The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks hosted the Columbus Lions at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA Friday night. Both teams were facing off in the first of two National Arena League playoff semifinals. The winner would advance to the first ever NAL title game.
Lehigh Valley took a 7-0 lead on the first play of the game when quarterback Warren Smith Jr found Darius Prince for a wide open touchdown. Wyeaz Bradley scored a one yard rushing touchdown to give the Steelhawks a 14-0 lead. They kept their 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Smith Jr hooked up with Prince for the second time in the first half to give the Steelhawks a 21-0 lead.
Columbus would make a comeback, trailing 21-9, the Lions blocked a field goal attempt from Lehigh Valley. They couldn’t capitalize, however, and Lehigh Valley led 21-9 at the half.
Columbus made a strong second half comeback. Once trailing by 22, a Tristan Purifoy touchdown gave the Lions a 44-43 lead, their first of the night. Following a touchdown to make it 50-43, Lindsey Wolfe kicked a deuce to give Columbus a 52-43 with under a minute left.
Lehigh Valley would not be able to complete a comeback of their own. The Lions pulled off the upset by a final score of . They will face the winner of the Jacksonville Sharks-Monterrey Steel game tomorrow night in the NAL title game.