Cobras Highest Scoring Game of the Season Led by Malik Henry
ODESSA, TX – The 4-2 Carolina Cobras entered the Ector County Coliseum to face the 2-5 West Texas Warbirds this is the second time these two teams have faced each other after a neck and neck 64-62 battle in Greensboro. In Odessa, the Cobras kicked off the game as the Warbirds were the first to go on offense. On the first drive Warbirds quarterback Mitch Kidd picked apart the Cobras defense driving down the field one pass at the time. It didn’t take long for Kidd to escape the pocket and fling the ball back deep into the endzone for a one-handed touchdown grab by WR/LB Patrick Smith. Despite a missed extra point, kicker Kyle Didio-Webber made up for it with a deuce allowing the Warbirds to take off with a 8-0 lead. The celebration in West Texas would not last long. Cobras quarterback Malik Henry who struggled last week entered this game focused and completely unphased throwing a early game bomb to WR/DB Miles Kelly. West Texas struggled against the Cobras defense on the next drive but that didn’t stop them from putting points on the board as the Warbirds kicker knocked down an impressive 48-yard field goal to keep the Warbirds in the lead. The special teams onslaught continued as the Warbirds kicked off the net forcing a Adam Smith fumble recovered by West Texas WR/DB Jalen Childress who ran the recovery in for a touchdown.
The Cobras deep in enemy territory down 18-7 showed no fear as Malik Henry threw his second touchdown this time to receiver Lance Evans. Late in the 1st quarter, the Cobras defense stopped a Warbird scoring drive thanks to a clutch interception by defensive back Adhia Bell. Carolina took advantage of the turnover as the Cobras attacked with another touchdown reception by receiver Lance Evans closing out the first quarter 22-18 thanks to kicker TC Stevens for a timely deuce. In the second quarter the Warbirds continued to play off the nets as kicker Didio-Weber knocked an attempted field goal off the net but it was received by linebacker & former Cobra Trevon Shorts. The Cobras eager to score took another shot at the endzone finding receiver Lance Evans for his third receiving touchdown of the night. The Warbirds scoring streak finally came to an end as the Cobras forced a turnover on downs after a big sack by defensive lineman Micah Robinson. The Cobras defense continued to stop the Warbirds while the Carolina offense scored a rushing touchdown with FB/LB Kevin Voyles. The Cobras almost managed another score as a Henry pass to receiver Miles Kelly got the Cobras down field but Kelly was tackled just short of the endzone as time expired the Cobras entered the locker room up 36-27.
Into the third quarter, the kicking battle continued as Didio-Weber made a deuce to start the second half cutting the Cobras lead to 36-29. The Cobras answered back with a monster 38-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Malik Henry to WR/DB Miles Kelly. The Cobras would finish the third quarter with a massive 62-42 lead after a incredible performance by quarterback Malik Henry who threw two more touchdowns in the quarter including one to WR/DB Kenny Veal and another to WR/DB/KR Adam Smith who also had a off the net recovery to score on a kickoff for the Cobras. Coach Fuller and his players seemed to be dismantling the Warbirds on both sides of the ball.
Disparate for a score, the Warbirds entered the fourth quarter determined but a huge tackle for loss on fourth down by defensive lineman Sha’Haun Williams would force a turnover on downs in the redzone exhausting hope for West Texas. Another connection between quarterback Malik Henry and Adam Smith would further the gap between the Carolina Cobras and Warbirds with Carolina leading 71-42. Cobras defensive back Adhia Bell gave the Cobras the ball back as a bar ball on kickoff took a Cobras bounce recovered by Bell giving Carolina the ball back on offense with great field position. The special teams play set up the Cobras for their next score which came from a bullet pass touchdown by a scrambling Malik Henry to a wide open WR/DB Kenny Veal. As the Cobras continued to pile on points the Warbirds refused to surrender as a West Texas pass from Mitch Kidd to WR/DB Jalen Childress for a touchdown. The Warbirds would manage one final score to get them to 59 points but it would not be enough to beat the Carolina Cobras whose offense had their highest scoring performance of the season finishing the fourth quarter with 21-points and capping the night off on a season high 85-59 road victory.
If anyone had any doubt about the Cobras star quarterback Malik Henry, tonight answered all questions as Henry not only had his best game in silver & black but he had the undisputed top performance of any National Arena League quarterback in week 10. The game MVP threw 24 completions for 373 yards, and a season-high 10 touchdowns passes. The Carolina Cobras talented receiving core took advantage of their quarterback’s hot hand as Cobras receivers Lance Evans and Adam Smith finished the night with three touchdown receptions. Henry proved to find many targets tonight as ironmen Kenny Veal and Miles both grabbed two touchdown receptions each. The Cobras rushing game proved successful as fullback Kevin Voyles and WR/DB/KR Adam Smith both found the endzone. On defense the Cobras had a tough first quarter but rallied to dominate the Warbirds as defensive back Adhia Bell had a great game racking up 4.5 tackles, one interception, and a recovered kick to keep the Warbirds off the field. It was an exciting night for special teams as the Warbirds had many great plays to put points on the board and fans witnessed deuces from both West Texas and Carolina. Cobras kicker TC Stevens had a great business trip as he returns to Greensboro after going 10 for 12 in PATs and kicked two deuces.
Coach Fuller and the Cobras had a great trip to Texas returning home with a win and a refreshing victory after the crushing loss in Carolina to Fayetteville a week ago. The Cobras look to keep moving forward as they are now 5-2 with the Orlando Predators (2-5) up next. Their week 11 matchup is scheduled for Saturday, June 17 with kickoff set for 7pm at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL.
ABOUT THE CAROLINA COBRAS The Carolina Cobras are members of the National Arena League (NAL). Founded in 2017, the Carolina Cobras are starting their sixth season in 2023 and were the 2018 National Arena League Champions. The Cobras play their home games at the Greensboro Coliseum. Cobra Season Ticket Memberships are on sale now call (336) 445-7232 or visit carolinacobras.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 seventh season in 2023. For more information regarding expansion opportunities or partnerships, contact Commissioner Chris Siegfried at email@example.com . For more information about the NAL visit www.nationalarenaleague.com, facebook.com/nationalarenaleauge, twitter.com/NALfootball, Instagram.com/nationalarenaleague.