It took a couple of weeks, but the Columbus Lions (1-2) finally notched their first win of the young NAL season when they defeated the Orlando Predators (1-3) 63-22 Saturday night.
From the beginning, the defense came out with force, something coach Jason Gibson said they needed going into the same. Coming into the game, Columbus had recorded 2 sacks on the season, last in the league. It took only two plays to not only get a sack, but to get a safety as well for the first points of the game when Greg Hall Jr. took down Orlando quarterback BJ Hall.
On the next possession, Desmond Reese made a statement in his debut game with a four-yard rushing touchdown. Reese would end the game with four receptions for 35 yards.
Chris Sanders played a major role for the Lions offense who was without Bones Baugaunte after being suspended by the league for a scuffle in two weeks ago against Jacksonville. Sanders reeled in seven catches for 85 yards and three touchdowns. Sanders showed his big play ability at the start of the 3rd quarter when quarterback Luke Collis connected with him on the first play of scrimmage for 20 yards before throwing a 25-yard dime into the endzone for six, his third touchdown of the game. Paris Mack, who coach Gibson used as the speedy deep threat, succeeded as he brought in three catches for 43 yards and two scores.
Collis would have his best game by far, completing 15/25 passes for 169 yards and five touchdowns with only one interception. His counterpart, BJ Hall, did not have the same luck. Hall would complete 15/26 passes but would only throw one touchdown with 3 interceptions. Not only that, Hall would fumble multiple times. One turnover came from a interception that resulted in Shattle Feteng taking it endzone to endzone for a 51 yard pick six. Late in the 3rd quarter.
Demario Donnell would not be outdone on the defensive side, however. Donnell got a 39-yard scoop and score on a fumble by Hall in the 2nd quarter. Donnell also added an interception to his stat sheet. Kassim Forbes had the third interception.
The Lions look to keep the momentum going as they will welcome in the Massachusetts Pirates (1-3) next week at 7pm in the Columbus Civic Center. The Pirates dropped a tough game at home to the Jacksonville Sharks (2-1) as the offense found points hard to come by.