Regular Season Champion Panthers Begin Title Quest
ALBANY, GA - After spending much of the last month on the road, the regular season champion Albany Panthers (8-3) of the Southern Indoor Football League will kickoff their playoff run by trying to dethrone the defending champion Louisiana Swashbucklers this Saturday night.
It's been long end to the regular season for Lucious and the boys as Albany closed out the final month of the season playing all four games on the road. Going into the stretch run the Panthers had quite a successful run going 7-1 including a perfect record at home. Finishing .500 in the final month was all the Panthers needed to do in order to become Regular Season Champions and on June 19th against Greenville the club won easily 66-15 clinched the title while more importantly the overall number one seed.
Hard to believe for a franchise who just two months before the season set to begin had know idea whether it was going to have ownership in place. Seems so long ago as those months leading up to the season had so many questions, which now can be answered beginning this Saturday.
If anyone is going to capture the 2010 SIFL Championship, they will have to do by coming into the Albany Civic Center, a place that has not bold well for opposing clubs. That notion couldn't make the Panther defense any happier considering opponents who step into the Prowlers Den have only averaged 30.8 points/game and a measly 189 yards/game while Albany also has a turnover ratio of plus 12. Compare that to when they are on the road and they serve up almost 43 points/game with 227 yards/game and have a minus 4 in the turnover margin.
Led by All-SIFL first teamers Alton Pettway and Larry Edwards, the Panthers finished the seasons with the leagues best in total defense (198 yards/game). Secondary mates Demetrie McCray and Levance Richmond has shutdown-opposing receivers all year, as Albany possesses the number one pass defense (163 yards/game).
Not to be outdone, Albany quarterback Cecil Lester has been the lifeline for this club passing for over 40 touchdowns and 2,000 yards. All-SIFL first team wide receiver Clenton Rafe, who despite missing a couple of games due to injury, has also been a spark plug for this offense grabbing a team-high 55 receptions for 708 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Back on May 15th, Rafe was never more so deadly giving the Bucs secondary fits all night, his second of two touchdowns proved to be the nail on the coffin sealing the Panthers 43-35 victory over the Bucs. Louisiana would go on to win the re-match the following week, but a lot of that loss can be stricken away due to Albany questionable quarterback situation at the time.
Albany will look to remain perfect in the Albany Civic Center when the Panthers host the defending SIFL Champion Louisiana Swashbucklers this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. To track all the scoring action, be sure to log on to www.southernifl.com and follow the live twitter feed.
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Southern Indoor Football League Stories from July 10, 2010
- Regular Season Champion Panthers Begin Title Quest - Albany Panthers
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