Antwontis Cutts believes the Albany Panthers can bounce back from their defeat against the Columbus Lions last week when they the Alabama Hammers on Saturday.
The team leads the Erie Explosion by a half game for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference SIFL playoff race.
“At the moment we feel pretty down, but we can move on quickly. We have to,” the wide receiver told the Albany Journal. “We’re used to doing that and we’re normally good at that, so hopefully we can bounce back again.”
“We have to get rid of this game (Columbus), forget about it and move on. It’s obviously a huge game on Saturday and we’ll be ready for that. We have to be. That’s the nature of the beast. We move on and we take some positives from last week and look to put things right that didn’t go well. We’ll be ready.”
Cutts believes Panthers’ second- through fourth-quarter display, in which quarterback Cecil Lester threw four interceptions and lost one fumble, led to 35 Columbus points, was to blame for the loss.
“It is disappointing, especially after the first quarter and the way we played,” said Cutts. “We were in control. Second, we weren’t as quick and decisive in our passing as we were in the first quarter, but we still felt quite comfortable and I still thought we would score a lot of points and win.”
The Lions defense pressured Lester relentlessly and forced several arrant throws, Columbus capitalized on those mistakes leading to five touchdowns, infuriated the Albany Panthers head coach Lucious Davis, who was upset at the poor performance of his team.
“The difference in the game was they just kicked our butts,” Davis said. “They kicked our butts in all three phases. Offense, defense, and special teams, we have no excuses.”
Cutts, however, took a kinder, gentler approach about Saturday’s game.
“Some things didn’t go our way and we’re on the end of a defeat, which is very hard to take,” said Cutts. “Columbus wanting it more plays a huge part in the game. Big decisions you’ve got to get right, especially in a game of this importance, so we’re disappointed. What can I say apart from that? It’s hard to take.”
The two teams could meet in the second round of the playoffs.
“We’ll play them again,’’ quarterback Cecil Lester said. “We’ll see them again …”
The Albany Panthers have one regular season game remaining before round one of the SIFL playoffs. They will face the Alabama Hammers this Saturday at the Albany/ James H Gray Civic Center at 7:30 p.m.
Antwontis Cutts tries to prevent an interception in the second quarter Saturday against the Columbus Lions.