Carolina takes control of #1 seed in NAL
GREENSBORO - The Carolina Cobras (7-2) snap the Jacksonville Sharks’ (6-4) five game win streak at home tonight after beating them 73-33, marking the Cobras highest scoring game in franchise history. This extends the Cobras’ win streak to three games now and there’s no sign of it ending anytime soon. The night’s superhero had to be Cobras’ defensive back Michael Green, who recorded three interceptions and one touchdown on an on-side kick recovery. Quarterback Charles McCullum had himself a game as well, throwing for 243 yards, eight touchdowns, and only two interceptions, compared to Sharks’ quarterbacks Adrian McPherson and Patrick McCain, who combined for only 202 yards, three touchdowns, and four interceptions. “It was a total team effort,” said Cobras’ head coach Billy Back. “We rally around each other and I’m proud of our chemistry.”
Carolina got the offense going quickly, with a 30-yard strike to Jordan Jolly to start off the scoring. The ball now with Jacksonville, McPherson drove his team all the way down to the two-yard line, only to be stopped on fourth down. With the Cobras offense now on the field, they made their way down to Shark territory before turning the ball over after defensive back Marvin Ross intercepted McCullum in the endzone. Jacksonville made nothing out of this opportunity, as McPherson fumbled the ball on the first play on the drive. Dwayne Beckford was able to dive onto the ball in the endzone, giving Carolina a 13-0 lead. The following extra-point attempt was then blocked and returned for two points by Dallas Jackson, putting Jacksonville on the board. The Sharks took another bite out of the Cobras’ lead after Chris Gilchrist went deep on a 30-yard touchdown pass on the next play from scrimmage, giving the Sharks momentum going into the second quarter, down 13-9.
With their new energy, the Sharks were able to make another play, sacking McCullum in the endzone for a safety. Cobras’ Craig Peterson cancelled this out immediately following the play, hitting a deuce to re-extend Carolina’s lead. Jacksonville’s offense was stopped yet again after the Cobras’ defense put them to a halt on fourth down. McCullum immediately cashed in with the newfound opportunity with a two-yard dart to Phillip Barnett for a touchdown. The Sharks fought their way deep into Cobra territory before the Cobra defense made yet another play, with defensive back Ken Walton snatching the ball in the endzone for the interception. Carolina was not able to capitalize on Walton’s gift, after McCullum threw his second interception of the game on a deep pass intended for Jordan Jolly, intercepted by Ross. The Sharks didn’t let this one get away, with McPherson hitting Gilchrist perfectly in stride on the 36-yard touchdown pass. Brandon Behr hit a deuce on the ensuing kickoff to put Jacksonville within two points of Carolina. After Carolina was not able to convert a fourth down pass, the ball was turned back over to Jacksonville. The drive finished with Behr hitting a 23-yard field goal to give Jacksonville their first lead of the game. The Cobras’ offense quickly took the lead again after a failed on-side kick by Jacksonville. Wide receiver Fabian Guerra was able to get open on the side of the field and dive into the endzone for the score. With under a minute left, Jacksonville sought to take the lead again, but defensive back Michael Green had other plans for their offense. On the last play of the half, Green picked McPherson to secure Carolina’s 28-23 lead going into the half.
Jacksonville attempted to take the lead again, starting the half with the ball, but Carolina was once again able to stuff the Shark’s offense, forcing a turnover on downs. The Cobras’ offense didn’t skip a beat, quickly putting the ball in the endzone via an 11-yard touchdown reception by Jolly. The Sharks chewed up lots of time on their next drive, only to come up with nothing, after defensive back Cedric Poole broke up a touchdown pass attempt on fourth down. The Cobras’ offense put it to the Sharks once again, with McCullum throwing a high ball to a leaping Barnett in double coverage for the touchdown, followed by a deuce by Peterson. Carolina came up with another stop after Green nabbed his second interception of the game, holding Carolina at a comfortable 44-23 lead.
McCullum found Guerra again to start the half and extend Carolina’s lead to 28 points on an 11-yard catch and run. McPherson, on the Sharks’ following drive was picked off by, guess who? Michael Green. This time a long dive to get in front of the intended receiver. This would end McPherson’s night under center, with Jacksonville putting in Patrick McCain, after Carolina lost a fumble. After another failed offensive drive by Jacksonville, Barnett was able to take another ball to the house on a 21-yard catch and run touchdown. Another failed fourth down conversion by Jacksonville lead to yet another touchdown for Carolina, this one a 13-yarder to Jolly. McCain was able to make a little out of his time here in Carolina, throwing a 30-yard touchdown to Cody Saul on the Sharks’ ensuing drive. With the game almost in the books, the Sharks decided to go for an on-side kick, only to have it recovered and returned by Green, capping off his stellar performance. The game finished with another extra-point attempt blocked by Peterson returned by Ross, and a deuce by Peterson, to put the Cobras up by 40 in their 73-33 beat down on against the Sharks. Coach Back and the Cobras go into their second bye week with lots of momentum, and hope to keep it going when the Columbus Lions come to town on June 23.
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.