Coming back to Augusta to coach in front of a hometown crowd was a special occasion for Albany State coach Mike White. To come out on top made it even sweeter.
Quick strikes in the second quarter led to two touchdowns as Albany State overcame early turnovers for a 24-13 win over Benedict in the Augusta City Classic on Saturday at Laney Memorial Stadium.
“I’m happy to get the win, first and foremost,” said White, a former Westside player who earned his 99th win at Albany State. “We were able to hold on to the ball late and made the plays in the second half to win.”
Albany State (6-3, 5-1 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) beat Benedict (1-8, 1-5) for the 10th time in the past 11 meetings as senior Nathan Hoyte recorded 142 rushing yards.
The Tigers started the scoring in the first quarter when Chris Johnson rushed from 10 yards out for a 6-0 lead.
The Golden Rams fumbled twice in their first two possessions of the second quarter. However, a holding penalty called on the Tigers while quarterback Marcus Graham was in the end zone led to a safety, bringing the Golden Rams back to within four.
Albany State quarterback Keenan Grissett, a former Cross Creek star, found Tevin Isom on a 37-yard touchdown pass with 37 seconds left in the second quarter to put Albany State ahead. The Golden Rams added another score on a 51-yard interception return by Marcavius Dudley to make it 15-6 lead at the half.
“We were just trying to make a play,” Grissett said. “Tevin is a big body; he went up and made a big catch. And Marcavius is a great player. He knows what to do on defense. It was two big plays.”
Benedict closed the gap on a touchdown run by Graham in the third quarter. But a second safety on a blocked punt was followed by a 74-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Quintory Braswell for Albany State.
Grissett went 4 for 8 and added 44 yards on the ground. David Kooi added 41 yards on three completions.