Carolina Stuns Pirates 72-65 in Saturday Night Thriller
Greensboro - The Carolina Cobras took down the Massachusetts Pirates in dramatic fashion tonight, winning 72-65. After being down 59-39 going into the fourth quarter, the Cobras rallied back to take the lead with 10 seconds left in the game. Quarterback Sean Brackett and the Pirates had the opportunity to win the game in the waning seconds of the game but were sacked as time expired. Cobras’ kicker Craig Peterson rebounded after missing last week’s game sealing kick by hitting four deuces and all extra-points in the victory over the Pirates.
Carolina went three-and-out to start the game, and after missing the field goal, Massachusetts returned the ball deep into Carolina territory. The Pirates immediately cash in, with Brackett completing a touchdown pass to wide receiver Devonn Brown from four yards out. After exchanging three-and-outs, the Cobras get down the field and score, as quarterback Charles McCullum threw a dart to a wide-open Jordan Jolly. Both teams went into the second with seven.
The Cobras continued their good streak after defensive back Cedric Poole makes an athletic interception, returning the ball to Massachusetts’ six-yard line. With great field position, the Cobras were able to get the ball to Tyron Laughinghouse for a touchdown. The Pirates quickly responded with a touchdown of their own on their first play from scrimmage. After the Cobras regained the ball, Pirates linebacker Pasquale Vacchio intercepted McCullum and returned the ball to Carolina’s seven-yard line. The Pirates punched in a touchdown shortly after to wide receiver Mardy Gilyard, with a missed extra-point. Massachusetts’ defense had another take-away on the next drive by defensive back John Hardy-Tuliau. Both teams offenses exploded in the last minute of the second quarter, with each of them scoring two touchdowns. With Craig Peterson’s deuce and the missed extra-points in the quarter, the Pirates went into the locker-room with a 32-30 lead.
Massachusetts’ quickly extended their lead, with another touchdown to Gilyard. Carolina turned the ball over again after Hardy-Tuliau intercepted McCullum. After a 42-yard gain to Brown the Pirates were able to push their way into the endzone as offensive lineman Dashawn Johnson muscled his way in for a two-yard touchdown. The Cobras, needing to respond, scored in three plays, after wide receiver Tyron Laughinghouse dove over the wall to make the touchdown grab, followed by a deuce by Peterson on the ensuing kick-off. The Pirates following drive looked almost identical to the one before, with a 34 yard gain to Pearson and a rushing touchdown from Johnson. McCullum, on the Cobras following drive, threw a pick-six to Eddie Norrils as time expired in the third quarter, giving the Pirates a 59-39 lead, and a very depressing atmosphere in Greensboro.
As the fourth quarter started, the Cobras started to click on all sides of the ball. McCullum shook off the pick-six, throwing a 15-yard pass to Phillip Barnett and then a 15-yard touchdown to Laughinghouse, followed once again by a deuce. After commiting a penalty, the Pirates were then backed up to their own one-yard line. On the first play, Brackett fumbled the snap, leaving the ball to be scooped up and taken into the endzone by wide receiver and defensive back Jermaine Jones. Carolina continued making plays on defense, with Cedric Poole intercepting Brackett on the Pirates next drive, giving Carolina the ball on their own two-yard line. After a failed fourth down pass attempt to Barnett, it seemed the Cobras drive would be done. A pass interference call against the Pirates on Barnett kept the Cobras’ drive alive with 5:22 left in the game. McCullum and Brackett exchanged interceptions, and Carolina had the ball back. A touchdown to Barnett and another deuce put the Cobras in the lead for the first time since the second quarter. Massachusetts took the lead back almost immediately, getting a 45-yard touchdown to Brown as the clock hits the one-minute warning. The Pirates failed two-point conversion gives them a measley one point lead. The Cobras still had plenty of time to take the lead, however, and with 10 seconds left on the clock, McCullum threw the game winning touchdown to Laughinghouse, as well as a successful two-point conversion. The Pirates weren’t ready to pack up just yet, with Brackett connecting with Gilyard for a big gain, downed at Carolina’s 11-yard line. In a make-or-break situation the Cobras’ defense came up big yet again, sacking Brackett for the first time of the game, sealing the victory. The Cobras go into their bye week with momentum, sitting at 5-2.
ABOUT THE CAROLINA COBRAS
The Carolina Cobras are members of the National Arena League (NAL). Founded in 2017, the Carolina Cobras are playing their inaugural season in 2018 at the Greensboro Coliseum. Cobra Season Ticket Memberships are on sale now call (336) 445-7232 or visit carcobras.com. Follow the Cobras on Facebook at facebook.com/carcobras, twitter.com/carcobras and instagram.com/carcobras.
ABOUT NATIONAL ARENA LEAGUE
The National Arena League was founded in 2016 and hosted its inaugural season in 2017 as the premier league in arena football. The National Arena League will kick off its second season in April of 2018. For more information regarding expansion opportunities or partnerships, contact Commissioner Chris Siegfried at firstname.lastname@example.org or Expansion Chairman Jeff Bouchy at email@example.com. For more information about the NAL visit www.nationalarenaleague.com, facebook.com/nationalarenaleauge, twitter.com/NALfootball, Instagram.com/natiionalarenaleague.