Chicago Football Classic at Soldier Field: Albany State 17, Kentucky State 14
BY PATRICK Z. MCGAVIN For Sun-Times Media September 29, 2012 8:26PM
Updated: September 30, 2012 12:20AM
Nathan Hoyte almost found himself stopping to savor the moment. “Playing in the Bears’ stadium, this is a once in a lifetime moment,” the senior Albany State running back said.
Hoyte scored a touchdown and rushed for 95 yards on 28 carries in snaring the offensive MVP honors to lead the Golden Rams past Kentucky State 17-14 in the Chicago Football Classic Saturday at Soldier Field.
It was the 15th edition of the game pitting programs from historically black universities.
“I have to give credit to my line, because they gave me great lanes to run in and I just followed their blocks,” Hoyte said.
Senior Albany State (2-3, 1-1 SIAC) quarterback Keenan Grissett missed all six of his pass attempts and threw an interception. He also fumbled after a jarring hit with six minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Senior David Kooi, the Golden Rams’ normal starter who was nursing a hip pointer, directed a 10-play, 72-yard drive on his opening possession that Hoyte punctuated with a seven-yard burst up the middle. Kooi completed 4-of-4 for 33 yards and also scrambled seven yards to spark the dormant Albany State offense.
“It was tough to see the first quarterback go down, but in our system, we compete for jobs, and if one player goes down, another one steps up,” Hoyte said.
Kooi, who had 90 yards of total offense, also threw an 18-yard third quarter touchdown pass to Ronnie Tubbs for a 17-7 Golden Rams’ advantage with 13 minutes remaining.
“It wasn’t just me,” Kooi said. “The offensive line gave me time and the receivers caught the balls,” he said.
The offensive futility returned at the start of the third quarter, where the teams combined for three turnovers on three consecutive plays from scrimmage.
With the Thorobreds (1-3, 0-2) down 10-0 midway through the third quarter, Kentucky State quarterback Justin Williams finally got untracked. His 56-yard strike to Clayton Patton down the left sideline set up his own touchdown, a broken field 20-yard scamper.
Williams (160 yards total offense) added a one-yard dive in the final minute. Kentucky State committed an illegal touch on their attempted onside kick and Albany State ran out the clock.
Former Hubbard star Deandre Mosley, a Kentucky State senior defensive end, registered two sacks and had five tackles for the Thorobreds. Cornerback Jeremy Lewis, a former Rich South standout, had two tackles, a pass deflection and returned a punt and kickoff.