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Columbus Lions (3-5) vs. Massachusetts Pirates (4-4)

Pirates vs. Columbus

Saturday June 22, DCU Center, Worcester, MA 7:00 PM

For the Record – Three Times Three

The Pirates have equaled their longest winning streak in franchise history at three games for the third time. The Pirates had a pair of three-game win streaks last season and with a win over Columbus can set a team record with four in a row in 2019. A victory would also put the Pirates over the .500 mark for the first time this season.

Pirates Transaction Update 
The Pirates have placed wide receiver Tavares Martin Jr. (Washington State) on team suspension. 

Last Week

The Pirates defeated the Orlando Predators 45 to 31 in the Amway Center. The Massachusetts defense recorded four sacks with defensive end J.D. Griggs and defensive lineman Toby Johnson each racking up two in the contest. Quarterback Sean Brackett threw four touchdown passes and rushed for another score to lead the offense. Brackett finished 16 of 24 for 154 yards with four TD passes and no interceptions. Mardy Gilyard accounted for three scores with two TD receptions and one more rushing. The victory after the bye week means the Pirates are now a perfect 4-0 all-time in games after a week off.

Columbus quarterback Luke Collis was 21 of 31 for 290 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions in a 68-55 win over the New York Streets in White Plains, NY. Wide receivers Parris Mack and Chris Sanders-McCollum each had three TD receptions in the victory.

Series Record

The all-time series between the Pirates and Lions is tied at two games each. In 2018 the Pirates won both regular season games in the DCU Center with Sean Brackett hitting wide receiver Lavon Pearson in walk-off fashion. The lone Lions victory came in the Columbus Civic Center when kicker Tyler Rausa connected on a field goal at the final gun in a 63-62 victory. This season the Lions defeated the Pirates in Georgia, 67-56. The last time the two teams met in the DCU Center was in the first round of the 2018 National Arena League Playoffs when the Lions upset the Pirates 50-36.

The Last Meeting

Columbus quarterback Luke Collis threw six touchdown passes and ran for two more as the Lions defeated the Massachusetts Pirates 67-56 at the Columbus Civic Center. Chris Sanders-Mccollum led all receivers with ten receptions for 146 yards and five TD’s. Trailing 60-45 in the fourth quarter the Pirates mounted a comeback as wide receiver Devonn Brown caught his second TD pass of the game and defensive back Chucky Williams scored on a 45 yard fumble recovery and the Pirates were down 60-56 with 7:48 remaining. With 2:24 to play Collis and Sanders-Mccollum put the game out of reach with a 23 yard scoring play and the Lions had a hard earned 67-56 victory.

The Coaches
Anthony Payton (4-4) is in his first season as Pirates Head Coach. Payton was the offensive coordinator of the Pirates last season and is 0-1 vs. Columbus.
In 26 years of coaching this is Payton’s first time as a head coach. His professional coaching resume includes stops as an offensive Coordinator in 2016 with Portland in the Arena Football League and in the Indoor Football League with Spokane in 2017. Prior he worked as a wide receivers coach with Louisville in the AF2 and also in the AFL with Las Vegas and Buffalo.

Jason Gibson is entering his 12th season as the Head Coach/Director of Football Operations of the Columbus Lions and is the only head coach in the history of the franchise.  He is 2-2 all-time against the Pirates.

Offense vs. Defense

The Pirates are fifth in the NAL averaging 45.5 points per game while allowing 46.6 per contest, third best in the league. Columbus ranks fourth in the league, scoring 47.0 points per game and gives up 47.5 a night; fourth in the NAL.

Turnover Margin

The Pirates are now fourth in the league in turnover margin at -1. The Lions are right behind in fifth at -4.

Individual League Leaders:
Sean Brackett
Pirates QB Sean Brackett leads the National Arena League in rushing touchdowns with eight on the season. Through seven games Brackett leads the NAL in completion percentage at 61.9 and Passing Efficiency with a rating of 105.8. His overall totals are 140 of 226 (61.9%) for 1,441 yards, 32 TD’s and seven interceptions.


Quayvon Hicks
Pirates fullback Quayvon Hicks leads the league in rushing yards with 96. Hicks is also tied for the league lead in kickoff returns for touchdowns with one this season. His current numbers are 96 yards on 29 carries with four rushing touchdowns. He averages 12 yards per game and 3.3 per carry.

Mardy Gilyard
Gilyard still hold the mark for best kickoff return average in the NAL at 25.6. Gilyard started the season as the Pirates kick returner and has gained 230 yards on nine returns.


Luke Collis
The Lions quarterback leads the NAL in total offensive plays (292), total offensive touchdowns (44), touchdown passes (41), pass attempts (277), completions (156) and passing yards 1,832.  Currently Collis is 156 of 277 (56.3%) for 1,832 yards with 41 TD’s and 12 interceptions.


Parris Mack

Lions’ receiver Parris Mack leads the NAL in Yards Per Catch at 16.2

Bones Bagaunte

The Lions kick returner leads the league with 15 total returns and 267 return yards.

Kyle Griswould

The Lions defensive back is tied for the league lead with two fumble recoveries.

Blake Erickson

The Columbus kicker leads the NAL in field goal atempts with seven and made field goals with five. He also has the best field goal percentage made at .71.4 percent.

NAL Team Leaders

Passing Efficiency & Completion Percentage

As a team the Pirates lead the NAL in Passing Efficiency with a rating of 105.6 and Completion Percentage (61.7%). The Pirates are also tied for first with the fewest interceptions in the league (8).

The Running Game
The Pirates have the number one rushing offense with 198 yards and an average of 24.8 per game. The Pirates gain 3.0 yards per carry which is tied for best in the league. Their 22 rushing first downs are number one in the NAL.
Defending the Run
The Pirates also defend the run better than any team in the league allowing just 1.2 yards per carry and 8.2 yards per game. They have allowed just 66 yards rushing which is also tops in the league.

Interception Return Average
Massachusetts Pirates 9.9 per return is tied for first in the NAL
Fumble Return Average
Massachusetts Pirates 45.0 per fumble return is first in NAL. The Pirates also have 91 yards in fumble return yardage which ties them for first in the league with Columbus and Jacksonville.
Fumble Returns for TD
Massachusetts Pirates have two, placing them in a three way tie for first.

Kickoff Returns

The Pirates are tied for first with one kick return for a TD and lead the league with an 18.7 kickoff return average.

Columbus tops the league with 21 kick returns for a total of 375 yards.

Passing Touchdowns

Columbus is tied for the league lead with 41 passing touchdowns.

Field Goals

Columbus leads the NAL with five made field goals (5 of 7) and in field goal percentage made at .71.4%.

Up Next

The Pirates will see the Lions again next Saturday night in the Columbus Civic Center with kickoff set for 7:00 pm.

The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email contact@masspiratesfootball.com or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For group outings please call 508-452-MASS (6277). Follow the Pirates on Facebook at Facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.

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