Fort Valley ends Fountain City Classic skid with 31-21 win over Albany State

The Fort Valley State Wildcats ended their four game losing streak in the 32nd Fountain City Classic with a 31-21 deafeat of the Golden Rams of Albany State Saturday at AJ McClung Stadium in Columbus, GA.

After the teams exchanged punts for the first three possessions of the game, Fort Valley finally got their offense going ,getting on the board after a 9-play, 66 yard drive that ended with a three-yard run fro, Emanuel Wilson that put the Wildcats out in front 7-0.

Fort Valley got the ball back following a quick-three-and-out by the Albany State offense, and would embark on a 7-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in a 10-yard scoring pass from Kelvin Durham to Hakeem Ellington, placing the Wildcats up 14-0 early in the second quarter.

Albany State answered back on their next possession, traveling 60-yards in 4 plays, cutting the lead in half to 14-7 when Jhyadon Sullivan connected with Ralph Lovett on a 21-yard touchdown pass.

Fort Valley put more points on the board the next time they got the football, via a 39-yard field goal off the foot of Rodney Williams Jr, putting the Wildcats up 17-7.

Tim Allderman’s recovery of a Sullivan fumble on the Golden Rams’ subsequent offensive possession set the Wildcat offense up at the ASU 13-yard line. Emanuel Wilson punched it in from 1-yard out to put FVSU up 24-7. Late in this action-packed quarter, James Hawkins blocked a Fort Valley pun, which was recovered by Ethan Bell and taken in 16-yards for the score to cut the Wildcat lead to 24-14 heading into halftime.

The third quarter was largely a punting exhibition with neither team able to get much done offensively, with the exception of a missed 32-yard field goal attempt from Williams.

Albany State trimmed the lead to three early in the final quarter, with a 10-play, 80 yard drive that ebded when Sullivan connected with Ralph Lovett for the second time on the afternoon, this time from 7-yards out.

Albany State was driving for a potential tying or go-ahead score , but failed on a 4th and 2 from the Fort Valley 32, giving the ball back to the Wildcats. Fort Valley turned that into points 5 plays later when Wilson scampered 23 yards to pay dirt to put the Wildcats up 31-21, and effectively ending the game.

It was a struggle on both sides of the ball for the Golden Rams, on offense the FVSU defense held them to just 11 first down on the day, a mere 86 rushing yards and 122 yards through the air, all of which are amongst the lowest level of production of the season ( ASU had 10 first downs against Miles, and just 120 passing yards against Miles).

Defensively the Wildcats seemed to have very little problems with the “Dirty Blue” defense, racking up 415 yards of offense, including 207 and 5.9 yards per carry on the ground The 31 points was the most the Albany State had allowed since September 7, 2019 in a 38-3 thumping at the hands of perennial power Valdosta State.

While Fort Valley looks to potentially continue their season in the D-II playoffs, for Albany State the focus on the 2023 season is now at hand.

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