The Columbus Lions came into Saturday night's game against the Louisiana Swashbucklers riding a two-game winning streak, but they sure didn't look it as Louisiana manhandled the Lions, 77-65, at the Civic Center.
Columbus (3-3) was outplayed in all three phases of the game, as Louisiana (2-3) forced five turnovers -- three interceptions and two lost fumbles -- out of the Lions' offense and scored 10 touchdowns on the Columbus defense. The Swashbucklers even got 17 points -- including three unos -- out of its kicker, Ernesto Lacayo, while Columbus missed four extra points.
Columbus scored on its opening drive of the game on a 28-yard pass from Brian Harris to Gerald Gales and got a 56-yard kickoff return from LeRoy Vann for another score midway through the first quarter, but the Lions spent most of the first half trailing on the scoreboard.
Louisiana got five touchdown passes from its quarterback duo of Chris Mitchell and Sammy Knight as the Swashbucklers scored on their first six possessions to take a 43-32 lead into halftime. Along with the five touchdown passes, Louisiana scored on a 5-yard run by fullback Kendrick Perry and two unos from Lacayo.
The Lions tried to keep pace, as Harris went 12-for-17 for 154 yards and four touchdowns in the first two quarters, but Louisiana got two stops -- one on downs and the other on an interception -- along with three missed extra points by Columbus to take an 11-point advantage into the locker room.
Jarmon Fortson was the top target for Harris with five catches for 49 yards and a score, Gerald Gales had four receptions for 60 yards and two touchdowns and Maurice Dupree had three catches for 45 yards and a touchdown in the opening 30 minutes.
The Lions' Anthony Shutt picked off a pass on Louisiana's opening drive of the second half and Jamontay Pilson scored on a 2-yard run to get Columbus back to within 43-38 with 11:47 to go in the third quarter. However, Louisiana scored the next 18 straight points to go up 61-38 late in the third quarter.
Columbus got to within 61-45 on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Harris to Marcus Jones on the last play of the third period, but the Swashbucklers never let the Lions get closer then 16 points the rest of the way.
Saturday at Columbus Civic Center
Louisiana 14 29 18 16--77
Columbus 13 19 13 20--65
Col--Gerald Gales 28 pass from Brian Harris (Geoff Boyer kick), 13:15.
Louis--Sammy Knight 4 pass from Chris Mitchell (Ernesto Lacayo kick), 8:02.
Col--LeRoy Vann 56 kickoff return (Kick blocked), 7:09.
Louis--Knight 40 pass from Mitchell (Lacayo kick), 6:05.
Louis--Jordan Rideaux 3 pass from Knight (Lacayo kick), 14:23.
Col--Gales 12 pass from Harris (Kick failed), 10:46.
Louis--Kendrick Perry 5 run (Kick failed), 8:08.
Louis--Lacayo Uno, 8:08.
Col--Maurice Dupree 7 pass from Harris (Boyer kick), 6:02.
Louis--Rideaux 33 pass from Mitchell (Lacayo kick), 4:08.
Louis--Lacayo Uno, 4:08.
Louis--Rideaux 18 pass from Mitchell (Lacayo kick), 0:32.
Col--Jarmon Fortson 21 pass from Harris (Kick failed), 0:20
Col--Jamontay Pilson 2 run (Kick failed), 11:47.
Louis--Lacayo 39 FG, 8:12.
Louis--Rideaux 7 pass from Mitchell (Lacayo kick), 5:10.
Louis--Rideaux 21 pass from Mitchell (Lacayo kick), 2:08.
Louis--Lacayo Uno, 2:08.
Col--Marcus Jones 23 pass from Harris (Boyer kick), 0:00.
Louis--Perry 2 run (Kick failed), 7:36.
Col--Harris 2 run (Pass failed), 5:34.
Louis--Lacayo 36 FG, 3:10.
Louis--Perry 40 run (Lacayo kick), 1:00.
Col--Gales 8 pass from Jones (Dupree pass from Jones), 0:32
Col--Justen Rivers 20 return of lateral off Anthony Shutt interception (no PAT), 0:00.