The Columbus Lions joined the AIFA after spending a year in the now defunct WIFL. Joey Conrad quarterbacked the team for much of the season, throwing 41 touchdowns and just six picks. Anthony Merritt played wide receiver for all fourteen games, amassing 991 yards and 19 touchdowns. Three of the four team's losses were at home to Erie, Mississippi, and Florence. The team earned a playoff berth and played at Mississippi. A 40-18 halftime lead for the Lions disolved into a 52-50 Mudcats victory. The 2009 Lions were poised to avenge their early playoff exit. The team blasted through the South division, going 11-3 and scoring 52 points per game while giving up 33. Bill Ashburn and Kevin Huff quarterbacked the team for most of the year, but Todd Spitzer took the team into the postseason. Richard Fitzhugh amassed 390 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing on the regular season. The Lions would defeat the Fayetteville Guard twice in its three final regular season games and then host them in the first round of the playoffs for another win. The Lions would then host the Reading Express. The Lions were tied with the Express at 36 in the third quarter but would give up a safety in the final seconds of the game to lose 60-51. The loss was the first home loss of the year. Following the 2009 season, the Lions joined the SIFL. Columbus returned to the AIF in 2016 after several years in the SIF and PIFL. The Lions went 11-0 in their 2016 campaign, blasting away every opponent. The team was challenged by New Mexico and Florida in the playoffs, but after a 12 and 14 point win respectively, the Lions crushed West Michigan 74-32 to claim the league crown.