By: Eric Tabor
Albany Panthers Indoor Football
The Panthers and Alabama Hammers appear to be two teams headed in different directions. Albany (3 -0) won its third game of the year against the Columbus Lions on April 2 and then had the luxury of a bye week. The Hammers (0-3) are in the middle of a three-game skid after losing to the Richmond Raiders 54-29 on April 9.
The teams meet up at the Albany James H. Gray Civic Center at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night.
Albany benefitted from a solid performance by quarterback Cecil Lester in the win against Columbus. In his first start of the season, Lester completed 23 of 39 passes for 240 yards and five touchdowns. The biggest was the game sealer, a 17 yard touchdown pass to John Harris, late in the fourth quarter.
Lester gets a chance to improve his numbers against an Alabama pass defense that’s ranked last in the Southern Indoor Football League. In the loss to the Raiders, Richmond quarterbacks lit up the Hammers for 252 passing yards and five TDs.
The Hammers’ offense is as grind it out as you can be in the pass happy SIFL. Alabama is sixth in the league in rushing offense with 84 yards. The Hammers’ ground game has tallied two touchdowns, led by running back Charles McClain who’s rushed for both scores. The Albany defense has been stingy against the run, allowing just 36 yards on the ground in three games. However, opponents have scored two touchdowns against the Panthers on the ground.
“We’ve got a bye week and it’s back to the grind,” said Panthers coach Lucious Davis after the victory against the Lions. “We can’t miss our stride. These guys have to understand that in the bye week you have to stay in shape, keep our timing, and do everything else. (It’s) very evident in the next game how you prepared (after a bye week). We’ll be prepared.”
The Panthers next contest will be SATURDAY, APRIL 16 at 7:30 pm against the Alabama Hammers at the the Albany/ James H. Gray Civic Center. SINGLE-GAME TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW! For more information, visit www.albanypanthers.net or call 229.435.1230 today!