Espinosa, Jones and Ross selected to First Team All-NAL
In addition to the five Columbus Lions that made Second Team All-NAL, Mason Espinosa, Marvin Ross and Ulric Jones have all been selected for First Team All-NAL. They are tied with the Flight for the third-most First Team selections.
Mason Espinosa has been the leader of the Lions offense since the season opener against the Empire, in which he tied the NAL single-game record for passing touchdowns with nine. Since that game he has not looked back and he is now first in the league in nearly every major category. He has completed 217 passes on 312 attempts for 2230 yards and 56 touchdowns, all the most in the NAL. His completion percentage is 69.6%, second-best in the league behind only Tommy Grady and his two interceptions are the fewest among quarterbacks with 30 or more attempts. Grady and Espinosa have been the best quarterbacks throughout the season and they will meet one final time in the NAL Championship game on Saturday.
On the defensive side, the Lions have been the most dominant unit in the NAL this season, whether it is rushing the passer or forcing turnovers. “Big General” Ulric Jones has been a force on the Lions defensive line. In nine games this season, Jones has 31 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, eight sacks and two fumble recoveries. He is tied for the most sacks in the NAL and he has the second-most tackles for loss. His 6’7” frame is what sets him apart from other defensive lineman in the NAL, and he has used his height throughout the season, with six pass breakups and blocking two kicks, the most in the league.
While Jones has dominated the line of scrimmage, Marvin Ross has been the lockdown corner for the Lions defense. This is his third time being selected to First Team All-NAL after back-to-back selections in 2017 and 2018 with the Jacksonville Sharks. Ross has 38 total tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, 10 pass breakups and eight interceptions in nine games. His eight interceptions leads the NAL and he is fourth in the league in pass breakups. He has intercepted a pass in each of the last four games and will be facing off with the best wide receiver in the NAL, Darius Prince, for the third time this Saturday.
This Saturday the Lions will travel to Albany, New York to take on the Albany Empire in the 2021 NAL Championship game. Kickoff for 2021 NAL Championship game is set for 7 p.m EST on August 14. The game can be watched live with CTV Beam, at https://www.nationalarenaleague.com/home or on the NAL’s official Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSzSD8STXiEVPVtUDO9juhA.
ABOUT THE COLUMBUS LIONS
The Columbus Lions are members of the National Arena League (NAL). Founded in 2007, the Columbus Lions are starting their 15th season in 2021. The Lions are a 3x league champion and 13 playoff appearances in their rich history. The Lions play their home games at Hughston Field in the Columbus Civic Center. Lions Season Ticket Memberships are on sale now call (706) 322-3336 or visit columbuslions.com. Follow the Lions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Lionsfootball/, twitter @columbuslions and instagram.com/Columbuslions.
ABOUT NATIONAL ARENA LEAGUE
The National Arena League was founded in 2016 and hosted its inaugural season in 2017 as the premier league in arena football. The National Arena League will kick off its fifth season in 2021. For more information regarding expansion opportunities or partnerships, contact Commissioner Chris Siegfried at email@example.com For more information about the NAL visit www.nationalarenaleague.com, facebook.com/nationalarenaleauge, twitter.com/NALfootball, Instagram.com/nationalarenaleague.