|By: Matthew Hester
Columbus Lions Indoor Football
Media Relations Director
COLUMBUS, GA (March 4, 2012) – The Columbus Lions of the Professional Indoor Football League defeated the Team James All-Stars, 77-12, in Sunday’s exhibition game at the Columbus Civic Center.
For some, it was their final chance to impress the Lions coaching staff before the final cut-down which takes place early next week as they prepare for the season opener on Saturday when they travel to take on the Richmond Raiders.
In Sunday’s exhibition, Columbus got off to a fast start scoring three touchdowns on their first three offensive plays. Starting quarterback Chris McCoy played in one offensive series only needing to complete a 10-yard pass to Anthony Merritt for the Lions first score.
Much thereafter, the quarterbacking duties would be split between Randy Hippeard (6’1 190, Virginia-Wise) and Derek Cassidy (6’2 210, Rhode Island). Hippeard would finish with four passing touchdowns while Cassidy pitched in three of his own including adding two more on the ground.
Offensively, big pass plays were the theme of the night scoring on passing plays of 25 yards or more five times. Three receivers hauled in a pair touchdowns including rookie London Crawford (6’2 205, Arkansas) and returning players Anthony Merritt and Brandon Horace.
Thanks to the constant pressure up front, the Columbus defense grabbed six turnovers and four sacks keeping Team James quarterbacks on the run for majority of the evening. Linebacker and Columbus native Matt Dunham nabbed one sack and recovered the third of four fumbles on the night returning it 22 yards for a touchdown.
“It was a great showing on both sides of the ball,” says Columbus Lions Head Coach Jason Gibson. “Our vets proved why they are vets and once we look at the film we will get a better look at our rookies and begin getting them ready for the season opener.”
The Columbus Lions open the 2012 season this coming Saturday March 10th when they travel to take on the Richmond Raiders at 7:00 p.m. To listen to all the action, log on to www.columbuslions.net and click on the Listen Live icon or track the scoring updates on the Lions Facebook page.
The Columbus Lions announced they will become a member of the Arena Developmental League on Tuesday afternoon. The Lions join the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks, who announced their intentions to join the ADL on Tuesday morning, as the first two franchises to commit to the ADL. “As a staff and an ownership group, at all times, it’s about the product we put on the field for our fans,” said Lions head coach and general manager Jason Gibson. “Our No. 1 priority was moving up and bringing in a higher caliber of entertainment, teams, coaches, and personnel from top to bottom. It’s a great opportunity for us, and we felt we owed it to our fans. “Our players need a platform to show what they can do. This league will harness their talent and get guys where they need to be. Some of the best satisfaction for a coach is to see players down the road have success. I’m excited.” Both the Lions and Steelhawks have been established indoor football ...