Baltimore, MD – After coming off a bye week, the Baltimore Mariners knew that they control their destiny to reach the post-season and the best team to punish on the way toward their goal was against the Columbus Lions. On April 4th in Columbus, the Lions put up 82 points on the Mariners and coming into Saturday’s match-up, the Lions were ranked number one in the AIFA (American Indoor Football Association) in scoring defense, 4th in scoring defense, while leading the league in takeaways and pass defense efficiency. None of that mattered as the hungry and motivated Mariners attacked and pounded the Lions, 52-32, in front of a pump crowd.
The Mariners came out of the gate with two touchdowns in the 1st quarter, largely due to a 27-yard interception return for a score by defensive back, Richard Johnson (Virginia Tech). The Lions were hanging around, but after an interception by Mariners’ cornerback, T-Wuan Prather (Bowie State) with 3:00 left in the 1st half and on the team first play from scrimmage, quarterback E.J. Nemeth (Sacred Heart) hit 6-4 wide receiver, Scorpio Brown (Morehouse), on a slant with defenders bouncing off of him on his way to the end-zone with 2:52 left. “I was suspended for last game and I had to come back with avenge,” said Brown. “I was due for a great game. It was like, I saw a pot of gold in the end-zone and I went to go and get it.”
Brown’s touchdown was the motivating play of the game because prior to the interception by Prather, Mariners’ defensive back, Armar Watson (Duquesne), had a pick deep in Mariners’ territory, took it back and pitched the ball to Prather for a touchdown, but was called back for a block in the back penalty.
With five games left, three at home, the Mariners hold a two-game lead over the Harrisburg Stampede, who is in third place in North division. The top two teams from each division (three) advance to the playoffs of this growing indoor football league. “This team has been through a lot this season, they continue to fight and fight again, never giving up,” said Mariners’ head coach Chris Simpson.
The Mariners welcomes the new expansion team, the D.C. Armor, 2-7, to Baltimore on Saturday along with former assistant head coach and now head coach, Daniel James Jr. Hopefully, the Mariners and Armor can become rivals, but for the Mariners, it’s one win at a time. “It’s one game at a time, one play at a time…it all for one and one for all,” said Brown.