Local News

Cobras Can Win Eastern Division With Victory Over Toronto

Posted July 17, 2001 7:41 a.m. EDT

— The Carolina Cobras can clinch the Arena Football League's Eastern Division championship and host a first-round playoff game with a victory over the Toronto Phantoms on Friday, July 20. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.

Carolina is currently tied with Toronto and New York for the Eastern Division lead with a 7-6 overall record. A win would give the Cobras an 8-6 mark and clinch the division title, setting up a first-round home playoff game on the weekend on July 27-29. Regardless of the outcome of New York's game against Florida on Saturday, the division championship will be decided in Raleigh on Friday night.

Based on the Arena Football League's new tiebreaker procedure, tiebreakers to determine a division winner are: record in head-to-head match-ups (Cobras split with New York, while Toronto swept the season series from the Dragons), and then record within the division (Toronto currently holds a 6-1 division record, Carolina a 5-2 division mark and New York a 4-4 division record). Regardless of the outcome of the Cobras/Phantoms game on Friday (one team will be 8-6), even with a win at Florida, New York cannot win the division championship.

The Cobras (7-6) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 66-28 win over the Los Angeles Avengers last Friday. Toronto is one of the hottest team in the AFL and has won four straight, including a 62-56 win over the Cobras at Air Canada Centre on June 30.

Twelve of the AFL's 19 teams qualify for the post-season with the top four teams (based on overall record) receiving an opening round bye. Carolina has not officially qualified for the post-season, but if the playoffs were to start today, the Cobras would be the No. 10 seed. If Carolina loses on Friday, the Cobras would need two of the following 6-7 teams to lose in order to make the post-season: Buffalo (hosts Grand Rapids on Friday), Chicago (hosts Orlando on Saturday), Florida (hosts New York on Saturday) or Detroit (hosts Indiana on Sunday).

Individual tickets for Friday's season-finale against Toronto may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 919-834-400. For more information, log on to www.cobrasfootball.com, or call 1-877-4-COBRAS.