|By: Matthew Hester
Columbus Lions Indoor Football
Media Relations Director
COLUMBUS, GA (May 6, 2012) – After surrendering a 15-point lead in the final minute of the game, the Columbus Lions (4-3) of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) defeated the first place Albany Panthers (6-1) via an end of regulation 54-yard field goal from Trey Crum.
Trailing for the entirety of the game, Albany grabbed their first lead of the game at 56-55 with just 18 seconds remaining when receiver Antwontis Cutts hauled in his third touchdown of the night coupled with a Geoff Boyer extra point and Uno.
“We really let up late in the second half,” says Columbus Lions Head Coach Jason Gibson. “Both teams combined to put on one of the best endings I have ever seen as a Coach.”
Coach was right, because what followed was one of the best endings in Columbus Lions history. After two quick completions and two seconds remaining, the Lions were forced to attempt the game-winning 54-yard field goal. Crum, who going into that attempt was just 2 of 4 on the night, pitched the 54-yarder just through the left upright ending the Albany Panthers two-game winning streak over the Lions as well as any hopes of a perfect season.
“Only other way I can compare this to is the closer in baseball,” says Columbus Lions Kicker Trey Crum. “Kickers very rarely get this opportunity and I just praise God for this opportunity.”
Thanks in large part to three Maurice Dupree touchdowns, Columbus entered the half with a 29-17 lead and maintained a 15-point lead for majority of 2nd half as the clubs exchanged field goals for much of the 3rd Quarter.
In the final quarter, the two clubs combined to score six touchdowns the same amount the two clubs combined to score in the first three quarters alone. Due to a leg injury sustained in their game last weekend, Albany was without starting QB Cecil Lester. Sub Darnell Kennedy struggled early on but settled down rallying the Panthers behind his four 4th quarter touchdown passes.
Despite surrendering the most points they have given up all season, the Panthers defense nabbed eight sacks including four by Chauncey Debose and three by Tito Hannah. In spite of the high number of sacks, Columbus did not commit any turnovers while the Lions defense forced two takeaways as well as blocking a field goal.
From here, the first place Panthers will return home where they will host the Louisiana Swashbucklers (3-4) next Saturday. For Columbus, next Saturday is the start of a three-game road trip beginning with a visit to the expansion Knoxville Nighthawks (1-6). The Hawks grabbed their first franchise win this past Saturday in a 64-61 double overtime victory over the Alabama Hammers (2-5).
To follow all of next week’s action against the Nighthawks, log on to www.columbuslions.net and click on the Listen Live icon.