ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) — The Albany Empire came into Saturday atop the National Arena League standings. They’ve lost to just two teams this season: the Carolina Cobras (three times), and the San Antonio Gunslingers. With a win Saturday night, they’d clinch the 1-seed in the NAL playoffs. The only team standing in their way was the Gunslingers.
San Antonio lived up to their name in this game. Starting quarterback Robert Kent threw for eight touchdowns, six of which were hauled in by wide receiver Phillip Barnett.
But the Empire would not be denied in their home arena. After trading touchdowns with the Gunslingers for most of the game, Albany would erase an eight-point deficit, scoring 20 unanswered to claim a 54-42 lead with 8:58 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Empire never looked back from there, winning 61-55 behind a nine-touchdown performance from quarterback Sam Castronova, and securing the top overall spot in the NAL standings.
Albany will host a home playoff game next Saturday. Their opponent has not yet been determined.