After a record-setting year in which he won the NAL MVP award, Mason Espinosa will be back with Columbus for the 2022 season as the Lions for their first NAL Championship. This is the first year of the NAL Ironman rules, however, quarterbacks are protected and will not play on both sides of the ball.

Espinosa made his return to the Lions last year after spending one season with the Albany Empire, winning the final AFL Championship as the backup to Tommy Grady. 

He made an immediate impact, throwing for nine touchdowns in the 2021 season opener, tying the NAL record for passing touchdowns in a game. 

Espinosa continued to dominate defenses throughout the rest of the season, throwing at least 5 or more touchdowns in every game. He also threw for over 250 yards four times. After throwing for an interception in each of his first two games, Espinosa did not throw another for the rest of the season, finishing the year with a league-best 28/1 TD:INT ratio.

The Lions were the best passing offense in the NAL and Espinosa was the best quarterback, finishing 2,230 yards, 56 touchdowns and two interceptions, all first in the league. Behind his arm, the Lions were the second-best offense and the second-best team, with their only losses coming to the Albany Empire. Espinosa earned the NAL MVP award, four years after being named NAL Offensive Player of the Year in 2017.

In 2017, the Lions made it to the first ever NAL Championship game behind the arm of Espinosa and in 2021 they made it once again, this time squaring off with the Albany Empire. The Lions came up short, losing 79-62 in the highest scoring NAL Championship. 

Now Espinosa and the Lions are preparing for another NAL Championship run, with familiar faces such as Desmond Reece and new ones like Ke’Vontae Pope on offense. It will be the first year of the NAL Ironman which will change the game in a number of ways, including defenders such as Droell Greene playing on offense as well.

Season tickets for the 2022 NAL season are already on sale and can be found here. The full 2022 NAL schedule has been released and fans can check it out here.


The Columbus Lions are members of the National Arena League (NAL). Founded in 2007, the Columbus Lions are starting their 16th season in 2022. The Lions are a 3x league champion and 14 playoff appearances in their rich history. The Lions play their home games at Hughston Field in the Columbus Civic Center. Lions Season Ticket Memberships are on sale now call (706) 322-3336 or visit Follow the Lions on Facebook at, twitter @columbuslions and


The National Arena League was founded in 2016 and hosted its inaugural season in 2017 as the premier league in arena football. The National Arena League will kick off its sixth season in 2022. For more information regarding expansion opportunities or partnerships, contact Commissioner Chris Siegfried at For more information about the NAL visit,,,