they will likely make the NCAA Division II playoffs.