Albany Panthers

Years of Existence: 2010-
Venue: Albany Civic Center (Albany, GA)
2010 - Playoff appearance
2011 - SIFL Champions
Lifetime Record: 20-6
Home: 13-2
Away: 7-4
Playoffs: 3-1
Average Attendance: 4,661

The Albany Panthers joined the SIFL in 2010. The team won the regular season championship over Columbus and earned a home playoff berth after an 8-3 regular season record. Cecil Lester led the team at quarterback for the majority of the year, throwing for 46 touchdowns and 13 picks. He also led the team in rushing touchdowns, with six. John Harris, Clenton Rafe, and Antwonti Cutts caught a combined 47 scores. The Panthers hosted Louisiana in the first round of the playoffs. The first two meetings in the series were split, with the home teams winning. This time, though, Louisiana took a commanding 41-13 lead into the fourth quarter. However, the Panthers fought back to make it 41-35 and had the ball in the final minute en rout to the winning score. However, on fourth down, there was a fumble inside the five yard line and the Swashbucklers escaped. The Panthers returned in 2011 with Cecil Lester at quarterback once again. This year, he threw for 2,626 yards, 64 touchdowns and 15 picks. Antwonti Cutts remained at the top of the wide receiving corps, with 781 yards and 15 touchdowns, while John Harris and Antwone Savage combined for 36 scores and 1,347 yards. Demetri McCray and Levan Richmond combined for 19 interceptions. A 25 yard field goal with 35 seconds left gave the Panthers a 43-40 victory at Fayetteville while a 39 yard field goal provided the Panthers with an opening week win against Louisiana. After a 9-2 regular season, with two losses to Columbus, the Panthers would host Erie in the first round of the postseason. The Explosion were quickly dispatched, 68-43, setting up yet another rematch with Columbus. Albany used a 42 point fourth quarter and four scores in five minutes to take a 75-61 victory and move on to host the SIFL title. The Panthers scored three first half touchdowns and converted successful two-point dropkick extra points. However, at halftime, the three extra points were deducted by the SIFL commissioner, who also owned the opposing Louisiana Swashbucklers. The game was halted in the third quarter, as Albany's general manager came down onto the field to contest the rule change. However, the three points were never given back. It did not matter, as Albany would dominate the second half, blasting the Swashbucklers 72-48 (69-48). Attendance for the game was about 7,500.