by Tyler Boutwell

The Duel at Dusk in San Antone

Your Columbus Lions head out westward for their next showdown with the San Antonio Gunslingers. As Dallas Cowboys legendary coach Tom Landry stated, “Football is to Texas what religion is to a priest.”. The Lions will look to capitalize on a thrilling victory over a Malik Henry (star of Netflix series Last Chance U) led Jacksonville Sharks. Darren Daniel won the duel with Henry and will meet the Gunslingers posse at high noon (8:00 pm est) in the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday April 29th.

The Lions will draw confidence from strong performances from week 1 NAL Ironman Jarmon Fortson, Quarterback Darren Daniel, and 2021 All-NAL 1st Team offensive lineman Jabari Buckley.  Coach Gibson’s focus, as ever, will be on facilitating the passing game and winning the turnover battle on defense. Look for Romond Deloatch and Kyle Fuller to have big days against the Gunslingers secondary. Another x-factor will be the play of Florida A&M alumnus and Columbus Lions veteran Kendrick Washington on both sides of the ball. The game is won in the trenches and Buckley and Washington will have all to say on where the Lions find themselves after dusk in San Antone.

San Antonio lost to the Orlando Predators in dramatic fashion in week one. They found themselves in a deep hole with a 32-6 deficit at halftime on the start of their second season of operation within the National Arena League. The San Antonio Gunslingers get their name from a former member of the United States Football League (USFL), a league which has recently seen a rebirth. The San Antonio Outlaws competed in the 1985 and 1986 seasons within the USFL. The new look Gunslingers look to build on that history. The next 30 minutes following halftime of their season opener were as foredoomed and valiant as the events that made the Alamo famous. San Antonio had their own Davy Crockett in their head coach, Fred Shaw, a veteran of the original Arena Football League. Coach Shaw entrusted former Midwestern State University quarterback, Javin Kilgo, with the mission. With 2:48 left to play Kilgo found his receiver in the corner of the end zone to bring the game within one possession at 44-36. Kilgo would not see the ball again however, as the Predators were able to move the ball down the field methodically and Predators quarterback Rakeem Cato held the ball until the clock hit 0:00 taking himself down and securing a perfect start to the season for an Orlando Predators team that features former Lions Receiver Lonnie Outlaw. Kilgo may not get another chance to see the ball as the San Antonio gang has grown by one old gunslinger, veteran quarterback Robert Kent. It will be either Kilgo or Kent who gets the nod on Saturday night.

The Columbus Lions will look to replicate the performance of the Predators in the first half, without the letting off the gas that the second half brought for the Orlando squad. San Antonio will have a chip on their shoulder hoping to prove that they have already played their worst half of the season and that their halftime resurgence will carry into the next 11 games. They’ll be waiting for us, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.


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.


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 chris@nationalarenaleague.com For more information about the NAL visit www.nationalarenaleague.comfacebook.com/nationalarenaleaugetwitter.com/NALfootball, Instagram.com/nationalarenaleague.