Game Preview Week 8 at Columbus

by Steven Shotola

06/09/2022 11:02 AM -

Carolina Cobras (6-1) vs Columbus Lions (2-3)
Columbus Civic Center
Friday Night 7pm
The Emperors of Albany:  For the second time this season, the Cobras took a long trip to Albany and came away with an 8-point victory over the defending NAL champs. Saturday’s 58-50 victory landed two Cobras on the NAL weekly awards list: Kicker T.C. Stevens was the obvious choice for Special Teams Player of the Week, while fullback Zack Brown earned Ironman Player of the Week. It was the second time this season both players had been honored with those awards, and likely not the last. Albany visits Greensboro June 18, and will likely arrive with ill tempers.
New Face, Same Place:  Like other teams midway through a season the Cobras have dealt with their share of injuries. What’s kept Carolina’s ship from capsizing, though, is the depth with which coach Res built this year’s team. Notably, losing D.J. Myers for multiple weeks is enough to quell anyone’s success at the receiver (and linebacker) position, but Lance Evans stepped right in and turned into a touchdown-making machine for QB1 Jonathan Bane. Now, with the addition this week of former Miami Hurricane receiver Herb Waters, the Cobras are stacked on both sides of the line.
Create Some Space:  The Cobras can’t afford to drop a game with Albany looming the following week. The Lions are mired in a three-game losing streak and are desperate to change their luck as they chase a playoff spot. A Carolina win Friday keeps them in the catbird seat, looking down at their league challengers.
Mystery Man:  Speaking of injuries, the Lions turn to quarterback Darren Daniel this week after starter Danny Southwick went down with an injury against Albany two weeks ago. Daniel began his college career at Stanford before returning east to play at Alabama State. Daniel is a dynamic runner and passer, meaning the Cobras’ linebacking corps and defensive backs will have to know where Daniel is on the field at all times. Success on Friday depends on minimizing Daniel’s impact on the game. If the Cobras’ defensive line can…well…continue to do Cobras’ defensive line things (think pressure, pressure, sack), Carolina will be in good shape to come home with a win.
Coach Says:  “This is another big game for us, as it’s our first time playing Columbus this season,” head coach/GM Josh Resignalo said “They’ve had a rough start and again we will get everyone’s best shot, as everyone is trying to take down the number one team. We have to do a good job remaining focused and worry about what we can control. It’s going to be a battle in Columbus as they are always one of the most physical teams in the NAL. We are ready for that battle as we have been, week after week.”
Vengeance:  While the Cobras had significant roster turnover this season, there are some current Cobras who remember getting rocked last year by Columbus at home, 54-30. Regardless of current standings and/or losing streaks, some payback is in order for our friends in Georgia.
Last Meeting:  This is the first 2022 meeting between the Cobras and Lions. Columbus will make two trips to Greensboro in July (7/2 and 7/16).