LIONS HEAD TO SAN ANTONIO FOR SHOOTOUT WITH THE GUNSLINGERS
by Alex Husting
The Lions will be on the road this Saturday, April 30 to take on the San Antonio Gunslingers inside the Freeman Coliseum. Tickets for that game are on sale here, and those who can’t make it to Texas can stream the game live on the NAL Youtube Channel. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m EST.
The Gunslingers (0-1) are the newest members of the National Arena League, joining before the 2022 season. While not officially, the team replaced the Jersey Flight in the six-team league.
The name will sound familiar to some, as the original San Antonio Gunslingers were members of American Football Association and the USFL in the 1980s’ before the USFL folded.
The Coaching Staff
The Gunslingers are coached by Fred Shaw, a former defensive back with years of arena football experience. After graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma, Shaw spent a number of years across arena football, playing for Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz, Tulsa Talons, San Antonio Talons, Philadelphia Soul and Cleveland Gladiators. During his five year career, he intercepted 27 passes, with a career-high 10 with the Talons of San Antonio in 2013.
The Gunslingers roster is composed of mostly NAL newcomers with a few exceptions. Lions fans may remember the name David Pindell, the quarterback from UConn who was signed by Columbus before the 2021 NAL season.
Pindell is the backup, with Javin Kilgo getting the start in week one, a losing effort to the Predators in the season opener.
On the defensive side, the star of the show is Erick McIntosh, one of the most experienced arena football players in the NAL. After graduating from Florida Atlantic, McIntosh joined the Tampa Bay Storm of the AFL. Following that, he spent time with the Orlando Predators, Iowa Barnstormers and the Predators again before signing with the Jacksonville Sharks in 2017.
In his lone season in Jacksonville, McIntish had his best season to date, earning a First Team All-NAL selection and winning the NAL Championship with the team. He left the Sharks and went back to the AFL to join the Empire in Albany in 2018 and now he is with the Gunslingers.
Kilgo, McIntosh and the Gunslingers fought hard, but fell to Orlando 44-36.
As the Lions head to San Antonio, it will be Darren Daniel’s first road game as the starter and with McIntosh on defense it could be a difficult challenge, but Daniel’s legs are the X-factor of this Lions offense.
He ran the ball three times during Saturday’s win, finding the end zone on each attempt. If the Lions can utilize his running ability again when they travel to San Antonio, then it will take some pressure off of Daniel’s arm and the passing offense as a whole.
That includes two of the best Ironman players from the first week of the 2022 season, Jarmo Fortson and Darien Townsend. The former a veteran and the latter a young speedster, Fortson and Townsend were all over the field in Saturday’s win.
Fortson led the team in receiving with 68 yards and one touchdown on three receptions while forcing two turnovers on defense, returning a fumble for a crucial touchdown to start the second half.
Townsend was not far behind, finishing the game with two receptions for 27 yards, a touchdown, one interception on defense, 92 yards on two kick returns and one touchdown there as well.
Fortson and Townsend are becoming a dynamic duo and the Lions will need both of them to show up on the first road test of the season against the Gunslingers.
Lions season tickets for the 2022 NAL season are already on sale and can be found here.
ABOUT THE COLUMBUS LIONS
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 columbuslions.com. Follow the Lions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Lionsfootball/, twitter @columbuslions and instagram.com/Columbuslions.
ABOUT NATIONAL ARENA LEAGUE
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 firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about the NAL visit www.nationalarenaleague.com, facebook.com/nationalarenaleauge, twitter.com/NALfootball, Instagram.com/nationalarenaleague.