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Tigers Win Back-To-Back SIAC Championships With 47-10 Victory Over Albany State

ATLANTA, Ga. — The sixth-ranked Benedict College Tigers won their second straight SIAC Football Championship with a dominating 47-10 victory over Albany State University on Saturday, securing their second straight 11-0 season.

The Benedict defense held the Golden Rams to a season-low 193 yards of total offense, while the Tigers racked up a season-high 563 yards of offense.

Quarterback Aeneas Dennis threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for a season-high 95 yards and a touchdown, scoring on a 72-yard run in the third quarter. The Tigers rushed for a season-high 251 yards on the ground, as backup quarterback Zavien Foster scored on a 75-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Benedict’s nation-best defense also put on a show, holding the Golden Rams to zero yards passing in the first half, and Jayden Broughton had a third-quarter strip sack that Loobert Denelus recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. Benedict sacked three different Albany State quarterbacks eight times for -43 yards.

Benedict started slow, with Tom Piccirillo getting the Tigers on the scoreboard with a 25-yard field goal midway through the first quarter. The Tigers then struck with a pair of big pass plays, as Dennis hit Caden High for a 28-yard score, and Reginald Harden for a 55-yard touchdown to increase the lead to 17-0.

Albany State made a 35-yard field goal with three minutes left in the first half to cut the lead to 17-3.

The Golden Rams received the second-half kickoff, but had to start at their own 1-yard line. On third down, Broughton sacked Albany State quarterback Dionte Bonneau in the end zone and forced a fumble, with Denelus right there to land on the ball.

Dennis ran for the 72-yard score on Benedict’s next possession to make it 30-3.

The Golden Rams got a 33-yard kickoff return, then Bonneau completed his only pass of the game, a 39-yarder, to get them in the red zone. Bonneau later scored on a five-yard run to cut the lead to 30-10.

Benedict later added a 32-yard field goal by Piccirillo, a three-yard touchdown run by Noah Zaire Scotland, and Foster’s big run to close out the scoring.

The Tigers, now 11-0 overall, will wait for Sunday’s NCAA Championship selection show, available on www.ncaa.com, to find out their playoff opponent. The top seven teams from the region advance to the playoffs, with the No. 1 team receiving a bye until the second round on Nov. 25. Benedict was the No. 1 team in the region in last week’s rankings.

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