ASU Golden Rams fall short in upset bid of West Georgia
Published 11:39 am Wednesday, September 28, 2016
From STAFF REPORTS
ALBANY – The Albany State University (ASU) Golden Rams provided the University of West Georgia (UWG) with its toughest game of the season and was moments away from recording the biggest upset in ASU history. Although the team’s game plan provided them with a genuine opportunity to win, the Golden Rams were unable to shock the football world on the afternoon of Sept. 17.
After giving the third-ranked (nationally) West Georgia Wolves fits on both side of the football, the Golden Rams eventually dropped a 27-23 decision. The loss gives Albany State an overall record of 1-3, while UWG improves to 4-0.
West Georgia opened the scoring when running back, LeMarcus Franks, recorded an 11-yard touchdown with 11:12 left in the first quarter. The PAT was successful, and the Wolves had an early 7-0 lead.
Albany State answered UWG’s score with one of its own. Quarterback, Caleb Edmonds, found wide receiver, Michael Green, for a 16-yard touchdown, and Emilio Maldonado made a successful PAT to tie the game at 7-7. The drive spanned 12 plays and 75 yards in 5:04.
The Wolves regained the advantage less than a minute later. Devontae Jackson returned the kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown to give West Georgia a 13-7 lead. The PAT failed.
ASU running back, McKinley Habersham, then provided the Golden Rams with their only lead of the game. His 15-yard scamper, coupled with a successful PAT, at the 3:22 mark gave Albany State a 14-13 edge. The drive went on for seven plays, 73 yards, and 2:16.
In the second quarter, West Georgia would regain its early advantage in a big way. At the 12:47 mark, A.J. Leggett intercepted an Edmonds pass and returned it 32 yards to give the Wolves a 20-14 advantage. Another touchdown with 1:21 by Qa Walker provided the Wolves with a 27-14 lead at half-time.
The Golden Rams proved in the third quarter they would not go away quietly. Edmonds connected with Ta’Keevian Harris for a 39-yard touchdown with 9:05 remaining in the period. The successful PAT cut the ASU deficit to 27-21 after the drive recorded five plays and 65 yards, lasting 1:58.
Both teams had potential scoring drives negated by large penalties in the fourth period. With the clock winding down, West Georgia took a safety with three seconds left to prevent Albany State from generating comeback drive. The Golden Rams did take the kickoff and used multiple lateral passes to try and steal the victory, but the attempts failed.
Edmonds completed 19 of 36 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns. Harris recorded five receptions for 74 yards, and Green caught five passes for 55 yards. West Georgia outgained ASU in total yards 367-275.
The Golden Rams’ defensive unit was led by Nhigel Phillips with 6.5 tackles and a half sack. Nick Scott added six tackles.
Albany State will look to bounce back in their second home game of the season. The Golden Rams will host SIAC opponent Miles College on Oct. 1. The game will serve as the athletics department’s annual Military Appreciation Day, Take-a-Kid-to-a-Game Day, and Greek Day. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.