Allen County Lions to defend local gridiron

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Fans can see the Allen County Lions minor league football team this weekend in what might be their last home game of the season. Kickoff is at 4 p.m.Saturday, July 8, at Havenhurst Park, 211 N. Rufus St., New Haven. The Lions will host the Tri-County Raiders of St. Marys, Ohio.

Admission is free. Yes, free, Coach Ryan Townsend said. “We’ve been in this five years, so it’s time to give back,” Townsend said.

The Lions and the other three members of the Battle Ground Football League are playing a home-and-away schedule. The July 8 game caps off the Lions’ home season. But fans can find the Lions nearby:

• July 29, 4 p.m., at the Michiana Thunderhawks, 69954 County Road 11, Nappanee.

• Aug. 12, 5 p.m., at the Miami County Blitz, North Miami High School, Denver, Ind.

The BGFL formed in 2016, gathering new and veteran teams from Indiana and Ohio.

Townsend’s 50-man squad has found success early in the season. The team practices at 6 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday at McMillen Park in Fort Wayne.

The coach and team hope the July 8 game will not be their final local game this season. A post-season tournament begins after the final regular-season game on Aug. 19, and the Lions might defend their record on the New Haven turf. For updates, follow any of the teams on Facebook.

The other longtime local semipro organization, the Fort Wayne Cardinals, did not field teams in 2016 or 2017.