NFL, NBA, NHL stats

Destroyers Fall in Home Finale, 49-18, Despite Largest Crowd of the Season

July 14, 2019 - Arena Football League (AFL) - Columbus Destroyers News Release

COLUMBUS - The Columbus Destroyers, presented by, fell to the Albany Empire in the team's home finale, 49-18, in front of 9,275 fans, the largest crowd at Nationwide Arena this season. With the loss, the Destroyers drop to 1-10 on the season. Wide receivers Fabian Guerra and Rob Wheelwright both scored rushing touchdowns, while back-up quarterback Liam Nadler threw his first touchdown pass of the season, an eight-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Kenny Cook.

After a fumble on the opening possession, the Empire struck first when quarterback Tommy Grady found wide receiver Malachi Jones for a 33-yard touchdown, giving Albany an early 7-0 lead. Columbus responded on the next drive when Guerra rushed it in from nine yards out to trim the Empire lead to 14-6. Albany jumped back in front on their next possession when Grady found Jones for his second score of the day, this one a 40-yard pass to make the score 14-6. After the Empire recovered the onside kick, Grady found wide receiver Quentin Sims on the first play from 32 yards out to increase their lead to 21-6.

In the second quarter, Grady and Jones connected once again for a long score, this one from 37 yards out to increase the Albany lead to 28-6. The Destroyers responded on their ensuing drive, as Wheelwright ran one in from two yards out to make the score 28-12. The Empire extended their lead once again just before the half as fullback Mykel Benson plunged into the end zone from two yards out to give Albany a 35-12 lead at the break.

The Empire further increased their lead to 42-12 when Grady hit Sims for a 45-yard touchdown pass, to give Albany a 42-12 advantage.

Stepping in due to an injury to Russell, Nadler passed for his first touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter, finding wide receiver Kenny Cook for an 8-yard touchdown to trim the Albany lead to 42-18. The Empire capped the scoring for the afternoon when back-up quarterback Mason Espinosa found Sims for a four-yard touchdown, solidifying a 49-18 win for Albany.

Next up for the Destroyers is a road match-up with the Washington Valor next Saturday, July 20th at 3:30pm from Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. The game can be seen live on The CW, heard on CD102.5, and streamed on ESPN3.

The Columbus Destroyers are members of the Arena Football League (AFL) and make their return to Nationwide Arena this summer! Interested in purchasing tickets? Call (614) 228-5518, visit or stop by the Big Lots! Box Office at Nationwide Arena to get your seats today! For partnership opportunities, please click HERE. Be sure to follow the Destroyers on Twitter @AFLDestroyers, on Facebook at, and on Instagram @AFLDestroyers.

• Discuss this story on the Arena Football League message board...

Arena Football League Stories from July 14, 2019

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.