People living in the Southeastern United States, in particular in the Columbus/Phenix City area usually feeling an uptick in hot temperatures in late April. Air conditioners fire up, ceiling fans spin a bit faster, and the sweat starts to pour off one’s brow after being outside for any extended period of time. The Columbus Lions are also feeling the effects of this Georgia Spring Heat after a pedestrian 2-2 start. The “heat” will definitely be felt on Saturday night as the Lions plan to eviscerate the High County Grizzlies.
To date, the Lions season can be summed up with one word: mistakes. Turnovers, penalties, blown coverages, botched snaps, missed tackles, an ineffective pass rush, and poor clock management have cost the Lions badly. In the two losses, the Lions gave up the ball 7 times, which led to 7 touchdowns. Additionally, the Lions have failed to convert in the red zone 4 times. On defense, the “Black Shirt” defense has allowed an overabundance of points, while having mental breakdowns in extremely important points in tight ballgames. Special teams are lackluster at best, with inconsistent kicking and only one return for points. The Lions must tighten their shot group, eliminate mistakes, and protect the football on Saturday night.
On the flipside, they face a High Country Grizzly team that has 3 former Columbus Lions on their roster. Former Lions defensive back Damian Daniels is the Grizzlies Defensive Coordinator, while head coach Josh Resignalo was a former DC for the Lions. The recent addition of Roshawn Marshall from the Firebirds, along with a veteran QB and the most productive defensive line in the NAL are spearheading the Grizzly efforts. Additionally, the Grizzlies boast the best running game in the league with the top leading rusher and most yards rushing from scrimmage, which is not a traditional arena type offensive scheme. The Grizzlies will add screens, TE passes, and misdirection, which could cause the Lions to roar in frustration.
This is a must win for the good guys in Blue as they begin a 3 game string with 3 of the top teams in the league. A win for the Pride will be a great foundation going into the matchup with the Sharks on the road next week. However, the Lions must remained focused on the close target in their sights, the Grizzlies.
Kickoff is Saturday night at 7pm at the Columbus Civic Center.