Week 11 Preview: Cobras vs. Lions

by Steven Shotola

07/01/2022 11:44 AM -


WESTERN BLUES:  The Cobras ran into some bad luck last Saturday in San Antonio, where the improved Gunslingers pulled a 61-60 upset. Quarterback Jonathan Bane was padding his league-leading passing stats, throwing for 5 touchdowns and just under 300 yards before leaving the game due to injury with 10:35 remaining. James Summers filled in admirably as the emergency quarterback, throwing two touchdowns including a 15-yard toss to Zack Brown in overtime that put the Cobras within striking distance of a win. The subsequent two-point try was well-defended and left Carolina inches short of escaping with a win.

In Case of Emergency: With Bane out last week, Summers was thrown into the fire and fared well in the few series he got at the helm. However, Summers is exponentially more effective as a receiver and linebacker and Coach Res understands that perfectly. That’s why the Cobras welcome Malik Henry to Greensboro this week…this time as a teammate. Henry, who played college ball at Nevada, was the starter in Jacksonville before Arvell Nelson became the eventual starter. If Bane can’t go, it will be interesting to see if Henry gets the nod. This is perhaps the most pivotal game in the NAL this week, since another Cobras loss coupled with an Albany wins trims the Cobras league lead down to a half-game.

Leading Men:  Jonathan Bane still leads the league in passing yards (2,296and passing touchdowns (47) despite suffering an injury. He is just .4 yards per game behind Jacksonville’s Arvell Nelson in passing yards, as well. Albany quarterback Sam Castronova has ascended to the top of the league rushing charts, but Zack Brown is still tied for second in rushing TDs (7) and is second in rushing yards (138). Both Castronova and Nelson are getting many more carries per game in their respective offenses, and Brown should receive special recognition for making an impact with each opportunity that comes his way.

Last Meeting:  Back on June 10 Carolina paid a visit to Columbus to take on the struggling Lions. Unbeknownst to anyone outside of the locker room, a bug was making the rounds and rendered a few key Cobras unavailable for the game, including D.J. Myers and T.C. Stevens. Despite shifting around personnel to fill in the gaps, Carolina struggled on both sides of the ball and suffered a 55-28 loss. It was simply “one of those games” in the unpredictable NAL. Expect more of the unexpected this week, depending on who gets the nod at quarterback.  

Coach Says:  “Last week was a tough loss all around. We went for 2 at the end, which was the correct call and I’d do it again. We just came up short. The biggest loss was losing Bane. Right now reports look good and maybe out a couple of weeks with an ankle sprain. Any time you lose your starting quarterback, it’s tough. He is easily the front-runner for MVP, but he only cares about winning the championship. He will still be a major factor in the quarterback room and will have these guys ready to roll. We have a chance this week to avenge one of our losses and that is our focus…get the job done at home!” – Carolina Head Coach Josh Resignalo

Looking Ahead:  Next week is another trip to Jacksonville to continue the heated rivalry between the Cobras and Sharks. Emotions normally run high for both teams when they match up and with only a few weeks remaining in the regular season, they’ll be even higher!