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Cobras Fall To Kats 54-31

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NASHVILLE — Andy Kelly passed for 292 yards and four touchdowns and Nashville outscored Carolina 30-7 in the second half en route to a 54-31 win in front of 12,107 at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

The game was deadlocked at 24 at halftime but the Kats scored on all five second half possessions (4 touchdowns and a field goal) and limited the Cobras to just one score over the final two periods. Nashville improved to 8-3 with the win while Carolina fell to 1-9.

Cobras quarterback Fred McNair finished the night 19 of 28 for 196 yards and three touchdowns. Kelly, who was voted game MVP by the media, connected on 27 of 35 passes. David McLeod grabbed six passes for 43 yards and Dexter Dawson added five receptions for 73 yards and a score for Carolina. Tyronne Jones grabbed eight passes for 89 yards and a pair of scores to lead Nashville.

The Cobras took the opening kickoff and drove 21 yards on six plays and scored on a 39-yard field goal by Remy Hamilton to take an early 3-0 lead. The Kats answered with a 9-yard strike to Jones to go up 7-3 with 6:31 left in the first.

McNair added a 3-yard run but Kelly found Darryl Hammond for a 5-yard scoring play to put Nashville back on top 14-10 early in the second quarter. The Cobras regained the lead 17-14 when McNair hit Dawson on a 29-yard post pattern, but the Kats came right back with a 7-yard scoring run by Rupert Grant to go up 21-17 with 6:05 left in the half.

Carolina jumped ahead 24-21 when McNair found Cornelius White for a 33-yard play but Steve McLaughlin drilled a 42-yard field goal to tie the score at 24 heading into halftime.

The Nashville offense was potent in the third quarter, scoring on a pair of one-yard runs by Jarrick Hillery and Grant to take a 38-24 lead. The Cobras offense finally got it together to start the fourth quarter as McNair found Greg Harris for a 13-yard touchdown to close to 38-31 with 13:38 left but Kelly answered with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Hillery to put Nashville back on top by 14.

The Cobras dug themselves an even deeper hole on the ensuing kickoff as Adrian Lunsford was hit and fumbled, setting up a 17-yard touchdown grab by Jones to give the Kats a 51-31 lead with 6:49 remaining. McLaughlin added a 22-yard field goal for the final margin.

Carolina received more bad news on the injury front as lineman Carl Reeves (shoulder separation) and White (mid foot sprain) were both lost for the game. WR/DB Dell McGee also suffered a deep thigh contusion.

The Cobras return home to the Triangle next week when they play host to the Houston ThunderBears on Friday, June 30, 7:30 p.m. at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. -->