On Nov. 16, Atlanta played host to the SIAC Centennial Championship as Miles College and Albany State rolled into town to face each other for the conference title. The newly remodeled Lakewood Stadium was the site for Saturday night’s action and many attended including Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed who conducted the official coin flip.
Albany State, the SIAC East Champions, received the opening kickoff and after a quick three and out punted the ball to Miles College, SIAC West Champions. Miles, unable to move the ball on their first possession punted the ball back to Albany State after their own three and out. With 11:43 left in the first quarter, Albany State started on their own 30-yard line. Led by junior quarterback Frank Rivers, Albany State drove 70 yards to strike first on a 17 yard touchdown pass from Rivers to freshman wide receiver Lenard Walker given them a 7-0 lead with 4:30 left in the opening period. Albany State looked to be poised to score again quickly after Miles College fumbled the ball on the ensuing kickoff but was able to recover the ball on their own 5 yard line were they would start their drive.
Miles and senior quarterback David Thomas did not seemed to be worried about their field positions as they marched 95 yards down the field to score when Thomas connected with junior wide receiver Antonio Pitts on a 17-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-7 with 12:26 left in the first half. Albany State then had two more possessions in the first half but were unable to answer Miles College before Miles was able to score again in the first half when Miles’ Thomas ran the ball in from 5 yards out giving Miles 14-7 lead which would be the score going into halftime.
The third quarter saw both teams struggling to put points on the board but with 3:30 left in the period Albany State was able to put together a drive that ended in a 28 yard field goal from kicker Zachary Holley as they cut into the Miles lead making the score 14-10 as the fourth quarter had just got underway. Miles was able to put together an impressive looking drive and appeared to be getting ready to score again but Miles’ quarterback Thomas was intercepted by senior defensive back Dexter Moody at the Albany State goal line.
Albany State took over at their 13-yard line and used about 3 minutes before punting the ball away to Miles College. Miles’ punt returner Darren Fife fumbled the ball and this time Albany State was able to recover the ball at the Miles 4 yard line and took only five seconds to score after taking over on a 4-yard rush from junior running back Adrian Alexander as Albany went up 17-14 with 8:30 left in the game. After a quick three and out by Miles, Albany received the ball back with 6:15 left in the period. They use up most of the clock before punting the ball to Miles with 1:20 left in the game but Miles was unable to respond with a score; turned the ball over on downs giving Albany State possession with 0:56 left in the game and Albany State would go on to win their 15th SIAC Championship.