September 2, 2006
Albany -- Willie Copeland found wide receiver Derek Tharpe for a touchdown with 23 seconds left, as Valdosta State came from behind to beat Albany State 20-16 Saturday night.
The Rams Matt Hawthorne kicked a 39-yard field goal with 4:15 left in the fourth quarter to give ASU a 16-13 advantage, before the new Blazers quarterback Copeland led his team on a ten play, 71-yard scoring drive.
A wide open Tharpe tip-toed along the back of the endzone for the winning margin, his second touchdown of the game.
Albany State's defense put them ahead 7-0 in the 2nd quarter, with Eric Crosby returning an interception 32-yards for a score.
VSU answered back on a 1-yard Deon Williams touchdown run, set up by a 42-yard reception by Tharpe.
The Rams Terrance Ransom gave ASU a 13-7 lead with a touchdown pass to freshman Lamont Williams in the 3rd quarter.
Tharpe's first touchdown catch of the game knotted the score at 13 early in the 4th quarter.
Albany State rushed for 153 yards on 50 carries.
Willie Copeland threw for 346 yards in his Valdosta State debut, with Tharpe catching eight passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns, and Cedric Jones hauling in seven for a game-high 156.
Albany State will look for its first win of the season next week at Kentuckt State, while Valdosta State returns home to face Fort Valley State.