Playoff Hopes on the Line in Friday night Duel with San Antonio

by Tyler Boutwell

After a bid to take the season sweep against the league leading Carolina Cobras left the Lions snake bitten, they attempt triage in a duel at sundown with the Gunslingers from San Antone. The Lions currently stand at 4-5 with three games to play in the 2022 National Arena League (NAL) Season. 4 wins and 5 losses is good enough to hold the 4th place in the NAL and the last playoff spot. The Lions look to hold that spot and gain on the 3rd place Jacksonville Sharks and 2nd place Albany Empire who are 6-5 and 6-4, respectively. The game will be Friday, July 8th at 7 p.m.

You do not have to look far down the standing to find one San Antonio Gunslingers at 3-6 and 5th in the NAL standings, on the outside looking enviously in. San Antonio is coming off of a 62-47 loss to the Empire and the last time they met the Lions was a 46-45 thriller at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio which saw the Lions prevail. The Gunslingers are led by their weathered wrangler of a play caller Robert Kent. The 42 year old has thrown 44 touchdown to only 11 interceptions and 1,759 yards. I don't think the ole cowboy is ready to hang up his spurs just yet. San Antonio's 3 and 6 record is something of a surprise and their inclusion in the playoff race this deep in to the season is a shock because this is San Antonio's first year in the NAL. In addition to Kent, San Antonio's offense has enjoyed the play of running back Pierre Turner who has secured 9 rushing touchdowns, receiver Kali Rashaad who is 2nd in receiving yards with 777 and 3rd in the league with 95.4 yards per game. On defense, the Lions must keep Justin Alexandre out of the backfield and off of Daniel Smith. The 6' 5" 280 pound rookie out of Incarnate Word has amassed seven sacks and a forced fumble on the season already. 

The Lions will need to improve their play on the offensive side of the ball. Look for bounce back performances from Smith and his offensive line who have much to prove and everything to play for. You can also be sure that Damian Daniels will have his defense prepared for this crucial match-up. Especially after allowing 61 points to a Carolina team that lost their starting quarterback the week before. Our hopes should be buoyed by the leadership of coach Jason Gibson who has seen the Lions make the playoffs 15 of his 16 seasons with the Lions. In those seasons he’s managed multiple titles. If there is any man to lead the Lions over theses perilous weeks, he's the man. 

The game can be watched on YouTube for free at


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,,,