04/09/2018 6:32 PM
GREENSBORO- The Carolina Cobras hosted the Jacksonville Sharks in their first game in team history. 5,135 fans filled the snake pit for this nail biter in Greensboro. The game was close the whole night, and was back and forth between the defending champs and the new NAL expansion team, the Carolina Cobras, but despite fourth quarter momentum, and an electrifying atmosphere by Cobra Nation, the team just couldn’t hold on, losing to the Sharks 38-41.
The Cobras started the game by keeping the ball out of Jacksonville’s hands for almost the first 13 minutes of the game, which ended up working in the first quarter. Quarterback Charles McCullum found Phillip Barnett in the end zone for the first touchdown in Cobras history. Jacksonville could not find a way to score in the first quarter, which means Carolina did a great job of shutting them out.
The second quarter got more interesting as the Sharks started to come back. Sharks quarterback Patrick McCain quickly found Jamar Howard in just under four minutes. The game was all tied up at seven, leaving almost no wiggle room for the Cobras. Phillip Barnett was the man to go to for McCullum, as he reeled in his second touchdown of the night. Jacksonville was left with no time to score a touchdown, so they went with a field goal to end the half. Cobras trailed the Sharks 14-17.
The Cobras started the second half with a quick deuce from Kicker Craig Peterson on the kickoff, making the game a close 16-17 game. The Sharks couldn’t quite get things going in the third quarter, as Dwayne Beckford rushed the quarterback and made him throw an interception to Darius Thomas. The Cobras quickly responded, as McCullum threw his third touchdown to Barnett, making it a 23-17 point game. After a Sharks touchdown by Derrick Ross, the Sharks still wanted to give the Cobras a little challenge. From this point, Jacksonville looked to take control of the game from here, as McCain threw a touchdown to Howard down the field. The Cobras blocked the extra point, which kept it a seven point game at 23-30 with the Sharks on top. A touchdown catch from Tyron Laughinghouse allows Peterson to kick the extra point to tie the game up at 30. Peterson was on a roll, making a deuce to end the third quarter. The Cobras were gaining their lead on the Sharks 32-30.
The Sharks quickly scored to start the fourth quarter, missed the two-point conversion, but made the deuce to put the game at 32-38 with the Sharks on top. The Cobras had an empty possession, which gave the Sharks the ball. Jacksonville got as close as the one yard line about to score, but bad plays and costly penalties backed them up to the 13 yard line on third down, which forced Jacksonville to kick a field goal to go up by nine with 5:33 to play. On a crucial fourth down play, McCullum decided to throw in the end zone, hoping Bennett would catch it and he did. This was Bennett’s fourth touchdown of the night. The Cobras then missed the two point conversion and suffered from an illegal touching penalty on the onside kick in which they recovered. This gave Jacksonville the ball on the Carolina nine yard line with 58.8 seconds left. After the Cobras used their last timeout, the Sharks ran the ball to keep the clock moving. This would ultimately end the game 38-41 with the Cobras falling very short in their very first game in team history.
“We lost by three to a really good team, that’s something we can build on” said head coach Billy Back, “you can expect a much more crisp, clean football team by next week.”
The Cobras host the Massachusetts Pirates on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 7:00 pm (ET) in the Greensboro Coliseum for Country Night but before the next home game, the Cobras will hit the road for Portland, Maine as they will face the (0-1) Maine Mammoths for the first away game in Carolina Cobras history.
ABOUT THE CAROLINA COBRAS
The Carolina Cobras are members of the National Arena League (NAL). Founded in 2017, the Carolina Cobras will play 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 [email protected] or Expansion Chairman Jeff Bouchy at [email protected] For more information about the NAL visit www.nationalarenaleague.com, facebook.com/nationalarenaleauge, twitter.com/NALfootball, Instagram.com/natiionalarenaleague.