|By: Matthew Hester
Columbus Lions Indoor Football
Media Relations Director
COLUMBUS, GA (April 21, 2012) – The Columbus Lions (3-3) of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) fell back to .500 for already the third time this season after losing Saturday’s contest 57-40 against the Albany Panthers (5-0).
From the jump it appeared Albany would have Columbus’ number as from the first play from scrimmage Lions QB Randy Hippeard was intercepted by defensive Levance Richmond who promptly returned the pick 58 yards for a touchdown giving Albany a lead in which it would they would never relinquish.
Columbus would stagger through the first half not getting their first touchdown until the 12:37 mark in the 2nd quarter when Hippeard would connect on a 19-yard TD pass with Maurice Dupree. Thanks to a Dion Small 19-yard TD pass, the Lions fared to only go into the break down by 16 considering Panthers QB Cecil Lester had already thrown for three touchdowns.
Playing much more poised in the 2nd half, Columbus began making small runs managing to get within ten of Albany on two different occasions.
Scoring in the 2nd half was bit stagnant with both clubs only managing to score three touchdowns a piece. They would exchange scores on a pair of QB keepers from both Cecil Lester and Randy Hippeard before the Lions would get within 10 of Albany for the first time in the ball game thanks to an Anthony Merritt one-yard rushing touchdown.
After grabbing seven receptions in the 1st half, Panthers wide receiver Clenton Rafe was kept of the books in the latter half but his teammate Antwone Savage picked up some of the slack accounting for the lone receiving touchdown in the 2nd half. In all, Savage hauled in four receptions for 44 yards scoring two touchdowns.
The usually potent Lions offense was held in check as QB Randy Hippeard completed 23 of 36 passes for 258 yards for just three touchdowns, while also throwing three costly interceptions. One of those interceptions was grabbed by former Lion Damian Daniels moving his career INT total to 84.
At the mid-way point of their season, Columbus drops to .500 for already the third time this season while Albany remains as the lone undefeated team in the PIFL. Next weekend, the Panthers will play host to the Alabama Hammers (2-3) while the Lions will try and heal their wounds with a bye week before hosting these same Panthers on Sunday May 6th.
For more information, contact the Lions front office at 706-322-3336 or log on to www.columbuslions.net.