Cobras sink 53-56 in nail-biter to Pirates

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Carolina falls to 8-5

WORCESTER- The Massachusetts Pirates (10-4) struck gold tonight, defeating the Carolina Cobras (8-5) as time expired in regulation, 53-56. After being down 22-6 to start the game, the Cobras quickly scored to get back into the game, and it was a back-and-forth affair after that. With home-field playoff implications on the line, each team had plenty to play for. Carolina may have won the series between the two teams, going 2-1, but Massachusetts seems to have had the last laugh (cue playoffs).

Massachusetts controlled almost all of the first quarter, with kicker Ali Mourtada kicking the game off with a deuce, and defensive back Kiante Northington recovering a Jordan Jolly fumble. The Pirates quickly turned the turnover into points, after Sean Brackett threaded the needle to receiver Bones Bagaunte. The Cobras were able to respond quickly, with Charles McCullum finding a wide open Phillip Barnett in the endzone. The rest of the quarter, however, was ruled by the Pirates, with Brackett throwing two more touchdowns to Marty Gilyard and Lavon Pearson, putting the Pirates up 22-6 going into the second quarter.

The tides turned largely in favor of the Cobras in the second quarter. After McCullum converted a fourth-down pass to Barnett, Fabian Guerra was able to score for the Cobras on a catch-and-run touchdown. Carolina continued to do good on all sides of the ball after Craig Peterson hit a deuce, and defensive back Mike Green intercepted and returned a ball from Brackett for a touchdown, putting the Cobras right back in the game. Each team exchanged touchdowns to end the quarter, and with the Pirates missing a two-point conversion and extra-point, the Cobras led at the half 36-34.

Both offenses went quiet in the third quarter, with each team going scoreless. Each team was close to a score, with Mourtada missing a 37-yard field goal attempt for the Pirates, and McCullum fumbling away the ball inches from the Pirates’ endzone.

The game reheated in the final quarter, when on the first play the Pirates were able to retake the lead after a five-yard touchdown reception by Lavon Pearson. Carolina came right back with a touchdown of their own, courtesy of Jolly, followed by another deuce from Peterson. This didn’t deter the Pirates, with Sean Brackett hitting Devonn Brown in stride on a 45-yard touchdown pass following the deuce. Massachusetts then converted a two-point conversion, and hit a deuce of their own, scoring ten points in a matter of seconds. After a foul-ridden time-consuming drive, Carolina was able to produce a response of their own in the form of a touchdown reception from Tyrell Goodman, his second of the night. The eight minute drive left the Pirates just over a minute to answer, and answer they did. With 1.7 seconds remaining, Massachusetts was able to get off one last snap towards the endzone, and as time expired, Brackett found Brown wide open in the back of the endzone for the six-yard, game-winning, walk-off touchdown. The Pirates retain first place in the NAL with their 56-53 win over the Cobras. 

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 chris@nationalarenaleague.com or Expansion Chairman Jeff Bouchy at jeff@nationalarenaleague.com. For more information about the NAL visit www.nationalarenaleague.com, facebook.com/nationalarenaleauge, twitter.com/NALfootball, Instagram.com/natiionalarenaleague.

Both offenses went quiet in the third quarter, with each team going scoreless. Each team was close to a score, with Mourtada missing a 37-yard field goal attempt for the Pirates, and McCullum fumbling away the ball inches from the Pirates’ endzone.

The game reheated in the final quarter, when on the first play the Pirates were able to retake the lead after a five-yard touchdown reception by Lavon Pearson. Carolina came right back with a touchdown of their own, courtesy of Jolly, followed by another deuce from Peterson. This didn’t deter the Pirates, with Sean Brackett hitting Devonn Brown in stride on a 45-yard touchdown pass following the deuce. Massachusetts then converted a two-point conversion, and hit a deuce of their own, scoring ten points in a matter of seconds. After a foul-ridden time-consuming drive, Carolina was able to produce a response of their own in the form of a touchdown reception from Tyrell Goodman, his second of the night. The eight minute drive left the Pirates just over a minute to answer, and answer they did. With 1.7 seconds remaining, Massachusetts was able to get off one last snap towards the endzone, and as time expired, Brackett found Brown wide open in the back of the endzone for the six-yard, game-winning, walk-off touchdown. The Pirates retain first place in the NAL with their 56-53 win over the Cobras.
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