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Cobras Fall in 54-52 Nailbiter to Sharks

July 10, 2021 - National Arena League (NAL) - Carolina Cobras News Release

Carolina Cobras quarterback Sam Castronova
Carolina Cobras quarterback Sam Castronova
(Carolina Cobras)

GREENSBORO - Following their bye week, the (1-3) Cobras were home to take on the (1-3) Jacksonville Sharks. The last time these two teams met was at the 2019 championship game in Jacksonville, where the Sharks came back from behind to win 52-48. Tonight's rematch in Greensboro did not disappoint in a thrilling second half the Cobras comeback ignited the crowd as the Cobras were closing in on victory but finished just two points shy on the final play of the game to Jacksonville.

James Summers got the start at quarterback and gave the Cobras a spark early, taking off for a 28 yard QB run on their first drive. That run would set up full backer Dashawn Johnson to cross the goal line for his first touchdown on the season. In the next possession, Summers kept the offense hot, tossing a 18 yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Ings, who currently ranks 2nd in touchdown receptions. The defense was also rocking early with a forced fumble and recovery from Cobras player of the week Ethan Farmer.

After the first period, the Sharks led 21-12 as Danny Southwick threw two touchdowns both to Jarmon Fortson. Cobras began to struggle after Summers left the game with an injury. Sam Castronova found wide receiver BJ Bunn in the endzone as the clock hit zero to end the half down 33-18 to gain momentum into the second half. Following halftime Castronova picked apart Sharks' defense resulting in an Ings touchdown right out of the gate. The defense on the following drive kept the crowd on their feet causing turnovers on downs. The montenum continued to lean towards the Cobras as Johnson scored another touchdown with Castronova sneaking into the endzone to convert for two.

The 4th quarter became a nail biter and lived up to the Cobras and Sharks rematch hype as Carolina got in striking distance after Ings 45 yard touchdown bringing the score to 48-46 in favor of Jacksonville. The following play, Adam Smith did what he does best, kicked an off-sideish ball that had the perfect bounce for a recovery by the Cobras in scoring position. Then with 32 seconds left on the clock Johnson pulled off the hat trick, running in for his third touchdown of the game to give the Cobras a 52-48 lead. Despite the heroic efforts by Ings and Johnson, it was a 25 yard touchdown pass from Southwick to Devin Wilson that was the final nail, the Cobras lose 54-52.

A game that lived up to its hype despite the sour ending did have some sweet moments. Castronova came in and completed 16 for 29 passes, 183 yards with four touchdowns. Ings continued his dominant year snagging 9 catches for 125 yards and three touchdowns. The duo that started the season looks to be officially back with much left to play for.

The Cobras (1-4) will head into week 8 with a chip on their shoulder the size of Mount Everest. Carolina will host their final home game against the Orlando Predators with only 3 games remaining, making it a must-win game for playoff's sake. This is a game that Cobra Nation will not want to miss with so much on the line. Fans will also take part in a very special "Christmas in July" theme night. Get your tickets now by calling 336-445-7273 or visiting

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Carolina Cobras quarterback Sam Castronova
Carolina Cobras quarterback Sam Castronova


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