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High School Bounce

2019-2020 High School Bounce

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September 2020
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Destroyers show excitement with QB Russell, WR Guerra in loss to AFL’s best team Albany




Fabian Guerra had a breakout game on his birthday against Albany, a team that cut him ( photo)


64,757 Matthew Sauk Destroyers head coach On the crowd first game in AFL for Columbus since 2008 5 18 2019

64,759 Matthew Sauk Destroyers head coach He seen improvement each game in QB Grant Russell 5 18 2019

64,760 Matthew Sauk Destroyers head coach On the play of WR Fabian Guerra 5 TDs and 286 all purpose yards 5 18 2019

64,766 Matthew Sauk Destroyers head coach How does a former QB help Grant Russell slow the game down and eliminate mistakes 5 18 2019

64,767 Matthew Sauk Destroyers head coach How does he and the team keep the fanbase interested at 0-4 5 18 2019

COLUMBUS – The Columbus Destroyers, presented by, fell to the Albany Empire in front of 7,035 fans at Nationwide Arena, 56-40 on Saturday night. With the loss, the team drops to 0-4 on the season. The team was led by do-it-all wide receiver Fabian Guerra, who piled up six total touchdowns on the evening. The rookie wideout, who also celebrated his birthday today, broke a franchise record when he totaled 202 yards on 13 receptions. Quarterback, and Newark native, Grant Russell also threw for 281 yards and four touchdowns in the home defeat.


The Empire got the scoring started after a lost fumble by the Destroyers led to a one-yard touchdown run by fullback Mykel Benson to give Albany an early 7-0 lead. On the ensuing drive, Russell connected with Guerra for a 19-yard scoring strike to even things up, 7-7.


After the two teams traded interceptions, Empire quarterback Tommy Grady found wide receiver Demetres Stephens for a 34-yard touchdown in the second quarter to give Albany the lead back, 14-7. Columbus answered again on the next drive when Russell found Guerra for his second touchdown of the night, this one from 26 yards out to tie things up, 14-14. The Empire struck again on their next possession, as Grady found wide receiver Collin Taylor for a four-yard score, giving the road team a 21-14 edge. Albany tacked on another score before halftime, getting a 26-yard touchdown reception from wide receiver Malachi Jones to give the Empire a 28-14 lead.


On the first possession of the third quarter, Guerra picked up his third touchdown of the game, this time a two-yard rushing touchdown to cut into Albany’s lead, making the score 28-21. Grady extended the Empire lead once again when he found Jones for his second score of the night, increasing Albany’s lead to 35-21. Columbus answered on their next drive when Guerra scored his fourth touchdown of the night, this time an 11-yard strike from Russell, to make the score, 35-28.


In the fourth, Jones tallied his third touchdown of the night, catching a 24-yard pass from Grady to increase Albany’s lead to 42-28. The Destroyers responded once again when Guerra picked up his fifth touchdown of the night, catching a 28-yard pass from Russell to close to within 42-34 with 11:05 left in the game. Grady connected with wide receiver Quentin Sims for a 26-yard touchdown on Albany’s next drive, springing the Empire to a 49-34 lead. Guerra struck again on the ensuing kickoff, returning it 53 yards for his sixth score of the game to close the gap to 49-40. The Empire closed the scoring for the evening when Grady found Sims for his second touchdown of the night, cementing a 56-40 win for Albany.

The Columbus Destroyers are members of the Arena Football League (AFL) and make their return to Nationwide Arena this summer! Interested in purchasing tickets? Call (614) 228-5518, visit or stop by the Big Lots! Box Office at Nationwide Arena to get your seats today! For partnership opportunities, please click HERE. Be sure to follow the Destroyers on Twitter @AFLDestroyers, on Facebook at, and on Instagram @AFLDestroyers.