Rivalry Fire, Panthers Unveil Banner against Columbus

The PIFL champs have added a little fuel to the fire in their rivalry game with the Columbus Lions.

Not only will the Albany Panthers open another year at Phoebe Field on Saturday, but they'll drop their latest league championship banner in a pregame ceremony.

There's always a little extra motivation when Columbus comes to town, and the juices will certainly be flowing after the Panthers pregame celebration.

"The rivalry is always going to be there. It's a tough game, but it's good," Panthers head coach Lucious Davis said.

These two teams know each other so well with a lot of the same players from so many previous battles. The Panthers also know they hold the advantage winning two of three games from the Lions in 2012. The last Albany victory over Columbus came in the PIFL semifinals.

"Anytime I watch Columbus I see enthusiasm from the defense and athleticism from the offense. When it comes to playing us, it's a rivalry game, so you can pretty much throw all the records out," Panthers quarterback Cecil Lester said.

It's a new season, but the same drama.

The Panthers are calling for a blackout tomorrow at the Albany Civic Center. Kick off set for 7:30 PM at Phoebe Field.