I can admit it when I’m wrong.
In our preview of the 2021 Fountain City Classic, we predicted a decisive victory for the Albany State Golden Rams but our prognostications were inaccurate in that they did not go far enough.
In a game whose competitive portion did not last as long as it took you read this sentence, Albany State (9-1, 6-0) demolished Fort Valley State (5-5, 2-3) 57-0. The Wildcats were only able to generate 148 yards of total offense and only breached Golden Ram territory twice, one time in the second quarter and again in the fourth, when the game had long since been decided.
Albany State’s defense set the table for the offense early in the first quarter after blocking a FVSU punt; three plays later Dionte Bonneau scampered in from 1-yard out to put the Golden Rams up 7-0. Drive Albany State would score on their next drive , after forcing a quick three-and-out from Fort Valley, when Bonneau connected with Joe Shorter on a 41-yard touchdown strike to go up 14-0. The lead would be pushed to 17-0 later in the quarter with a 39-yard field goal from Gabriel Ballinas. A 24-point opening quarter was capped out with an Issaiah McCray 51-yard touchdown run.
The Golden Ram lead was built to 31-0 when Bonneau connected with Ralph Lovett on a 12-yard touchdown pass. The next ASU score would come via a blocked punt by James Hawkins. Calvin Lewis recovered and took it 26-yards to the house to put the Golden Rams up 38-0.
Bonnean’s third touch down of the afternoon, his second connection with Joe Shorter from 12 yards out, gave the Golden Rams 45-0 lead. Two Ballinas’ field goals, one from 22 yards and a 20-yarder pushed the score to 51-0.
The last score was as meaningful as any last score can be in a 51-0 shellacking. It came on a 37-yard touchdown pass from backup Jhay Sullivan to Jaleel Johnson, not to slight those gentlemen in the least, but that’s not the important part. The touchdown brought the count to 57-0. The Golden Rams took a knee on the subsequent PAT, leaving their total at 57, which is the jersey number of Adonis Butler, who was tragically killed earlier in the week.
“We knew what we wanted to do to honor Adonis and I applaud our amazing coaching staff for not only keeping our players focused on this tough week, but putting a solid game plan together,”Albany State head coach Gabe Giardina
Next up for the Golden Rams will be a meeting with the Golden Bears of Miles College in the SIAC title game. The two teams met in the 2019 title game, which Miles won, 21-6. Albany State rocked Miles 31-3 in their meeting on October 2.
|11:43 – ASU – Dionte Bonneau 1 yd run (GabrielBallinas kick), 3 plays, 3 yards, TOP 1:13||7||0|
|08:00 – ASU – Joe Shorter 41 yd pass from Dionte Bonneau (GabrielBallinas kick) 3 plays, 54 yards, TOP 1:22||14||0|
|03:36 – ASU – GabrielBallinas 39 yd field goal 6 plays, 22 yards, TOP 2:35||17||0|
|00:36 – ASU – Issaiah McCray 51 yd run (GabrielBallinas kick), 1 plays, 66 yards, TOP 0:19||24||0|
|08:48 – ASU – Ralph Lovett 12 yd pass from Dionte Bonneau (GabrielBallinas kick) 5 plays, 40 yards, TOP 2:40||31||0|
|06:21 – ASU – Calvin Lewis, V 26 yd blocked punt return (GabrielBallinas kick)||38||0|
|09:51 – ASU – Joe Shorter 21 yd pass from Dionte Bonneau (GabrielBallinas kick) 9 plays, 71 yards, TOP 5:03||45||0|
|06:02 – ASU – GabrielBallinas 22 yd field goal 5 plays, 51 yards, TOP 1:48||48||0|
|13:41 – ASU – GabrielBallinas 20 yd field goal 10 plays, 33 yards, TOP 5:15||51||0|
|07:15 – ASU – Jaleel Johnson 37 yd pass from Jhay. Sullivan (Jhay. Sullivan rush failed) 4 plays, 49 yards, TOP 2:07||57||0|