WEEK PREVIEW: Cobras vs. Empire
GREENSBORO, NC – After a rewarding bye week and a spectacular home opener victory over the West Texas Warbirds 64-62, Coach Fuller and the Cobras cruise into week 4 against the defending National Arena League Champion Albany Empire (1-1) who enter this week following a nail biting defeat against the San Antonio Gunslingers last week 55-53. Carolina will need the whole Snake Pit to get loud and make the Greensboro Coliseum a hostile environment inside the walls. Coach Ware and the Empire are used to playing in big games as the Empire have made the postseason each year and have won back to back NAL Championships.
For the Cobras, there's no place like the present as they have many advantages going into this week, their 1-0 home record, a healthy roster, and the return of one of the Cobras biggest weapons. DJ Myers (WR/DB) who rejoins the Cobras after some time in the USFL with the Memphis Showboats. Myers, a 2022 NAL Ironman of the Year had an incredible season with the Cobras that led to his name spreading to multiple outdoor leagues as a XFL prospect and USFL signee for the 2023 season. Myers led the 2022 Cobras in catches (68) and receiving yards (842) while finishing second for receiving touchdowns (17). On defense, DJ contributed to the Cobras successful season with 13 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and four interceptions including one pick six.
The Cobras also look to start Quarterback Malik Henry who saw action last week throwing his first two touchdown passes of the 2023 season. Henry will now take the reins as the full time starter for Cobras with key target Adam Smith back after his best performance this season with over four receiving touchdowns in the Snake Pit for week 2. Unfortunately, Henry will not have WR/DB Jalen Rima who had a game saving touchdown in the Cobras home opener as he status is “out” for this week on the injury report making the signing of DJ Myers a perfect timing situation for Coach Fuller’s offense.
On defense, the Cobras will need to slow down NAL champion quarterback Sam Castronova who is off to a solid start in 2023 with 10 touchdowns, averaging five per game with zero interceptions so far. Defensive Back Kenny Veal will look to tarnish Sam's perfect season as Veal had a season-high performance against the Warbirds with three interceptions last week. However, the most effective strategy may not come from the secondary but upfront with the defensive line as Castronova can’t give his MVP receiver Darius Prince the ball if it never leaves Sam's hands. A couple sacks and forced incompletions must be a priority for the Cobras defense this week. The Cobras will need to be great on all three sides of the game to beat the Empire that means All-NAL TC Stevens will need to deliver every point he can provide which didn’t seem to be issue last game as the Cobras kicker made a comeback after a rocky debut Stevens had a NAL Player of the Week performance in the Snake Pit going 8 for 9 in point after attempts and made a game-winning deuce.
This week's game kicks off Sunday, April 30 at 3:00pm. We like to encourage all of Cobra Nation to pack the pit but if you can’t make it the game is available to watch online at carolinacobras.com or visit the National Arena League’s YouTube Channel. If you do make the game tickets are on sale now call 336-455-7232 or visit our coliseum box office. Fans with tickets can enjoy several promotions including the Cobras 55 promotion presented by Cakes by B’s Blue House Bakery. If the Cobras score 55 points or more at home, ticket holders can receive 1 free cookie by bringing their game ticket to Cakes by B’s Blue Bakery location (113 E Main St, Jamestown, NC 27282) *Offer valid for One Cookie per ticket holder and only offered for Carolina Cobras home games.
ABOUT THE CAROLINA COBRAS
The Carolina Cobras are members of the National Arena League (NAL). Founded in 2017, the Carolina Cobras are starting their sixth season in 2023 and were the 2018 National Arena League Champions. The Cobras play their home games at the Greensboro Coliseum. Cobra Season Ticket Memberships are on sale now call (336) 445-7232 or visit carolinacobras.com. Follow the Cobras on Facebook at facebook.com/carcobras, twitter.com/carcobras and instagram.com/carcobras.