Matt George kicked a 19-yard field goal to send the game into overtime as time expired in regulation and Charles Davidson hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass from Tim Carey to give New England a 58-51 lead with 11:48 left in the extra period. Arena Football League overtime rules allow each time one possession before the game goes into sudden death. The Sea Wolves put the game away on the Cobras' overtime possession as Fred McNair's pass intended for Dexter Dawson deflected off Dawson's hands and into the arms of Anthony Derricks. Derricks raced 34-yards untouched down the left sideline for the final score.
The Cobras (1-8) had a chance to put the game away late in the fourth quarter. Leading 51-48 with 35 seconds left, Remy Hamilton missed a 23-yard field goal attempt, which gave the Sea Wolves (6-4) possession. Carey connected with Kerry Brown for a key 33-yard completion on third down to set up the tying field goal.
Cobras quarterback Fred McNair completed his first 12 passes and finished the night 28 of 34 for 306 yards and six scores. Carey completed 26 of 35 passes for 392 yards and six touchdowns to lead New England. Alan Campos rushed for 41 yards and Dawson caught nine passes for 115 yards and two scores for Carolina. Brown grabbed a game-high 10 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown for the Sea Wolves.
The Sea Wolves opened the scoring early in the first quarter when Carey hooked up with Davidson for a 29-yard touchdown strike on a hitch and go down the right sideline for a 7-0 lead. The Cobras offense stalled on their first possession after a false start penalty and a sack, and had to settle for a 29-yard field goal by Hamilton to close to 7-3 with 8:23 left in the first.
The Cobras defense came up with a key stop on the Sea Wolves next possession. Lineman Jerry Sharp got a hand on a 41-yard field goal attempt by Matt George and Dexter Dawson returned the block to the Carolina 21, but a Randy Neal fumble gave the ball back to New England. The Sea Wolves took advantage of the Cobras' turnover and scored on a 2-yard touchdown run by Anthony DiCosmo to go up 13-3 early in the second.
McNair answered with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Dell McGee to close to 13-10 but Pierre Hixon grabbed a 9-yard slant pass for a score to give New England a 19-10 advantage with 6:58 left in the second. The Cobras retaliated with a 2-yard slant pass to Manny Pina to narrow the margin to 19-16 with 2:01 left in the second, but Brown grabbed a 25-yard touchdown pass from Carey to extend the New England lead to 26-16 at the break.
The Cobras opened the second half with a 2-yard run by McNair to pull to 26-23. Cobras wide receiver/defensive back David McLeod made a huge play on the Sea Wolves' next possession, intercepting Carey in the end zone. The turnover set up a 4-play, 45-yard scoring drive, capped by a 23-yard strike from McNair to Dawson to give the Cobras their first lead of the game at 30-26 with 8:34 left in the third.
Derricks, who returned an AFL record four kickoffs for scores last week at San Jose, returned the ensuing kickoff 56-yards for a touchdown but the play was called back when New England was whistled for two illegal blocks. The Carolina defense held and forced a long field goal attempt, giving the Cobras' possession on their own four. McNair engineered a 5-play, 46-yard drive, capped by a diving catch by Dawson in the left corner of the end zone to give Carolina an 11-point advantage, but that lead was short lived as DiCosmo hauled in a 42-yard strike to pull New England to 37-34.
The Cobras answered right back with a McNair to McLeod 24-yard touchdown pass to go up 44-34 but New England would not go away as Carey eluded the rush, scrambled to his right and found Davidson for a 32-yard touchdown to close to 44-41 midway through the fourth quarter.
Jason Nichols extended the Carolina lead to 51-41 after he hauled in a 2-yard pass from McNair, but the Sea Wolves scored 10-straight points in the final five minutes to send the game into overtime.
The Cobras continue a two-game road swing with a visit to Nashville, Tenn. next week to challenge the Kats on Friday, June 23, 8:30 p.m. (ET) at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. Carolina returns home to the Triangle on Friday, June 30, 7:30 p.m. to take on the Houston ThunderBears at the ESA. - COBRAS --->
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