Panthers end Lions season

Courtesy of the Columbus Lions
Courtesy of the Columbus Lions

COLUMBUS (WTVM) - The Columbus Lions lost to rival Albany Panthers 75-61 Saturday night in the SIFL Eastern Division Finals. The Lions finish the season 12-2. The Panthers advance to the SIFL finals.

Both teams took a quarter to get going offensively, with the score 7-3 Lions at the end of the first quarter.  Columbus scored three touchdowns in the second quarter, capped off by Anthony Merritt's touchdown run with 30 seconds left in the half, to take a 30-20 lead into the locker rooms.

In the fourth, Anthony Merritt scored two more touchdowns to put the Lions up 54-47. But, Albany took over. A touchdown run by Derrick Wimbush, tied the game at 54, then scored again with 2:08 left to take the lead 61-54. Once Albany had the lead they never gave it up holding on for two more scores in the final two minutes of the game.

The Lions and Panthers split their four-game season series at two a piece, with Albany winning the first and final games of the season.

The Panthers head to the SIFL championship game against the winner of Houston Stallions and the Louisiana Swashbucklers. Game will be July 2nd at the home of the Western Division champion.