By ADD SEYMOUR JR.
Jamarcus Nance rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns to lead Miles to a 20-7 win over Albany State in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship game Saturday.
The win was the sixth straight for Miles (7-4) and is the second SIAC football championship for the Golden Bears. It also avenges a 29-16 Albany State win over Miles earlier this season.
Miles gave up 105 yards rushing to SIAC rushing leader Jarvis Small and Caleb Edmonds completed 21 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown, but Albany State (6-4) could only muster seven first downs
"We stalled a little bit offensively and our defense bent but they didn't break," said Miles head coach Reginald Ruffin according to ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, Ala. "We came up with the big plays when we needed to. The resiliency that these guys have. They never gave up and that's so important."
Miles jumped out early as Cedric Poole returned the opening kickoff 90 yards to set up a Golden Bears field goal just 1:36 into the game.
Albany State got into Miles territory twice, but missed a field goal and couldn't convert a fourth down on Miles' 28. Meanwhile, Nance's first half touchdowns helped push Miles out to a first half 17-0 lead.
Late in the third, Edmonds engineered a 10-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in his 14-yard TD toss to Thomas Smith to pull Albany State to within ten at 17-7.
But Miles shut down Albany State when they needed to in the fourth quarter, twice stopping the Golden Rams on two fourth down plays in the Miles territory and picking off a pass late in the game at the Miles 33.
Nance was named Miles Most Valuable Player for the game while star linebacker Tavarius Washington, who had 14 tackles, was named Albany State's MVP.
Miles actually has another regular season game left. The Golden Bears head to Montgomery to take on the Southwestern Athletic Conference's Alabama State next Saturday.