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Carolina Cobras destroy NAL leading Sharks, 50-37

Joe Daniels, Peacemaker Sports / August 4, 2023

Carolina Cobras’ defensive lineman Sha’Haun Williams returns a fumble 27 yards for a touchdown. Photo by Joe Daniels/Carolina Peacemaker.

The Carolina Cobras (9-4) hosted the Jacksonville Sharks (10-2) in the last regular season National Arena League football game played at the Greensboro Coliseum on Saturday, July 29. At stake was a playoff spot and home field advantage.

The top two teams in the league came in with winning streaks, Jacksonville with eight, Carolina at five. The Cobras snapped Jacksonville’s winning streak with a 50-37 win. The Cobras will host the San Antonio Gunslingers this Saturday, in an NAL first-round playoff game.

Carolina took the opening kickoff and scored on two plays with QB Malik Henry throwing an 18-yard touchdown to Nyqwan Murray. Henry finished with 27-of-38 passes for 239-yards and five touchdowns. Murray tallied nine catches for 81-yards and four touchdowns

The Sharks fumbled the ball after the kickoff. It was returned for a touchdown by the Cobras’ Sha’Haun Williams. The Sharks closed to within 14-7. On the ensuing kickoff, the Cobras’ Adam Smith returned the ball 50-yards but the score was called back for holding. Henry connected with receiver Miles Kelly on a 32-yard touchdown late in the second quarter pushing the score to 21-7. The Sharks closed the score to 24-16 at the break.

Jacksonville quarterback Eddie Brill connected for another score bringing the Sharks to within three points. Carolina responded with Henry throwing a 17-yard touchdown to Murray lifting the score to 33-23. On the Shark’s next possession, Brill was intercepted by the Cobras’ Mike Green, who returned it to the nine-yard line. Two-plays later, Cobras’ fullback Mike Brown scored from four-yards out. They led 40-23. Jacksonville never got closer than 43-37. Driving for the go-ahead score, the Sharks fumbled and it was recovered by Carolina’s Sha’Haun Williams for a score late in the four quarter. Quarterback Eddie Brill kept the Sharks close for a while with 24-of-40 passes completed for 243-yards and seven touchdowns.

The Cobras clinched a berth in the 2023 NAL Playoffs and continue as one of the only NAL teams that have made the playoffs in every single season of play including three trips to the NAL Championship and one championship victory in 2018.




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Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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