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Columbus Lions score Easy win against Trenton Freedom

taken by: Casey Kacz starred for Columbus in win over Freedom

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Casey Kacz starred for Columbus in win over Freedom

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TRENTON (NJ) – Rarely does a ten-point game seem so one-sided. Saturday night, the Columbus Lions scored a surprisingly easy 70-60 road victory over the Trenton Freedom at the Sun National Bank Center behind a combination of stellar quarterback play by Casey Kacz and spotty Freedom secondary play. The contest was a matchup between the top scoring offense and the second rank scoring defense in the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL).

Kacz, a late sub for 2012 PIFL MVP Antwon Young, stepped in admirably and completed 25 of 40 passes for 350 yards and 8 touchdowns. The big thing is Kacz protected the ball to the tune of zero turnovers. Freedom Head Coach Kevin O’Hanlon had harsh words for his team after the game.

“I’m disgusted,” O’Hanlon started. “We (defensively) want to dictate everything, we had no letdown without Antwon playing. Columbus had to deal with that not us. We just got out of character, it’s really my fault I guess, how I flip that switch for the guys and get them to turn it on, I don’t know but overall it falls on me.”

It wasn’t instant success for Kacz and the Columbus offensively, as the Freedom held them scoreless for the first quarter. Kacz warmed up in the second period as his big receivers Terrance Ebagua and Jarmon Fortson began making plays against the Freedom secondary.


“You never want to sit back and say the guys didn’t want to win but from the four zeros at the end of the first quarter until about midway into the fourth quarter, we were just really going thru the motions.” O’Hanlon said of his defensive performance.

Ebagua had a monster game with 12 grabs for 196 yards and four scores, the 6’7” receiver used his height and body position expertly as the Freedom defensive backs rarely had plays on the ball. Fortson chipped in with eight catches and a pair of scores of his own.

After spotting the Freedom (1-1) 14 points, Kacz threw two touchdowns as Columbus (2-0) put up 21 second quarter points and closed the lead to a field goal at the half.

“I’m not trying to say the PC thing here,” O’Hanlon said. “It’s just that I couldn’t get the guys to come out of the first quarter (mentally). I couldn’t get the defensive backs to cut off the inside, if we take away the inside we win this game easily.

Columbus continued their offensive momentum in the second half as the Freedom continued their lackluster play. Aided by three defensive penalties, Columbus used a trick play and took the lead. Kacz handed the ball to Fortson and Fortson lofted a spiral to a wide open Ebagua in the end zone. Kacz threw touchdown passes on the next five Columbus drives as the Freedom’s secondary struggles put the pressure on the offense.

“They (the secondary) played bad…70 points says they played bad,” O’Hanlon lamented. “We (the offense) protected the football, Hunter (starting quarterback Hunter Wanket) played ok and then the wheels came off a little bit, Steve (Panasuk) came in and moved the football, the front five played great football again, Jerome Hayes applied pressure and Malik Brown came in and provided some help, but when you can’t knock down a ball, can’t get an interception, they made catches on passes that we didn’t make plays on, that’s how bad a day it was for us.”

O’Hanlon thanked the fans for coming out and apologized for his team’s performance and vowed to make changes and improvements to his team with the intent on bringing a championship to Trenton. The Freedom next take the field Saturday as they host the Erie Explosion (0-1).

– I spoke to Columbus quarterback Antwon Young after the game, he referenced he got banged up (knee) in the previous game and decided to rest, but said the injury is nothing serious.

– I’m on twitter @psndotcom


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