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Lions look to rebound versus Jersey Flight

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 11:16 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Columbus Lions have a few things in their pocket right now. They have that National Arena League playoff spot locked up and they know they’re hosting an National Arena League semifinal game.

Now they’re getting ready for a Flight test, hoping to get take to the air before the postseason.

Last Saturday did not go as planned. The red-hot Lions offense stumbled early against the Albany Empire and never really got their feet under them and that means they’ll most likely have to hit the road if they make it to the NAL title game.

Their problems were part execution and part game plan, which means going back to the drawing board for that final regular season game versus the Jersey Flight.

“I thought we played a little small ball offense,” head coach Jason Gibson said. “It had been working all season long. They tried to take away a little bit. We just need to be more explosive. I want to get out there and 12 to 13 possessions. I want us to get out there and play with some speed, put the ball downfield, put it up in the air, put on a good show for the fans, and I want to light the scoreboard up. I’ve played a certain style of offense for 15 years. I’m willing to try something different.”

He found the positive in their struggles versus the Empire.

“It’s good to face adversity, it’s good sometimes. What sounds crazy is if this hadn’t have happened, it wouldn’t have made any adjustments. We made some adjustments in practice this week and I like what I see.”

Part of the challenge for this weekend is for everyone to get their minds right.

“We’ve got to get back into the groove at practice and get back to that mentality and get back that edge that we had,” said Gibson. “Honestly, I think the main thing I took from the game is that I told the players we watched, and myself included, you’ve got to have fun. I mean, it’s football – you’ve got to have fun, and when you have fun with your friends and we have great camaraderie on the team and great chemistry. When we have fun, things fall into place, so let’s just go back and have fun and enjoy it and let’s put on a good show.”

Showtime versus the Jersey Flight is Saturday at 7 pm ET at the Columbus Civic Center.

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