The Albany State Golden Rams walked into the University of West Georgia Stadium Saturday evening and ran over the No. 15 hometown Wolves 26-14 to take their first win of the season. The Rams held a 26-7 lead until about a minute left in the game when West Georgia scored late to make the score closer.
The Wolves took an early lead when they took their second possession of the game and drove the length of the field that ended with a two-yard run for the score. The Rams responded, however. With a variety of runs from Tracy Scott and McKinley Habersham, sprinkled with some passes by Kelias Williams the Rams found their rhythm and moved 85 yards down the field against the Wolves. Williams through the ball into the end zone and Albany’s Mike Green jumped above the defenders and brought the ball down into the end zone on a 21-yard touchdown pass. Green had four catches in the first quarter alone for the Rams.
The Rams got scary news in the second quarter. Quarterback Kelias Williams made a big run up the middle of the field down to the Wolves 29-yard line but was knocked to the ground hard after the run. Williams left the game with a collar bone injury and did not return. His status for next week was not immediately available.
Redshirt freshman Dionte Bonneau out of Banneker High School in Atlanta stepped in to replace Williams. A few plays later, kicker Gabriel Ballinas booted a 44-yard field goal that put Albany State ahead for good. The Wolves were driving late in the first half when former Lee County standout Jalen Bush intercepted a pass to end the threat by the Wolves.
Ballinas hit two more field goals in the third quarter, including a 46-yarder to make the score 16-7 with 4:39 remaining in the quarter.
But the Rams weren’t finished. Bonneau broke off a 25-yard run to ignite another drive into Wolves territory and then Bonneau threw the ball into the end zone for Green again and again he jumped above the defenders and brought the ball down for another Golden Ram touchdown.
Just before the end of the third the Rams got into the end zone and pushed the lead to 23-7 when Habersham scored on a two-yard run.
Ballinas nailed another field goal in the fourth quarter, his fourth of the night, to push the lead to 26-7 before the Wolves got their late touchdown at the end of the game.
♦ The Golden Rams rushed for 253 yards on 49 carries, averaging 4.3 yards per carry on the night.
♦ The Golden Rams was outgained by the Wolves, 358356.
♦ Tracy Scott rushed for 97 yards on 15 carries, while Habesham piled up 63 yards on the ground.
♦ Williams also threw for 71 yards and one score, completing six passes for 99 yards to Green.
♦ Christ Blackston led the Wolves with 10 tackles, while Rogers added a tackle for loss and one sack.
♦ Coemba Jones led the Golden Rams with eight tackles each, while Branderious Rawlings and Jalen Bush racked up five tackles each.
♦ Ballinas averaged 34 yards per punt with a gamehigh with a long of 46 yards on the night.
The Golden Rams will now start their conference schedule with a date in Atlanta Saturday with Clark Atlanta University. The Panthers played Central State Saturday, but a score was not available. Kick off in Atlanta next Saturday is set for 2 p.m.