The expansion team in the Carolina Cobras, finished the deed by defeating the Columbus Lions in National Arena Bowl II with a 66-8 score on Saturday night in Carolina.
This is the second consecutive National Arena League (NAL) Championship loss for the Columbus Lions.
Carolina Cobras Finish Off Columbus Lions in National Arena Bowl II
Cobras Quarterback Charles McCullum started off strong on the night. His first half stats were incredible, as he completed 12-of-19 passes for 160 yards and four touchdowns. He rushed one time for a 26 yard touchdown.
In the duration of the game, he was 19-of-27 for 258 yards and seven touchdowns; rushed one time for 26 yards and one touchdown. His top receiver, Jordan Jolly, had eight receptions for 107 yards and four touchdowns.
Up next was Fabian Guerra. He made five catches for 34 yards. Last, but definitely not least, Tyron Laughinghouse had two receptions for 72 yards and two touchdowns.
For the Lions, Quarterback Mason Espinosa was supposed to play, but was seen limping during pre-game warmups and was not on the field. This put Jeremy Johnson in the game to start.
Johnson was 12-of-45 for 110 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. The passing game was not as good as the Cobras, but they still had receivers make some plays.
London Crawford had four receptions for 35 yards and one touchdown. Jarmon Fortson had one reception for 14 yards. Terrence Ebogua made one reception for five yards. Darryl Thompson made six catches for 47 yards.
Cobras First Half Dominance
The Cobras ended up kicking the ball off, but didn’t end up hurting them. The Lions got the ball first and the Cobras defense ate them up instantly.
The Cobras scored a total of 31 points in the first 22 minutes and 46 seconds before the Lions finally scored a deuce after they gave up a safety. From here, the Lions defense stepped it up and held the Cobras to just one more touchdown on three drives, including the drive where the Cobras took over with five seconds left in the half.
Lions Struggling Second Half
The Cobras continued to score some more in the second half. They ended up getting all the way to 44 points before the Lions scored a touchdown from a 16 yard pass from Johnson to Crawford.
This would ultimately be the last time the Lions found points for the rest of the night. Later in the fourth quarter, Johnson fumbled the ball, Hicks recovered, then fumbled. Linebacker Pasquale Vacchio for the Cobras recovered the ball and returned it for a 26-yard touchdown.
Touchdown after touchdown after touchdown was the story for the Cobras tonight, as they scored 66 points compared to the Lions’ eight points. Late in the game, Johnson was ejected from the game after making an appeal to an Intentional Grounding penalty that was called. The Cobras went on to win their first championship.