Lions trample Cobras in the Jungle; Columbus 55 - Carolina 28

by Tyler Boutwell

The Carolina Cobras slithered into the Columbus Civic Center on Saturday night full of venom but were left fangless by the Lions' ferocious home defenses. Carolina looked to carry its form, 6-2 coming into the matchup, into their first drive. After a stop-start march down the field, Cobras' quarterback, Jonathan Bane, connected with his wideout James Summers in the back of the endzone. The Lions roared back with a Darrien Townsend kickoff return for touchdown and Blake Erickson extra point which gave the Lions a 7-6 advantage early in proceedings. Carolina responded with Bane completing another touchdown pass but not before a fumble was narrowly recovered by the Cobras, a bit of foreshadowing. This time Carolina converted the extra point attempt and regained the lead 13-7 to close the first quarter.

The second quarter began with the Cobras' kickoff which gave quarterback Daniel Smith  his first opportunity to take the helm of the Lions offense, but it was two-way star Kerry Starks who stole the show with his 20-yard touchdown run. Erickson extended the Lions' point tally to 14 with his extra point conversion. The Lions defense held firm and forced a turnover on downs on the ensuing possession. Smith broke the Lions huddle looking to stretch their advantage but was unfortunately intercepted by the Cobras' secondary. Fortune turned rather quickly however, when a Cobras receiver fighting for extra yards forgot to bring the ball with him and Will Fuller was able to walk into the endzone for the Lions third touchdown and second scored without the offense ever touching the ball. Smith couldn't have asked for better bullpen support. The Cobras looked to strike back before halftime and did so with a very quick drive ending in a touchdown bringing the score to 21-20. The Lions again relied on the incredible open field ability of one Darrien Townsend who turned a routine completion in the middle of the field into 6 points. The Lions looked to extend their lead to two possessions with a two-point conversion but failed to do so. However, they would not have to wait long to make that dream a reality. Darrien Townsend intercepted Bane's heave into the endzone and returned it all the way back to the Cobras endzone for his 3rd touchdown of the first half! But he wasn't done. He had to include a one-handed circus catch in the end zone to extend the lead to 35-20 going into the half. A better writer might have said something about Mr. Townsend's ability to lift the Lions with a singular extremity, but I will suffice to say that he was unquestionably the best player on the field in the first half. A true ironman.

To start the second half the Lions received the kickoff. The offense was intent on getting in on the scoring when a perfectly lobbed pass was reeled in a Randy Moss-esque fashion by 6'7" athlete, Deandre Brown. If the end of half swing in the first half broke the Cobras' momentum, it seemed as though this score broke their spirit as they were shut down by back-to-back sacks from 1st quarter scorer, Kerry Starks. Smith, then did his best Johnny Manziel impression before firing a ball to a wide-open receiver for a touchdown. Both sides added another touchdown before the final whistle, but the outcome had already been well decided. The Cobras departed the Jungle with a humbling to the tune of 55-28. The Lions improve to 4-3 which is good enough for third in the National Arena League. They will face the hated Jacksonville Sharks this Friday night in the Columbus Civic Center.

2022 NAL Season tickets for the Lions are still on sale here.


The Columbus Lions are members of the National Arena League (NAL). Founded in 2007, the Columbus Lions are starting their 16th season in 2022. The Lions are a 3x league champion and 14 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 Follow the Lions on Facebook at, twitter @columbuslions and


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 sixth season in 2022. For more information regarding expansion opportunities or partnerships, contact Commissioner Chris Siegfried at For more information about the NAL visit,,,