The task was clear for the Albany Panthers in the regular season finale on Saturday night.
Beat Alabama- host a playoff game next weekend. Lose- prepare to fire up the bus for a 16 hour trip to Pennsylvania in the first round.
At the end of the first half, it appeared the Panthers sleeper bus would be getting some action next weekend, but a third quarter rally helps Albany defeat Alabama 68-51.
Saturday night's win solidifies the Panthers as the number two seed in the SIFL Eastern Conference. The Albay squad will host the Erie Explosion in round one of the playoffs.
The Hammers, already out of playoff contention, pounded Albany in the first half. Alabama scored its first touchdown on the opening kickoff 13 seconds in to the game. After a Panthers TD connection between Lester and Cutts, the Hammers scored its second touchdown on a fumble recovery in the end zone.
The Panthers were down 27-13 in the second quarter, but managed the game to a nine-point deficit at halftime 34-25. The second half was all Panthers as the team racked up 43 points compared to 17 for Alabama.
The Panthers secondary totaled four turnovers in the first half with defensive back Demetrie McCray snagging three in the first two quarters.