Hammers fall in season opener

The Alabama Hammers are off to a rough start in the Southern Indoor Football League.

The Columbus Lions took advantage of early Hammers turnovers, scored a late first-half touchdown on Chris McCoy's pass to Maurice Dupree to lead it by 26, and cruised from there to a 67-20 victory before 4,070 fans Saturday night at the Von Braun Center.

McCoy finished the game 22 of 38 for 228 yards and six touchdowns with one interception, while Alabama's Bill Ashburn threw for 162 yards on 18 of 36 passing with three interceptions and two touchdowns. He was sacked five times by the Lions.

Ashburn's 27-yard pass to Charles McClain trimmed the Lions lead to 32-13 at the half and Darian Payne's 17-yard scoring reception pulled Alabama to within 46-20 with 5:22 left in regulation. But it was all downhill from there for the Hammers.

McClain led Alabama with eight catches for 74 yards and a touchdown, while Josh Smith had five catches for 71 and a score for Columbus.

The Hammers travel to Lake Charles, La., next Saturday – the first stop on a three-game road trip for Alabama, which returns home April 21 for another showdown with Columbus.