HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- With the PIFL's regular-season title and No. 1 seed already secured, the Columbus Lions had little to play for Saturday night against the Alabama Hammers.
With several regulars sitting out the game and quarterback Casey Kacz limited to the first half, the Lions lost 60-57 to the Hammers.
"You never want to lose momentum heading towards the playoffs," Columbus coach Jason Gibson said in a news release. "We can take a lot of positives from Saturday's loss as a number of guys who haven't seen much playing time received some, and we we're able to play other guys at different positions creating some flexibility down the road."
Damian Daniels, Brandon Thomas and Kendrick Washington sat out the game.
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Kacz threw just 18 passes in his two quarters. Darren Daniel completed 15-of-21 passes for 172 yards and four touchdowns. He also caught a pass for a score.
Wide receiver Michael Reeve caught 11 passes for 124 yards and two TDs. Desmond Beverly also caught two TD passes.
Columbus (8-3) will host Lehigh Valley (5-5) in the first round (semifinals) of the playoffs on Saturday at 7 p.m. With a win, the Lions would host the championship game on Thursday, July 2.
Richmond, the No. 2 seed, will host Nashville in the other semifinal.
"This is what we have worked for all season," Gibson said. "It is really exciting stuff, I'm just glad we get to be home because winning on the road in this league is unbelievably difficult."