ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany Panthers handed the defending SIFL champion Columbus Lions (2-1) its first loss of the season 46-26 on Saturday night.
But it was not as easy as the score suggests.
For the first 24 minutes of the game, Columbus had control, but the Panthers’ defense kept things close in the first half.
“They pretty much kept us in the game because there were times (in the first half) where Columbus could have blown it open,” Albany coach Lucious Davis said of his defense. “Our defense stepped up and made the plays when we needed them to.”
Never miss a local story.
The Panthers’ defense also brought Lions quarterback Chris McCoy down in the end zone for a safety to pull the Panthers within 17-12 just before the end of the first half.
“They’ve (the Panthers) always had a good defense,” Lions coach Jason Gibson said. “But our offense is so bad right now that we put our defense in a bad position.”
Anthony Merritt had a 50-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the Lions.
McCoy threw for two touchdowns, and Trey Crum had a pair of field goals.