Albany State eliminated all doubt of who was the best team in the SIAC on Saturday at Albert J. Sloan-Alumni Stadium in Fairfield, Alabama. The Rams dominated every phase of the game to shut out Miles 31-0 for their first win over the Golden Bears in three tries.
It has been eight years since an Albany State team has hoisted the conference championship. Mike White coached against Reginald Ruffin on a cool night at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta, GA. A controversial no-call on a muffed punt resulted in a scoop and winning score for the Rams.
Miles got the upper hand in the 2018 and 2019 title game match-ups winning 50-23 and 21-6 respectively.
Saturday’s final score looked a lot like the score in the first meeting between the two. The Rams outscored the Bears 31-0 in the last three quarters after allowing a first-quarter field goal. There was no field goal this time around.
Marcuis Fulks set up the Rams’ first touchdown taking a hand-off near midfield on a 55-yard jaunt before Brandon Hicks could knock him out of bounds at the 1. Fulks punched it in on the next snap.
Albany State’s 10-0 lead in the first quarter swelled to 17-0 early in the second quarter. Dionte Bonneau 67 yards strike to Joe Shorter set up Kam Ward’s 2-yard touchdown run.
The Bears’ defense gave the Bears ample opportunities to erase the goose egg on the scoreboard. Marcus Coleman and Andrew Gaylor each picked off Bonneau and Trey Giles recovered a forced fumble for the Golden Bears in the second quarter.
Albany State’s Code Blue Defense kept the Golden Bears’ offense frozen out of the red zone. Code Blue sacked Claude Newell six times while holding the Miles offense to a scant 132 yards.
“We really make a big emphasis every single week about sacks,” said Rams Head Coach Gabe Giardina. “We try to get three a game.” Code Blue understood the assignment -very well.
Issaiah McCray put the final nail in the Golden Bears’ coffin with a 30 yards touchdown run late in the third quarter.
Albany State will host West Georgia from the Gulf South Conference in the first round of the Division II playoffs.
Game Photo Gallery
All photos credit Jason McDonald, JM Photography for CORE360 Sports