PHENIX CITY, AL-Gabe Giardina has done what no other Albany State football coach has in the last seven years. Beat Tuskegee.
Albany State University captured their first win over Tuskegee University since 2010 with a smothering 20-7 win in Saturday’s White Water Classic.
Albany State was dominant in every phase of the game. The Golden Rams piled up 462 yards of total offense compared to 119 for Tuskegee. ASU would control the ball for nearly 46 minutes, while Tuskegee ran 27 plays taking up just over 16 minutes.
Despite the gaunt offensive numbers, Tuskegee was in contention throughout the first half and most of the third.
On Tuskegee’s opening drive of the game, Hoderick Lowe took off for a 71-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 5:59 to go.
Who would have thought they would only garner one more first down the rest of the day and never cross midfield again?
Redshirt freshman quarterback Chancellor Johnson was giving the Albany State faithful lots to cheer for. He found Ta’Keevi Harris for a 13-yard score to answer Tuskegee and tie the game at 7-7 to start the 2nd quarter. Later in the quarter, Johnson was engineering a 12 play 87-yard drive that ended with a tip drill touchdown to Quadrey Simmons. ASU took a 13-7 lead into the locker room after missing the extra point.
— NCAA Division II (@NCAADII) September 10, 2017
Big Play Never Came
Tuskegee’s big play potential was looming as a beacon of hope in the third quarter until the Golden Rams scored on a 26 yard TD hookup from Johnson to Mike Green. with 13 seconds remaining.
With a scoreless fourth quarter serving as a slow coronation for a statement win two weeks in a row, Giardina talked about the secret sauce for the ASU season thus far.
“I’m proud of our guys for just hanging in there, making some plays when we had to. We got a couple of fortunate bounces but our guys just believe. There’s a lot of power in that and we just keep trying to ride that wave,” he said.
Johnson had a nearly perfect passing day going 20 of 21 for 209 yards and three touchdowns. But he doesn’t want to accept any individual credit.
“It’s not just me. I’ve got ten other guys that I have to play with. We’re all tools and I just want to say thank you to my O-line. If it wasn’t for my O-line we wouldn’t get anywhere,” said Johnson.
Albany State (2-0, SIAC 1-0) returns home against North Greenville University on Saturday, September 16 at ASU Coliseum.
Tuskegee (1-1, SIAC 0-1) turns its attention to Clark Atlanta next Saturday from Alumni Stadium, kickoff is at 1 p.m.