Kats Knock Off Cobras 60-28
Posted May 27, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — Andy Kelly connected with Cory Fleming for three touchdown passes as the Nashville Kats defeated the Carolina Cobras 60-28 in front of 13,951 Friday night at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.
Kelly finished the night 21 of 31 for 244 yards with six touchdowns. Fleming grabbed four passes for 57 yards with three scores. Cobras (1-4) quarterback Carlos Garay finished 18 of 35 for 224 yards with four touchdown and four interceptions. Jarrick Hillery picked off two passes for Nashville (5-2).
Carolina suffered a huge blow midway through the second quarter when offensive specialist Marlon Estes ruptured his Achilles tendon and was lost for the season. Estes grabbed a team-high four passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game.
The Cobras capitalized early off a Kats fumble by Fred Brock with a 44-yard touchdown strike from Garay to Estes. The Kats countered with a quick score. Kelly connected for a 31-yard touchdown with Fleming, who came into the game fourth and second in the league in scoring and receiving yards respectively. A high snap on the point after touchdown attempt preserved the Cobras' lead at 7-6. Later in the quarter, Garay threw his first interception of the season to Hillery. The Kats drove 21yards in three plays and scored on a 5-yard pass from Kelly to Hillery, to lead 13-7 with 2:15 left in the first.
The Cobras scored early in the second quarter with a 5-yard touchdown reception by Dexter Dawson from Garay. The Kats answered with a two play, 22-yard drive capped by an 8-yard touchdown pass from Kelly to Fleming to take the lead 20-14. Garay and Estes connected for a 14-yard touchdown-the duo's second touchdown of the game--with 9:20 remaining in the quarter. Fleming scored his third touchdown of the game when he hauled in an 8-yard pass from Kelly to take a 26-21 lead with 12:47 left in the second. Dawson returned the kickoff 24 yards to the Carolina 17. Two pass completions to Cornelius White set up a 6-yard touchdown pass to Adrian Lunsford from Garay with 2:31 left in the half. Palazzo's 27-yard field goal with 18 seconds remaining gave Nashville the 29-28 halftime lead.
The Kats wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the third, as Ron Carpenter took the opening kickoff 56 yards for the touchdown. Carolina's first drive of the half ended when Kats defensive back Robert Davis intercepted a Garay pass. A 7-yard pass to James Baron with 7:10 remaining extended the Kats' lead to 43-28 midway through the third. Dawson fumbled the ensuing kickoff at the 10-yard line and Nashville scored three plays later on a diving catch by Hillery. The extra point made the score 50-28 with 4:18 seconds remaining. Garay threw his third interception of the game to Hillery on fourth down as the period expired.
Hammond scored early in the fourth quarter, recovering his own fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. He caught a pass from Kelly and White forced the fumble at the 1-yard line but Hammond was able to regain possession for the score. On Carolina's next drive Fleming intercepted a Garay pass and Palazzo added a 22-yard field goal to put Nashville ahead 60-28.
Carolina hits the road for a Southern Division rematch with the Orlando Predators on Friday, June 2, 7:30 p.m. at the Orlando Arena. The Cobras return to the Triangle on Friday, June 9, 7:30 p.m. to take on the Milwaukee Mustangs. Nathan Boudreaux, Carolina Cobras