By Jose Bahena
The Carolina Cobras returned to the Greensboro Coliseum looking to extend their winning streak to four as they took on the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks of Allentown, PA.
The Steelhawks would win the coin toss and defer to the second half and the Cobras immediately went to work on the offensive side. The opening kick was a woeful onside attempt that landed squarely in the arms of Phillip Barnett. The Cobras were unforgiving on the error and with just one play Charles Mccullum fired in the end zone to Tyron Laughinghouse to earn the first six, Craig Peterson’s Kick after made it 7-0.
Lehigh Valley stepped out on offense hoping to put put points on the board as well, but a few plays into the drive Ian Cooper’s pass was broken up by the Cobras Jermaine Jones. Jones, the Wide Receiver turned Linebacker, also managed to snag the deflected pass and find 30 yards of running room back to the end zone for a Cobras pick six bring the score to 14-0 after Peterson’s PAT. The Steelhawks offensive unit was given another go at it and again cooper’s pass sailed over the head of his receiver and into the waiting hands of Carolina’s Defensive Back Cedric Poole, who ran the ball back down to the 17 yard line. McCullum’s crew made quick work of the short field, finding an uncovered Laughinghouse again for his second touchdown of the evening, with Peterson’s kick through the uprights the Cobra’s lead extended out to 21-0.
Keeping the pedal to the floor on the kickoff, Craig Peterson landed his Deuce attempt and added two points to the cobras lead. Pinned back at the five yard line the visiting Lehigh Valley team’s Cooper connected with one receiver on a short pass and on the next passing play, Cobra’s Marquez Gollman beat his man on the inside to intercept the pass at just the 9 yard line. With the third Carolina interception of the night coming inside the first quarter, Mccullum’s toss over the middle to Phillip Barnett would be good enough for another Cobra’s touchdown followed by Peterson’s the score would run up to 30-0. Despite the Steelhawks best efforts their next drive would close out the first quarter with another interception, this time by Defensive Back Walter Thomas.
With possession of the ball to start the next quarter of play the Cobras marched down the field to put Wide receiver Jordan Jolly in position to rumble his way into the end zone from five yards out to continue the cobras punishment of the Steelhawks, 37-0 after the successful kick after attempt. Lehigh Valley looked deep to end the tailspin but once more Cooper’s pass end in the arms of a defensive player, Gollman for his second interception of the game. Without mercy the Cobra’s offensive took off again and found Fabian Guerra open along the walls to sneak in to the end zone for six more, with Peterson tacking on the extra point the scoreboard read lopsided at 44-0. Frustration on the Steelhawks offense continued as their drive was ended at the goal line by Cedric Poole when the Cobras defense came up with their sixth interception of the contest. The waning seconds of the half would see Peterson’s first error of the night as his field goal attempt would be no good as the teams headed into the locker rooms.
The Steelhawks started the third quarter wanting desperately to shake the first half blues, but the Lehigh Valley drive would end with a field goal try backed up in their own end zone. The snap was good but Carolina’s special teams was better as Omari Manhertz batted down the kick and sent it out of the back of the end zone for a safety. The Cobras wasted no time continuing the dominate performance in front of the home crowd of 3,679, a one play drive resulted in another touchdown for the black and silver as a Lehigh defender wasn’t able to spin Fabian Guerra away from the goal line. Guerra’s second touchdown set Peterson up for an extra point and tick the scoreboard up to 53-0. Ian Cooper’s offense still searching for even a single point, end backed up by the stifling cobras defense again as they turned over the ball on downs and the Cobras took advantage by finding Barnett for his second touchdown on a 12 yard pass. Craig Peterson’s extra point would ping off the upright and be no good, leaving the score to 59-0 to close the third quarter of play.
Carolina would be forced a turnover on downs by the Steelhawks to start the final fifteen minutes of the game, and Steelhawks would make a switch on offense by putting Rodney Bryant in quarterback. Unfortunately for Lehigh Valley the switch at quarterback did not produce points as the drive stalled with just six minutes remaining to prevent the shut out. The Cobras coaching staff also made a change on offense, substituting Jordan Jolly in at quarterback to put it away. Not satisfied to being relegated to clean up duty, Jolly rolled out of the passing pocket and tore off a 15 yard rushing touchdown to remind the Steelhawks of his speed and athleticism. Peterson’s extra point was wide right to leave just 60 seconds on the clock and the score at a staggering 65-0. Pride was the only thing the Lehigh team had left to play for when they finally scored their first points of the night as time expired on a field goal, preventing the shutout and leaving a final score of 65-3.
The win extends the Carolina Cobras winning streak to 4 straight and moves then to 4-1 on the season, while Lehigh Valley remains winless at 0-4. The Cobras will travel down to Georgia to take on the Columbus Lions Saturday May 12 at 7:00pm. The game will be live streamed courtesy of the National Arena Leagues Youtube Live streaming service.