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Cobras Collapse on the Road to the Mammoths, 55-29


Carolina Cobras’ quarterback Jason McCullum looks to throw down field.[/caption]

PORTLAND – The Maine Mammoths (3-8) pulled off a huge upset over the Carolina Cobras (7-4) after beating them from start to finish in a 55-29 victory. This was the two team’s second and final meeting of the regular season, with Carolina winning their first meeting 56-42 in Portland.

Carolina’s previous three losses were only by a combined six points, yet the Cobras lost by 26 in this rout, their worst in franchise history. The Cobras continue to fall in the league rankings, with this being their second straight loss, and the Mammoths’ first ever win over a team other than the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks. Carolina fell apart on all sides of the ball, giving up four turnovers (two fumbles and two interceptions) compared to the Mammoths, who had none. Mammoths’ quarterback Jonathan Bane finished the game with six touchdown passes and no turnovers, thanks especially to his offensive line, which stayed solid all night. Each team will go into their third and final bye week of the season.

The first quarter was all Maine, with Bane and his offense completing two back-to-back passes to start the game to put the Mammoths up 7-0 barely a minute into the game. Maine’s defense was able to keep the teams’ momentum going by stuffing the Cobra’s red-hot offense, forcing McCullum to incomplete all four of his passes, giving the ball back to Maine on Carolina’s 12-yard line. Mammoth’s kicker Henry Nell was able to extend the Mammoth’s lead to 10 after being stopped at the Carolina 10-yard line. Cobra’s kicker Craig Peterson looked to make a field goal of his own, but missed, allowing Bane to make another touchdown pass, this time a 28-yarder to Devin Wilson. On Carolina’s following possession, McCullum completed a pass to Jordan Jolly, who fumbled the ball away to Maine, giving Maine good momentum going into the second quarter.

Carolina was able to get things going in the second quarter, but only after Desmond Maxwell cashed in on the fumble recovery with a 2-yard rushing touchdown, putting the Mammoths up 24-0. McCullum and the Cobras finally got the chains moving, after McCullum’s big fourth-down conversion to Jordan Jolly. McCullum took the ball in for the score himself to end the drive on a one-yard touchdown. Peterson was also able to hit a deuce on the ensuing kickoff, continuing to bring the Cobras back in the game. After Maine went four-and-out, Tyron Laughinghouse was able to hold on to the ball for a three-yard touchdown reception.

Maine had to get back in the game and re-extend their lead, and after Carolina failed to convert an onside kick, Bane was able to convert an 11-yard pass to Wilson for a touchdown. With little time, Carolina tried to get another score, but these dreams were dashed after Mammoth’s defensive back Martay Mattox was able to intercept McCullum, setting the Mammoths up for another touchdown. With two seconds left in the half, Bane completed his fourth touchdown pass of the half, this time to Edgar Poe, giving the Mammoths a 37-15 lead going into the half.

The Cobra’s turnover woes continued in the third quarter, after being deep in the Mammoth’s territory twice. Jolly lost his second fumble of the night, and McCullum threw his second interception of the night, this one picked off by Tyree Robinson. Both turnovers resulted in touchdowns for the Mammoths, one a five-yard touchdown catch by Wilson, and the other a one-yard touchdown rush by Maxwell, his second of the night.

Maine’s drive ending in Maxwell’s touchdown chewed up nearly nine minutes of game clock, most of it in the fourth quarter. Carolina went on to score two more touchdowns and Maine one more, resulting in the Mammoths crushing the Cobras 55-29.