Miles Golden Bears win 2011 SIAC Championship over Albany State Rams
ATLANTA, GA – Saturday at Clark Atlanta University Panther Stadium, history was made as the Miles College Golden Bears won their first Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Division II Championship, by defeating last year’s champion Albany State University.
The Golden Bears stunned Albany State for a 20-17 victory on a Patton Chambers’ 29-yard field goal with nine seconds left.
Playing at Panther Stadium, Miles (7-4) knocked Albany State University (8-3) out of contention for its seventh consecutive bid to the NCAA playoffs. It’s the first time since 2000 that either Albany State or Tuskegee didn’t win the SIAC title.
First-year coach Reginald Ruffin led Miles to the Western Division Championship and won the league’s first championship game.
During Miles’ final drive, junior quarterback David Thomas passed for 26-yards to Vondragu Hudson on third-and-12 and scrambled 12-yards to the Albany State 12. Chambers’ kick knuckled low and just cleared the crossbar.
Miles stymied the SIAC’s No. 2 passing offense. Stanley Jennings, the league’s two-time offensive player of the year, completed 11-of-23 passes for 126-yards with an interception.
Jennings’ 21-yard touchdown pass to Jessie Atkins staked Albany State to a 9-7 lead late in the first half. The Golden Bears answered back in the third quarter with Thomas’ 5-yard touchdown run for a 14-9 advantage and added a field goal late in the period.
The Golden Rams quickly answered with Nathan Hoyte’s 2-yard touchdown run, which was set up by Jennings’ 38-yard pass to Hoyte. Hoyte added a two-point conversion run to tie the score at 17. Albany State blew a good chance to score first.
After Albany State forced a three-and-out, four consecutive runs by Hoyte set up a second down at the Miles 4-yard line. But a third down penalty pushed Albany State back to the 9, and Jennings threw an interception into double coverage in the end zone while scrambling.
The Golden Bears took over at their 20 and marched on a 12-play touchdown drive. Thomas converted a fourth-and-4 run, carrying defenders for the final yard, and on the next play passed to Antonio Pitts for a 29-yard touchdown.
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