Bo Kelly ran for a 24-yard touchdown to give the Cobras a 63-53 lead with 49 seconds left but Terrence Davis caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Robert Hall and Houston recovered the ensuing onside kick to give the ThunderBears a chance, trailing 63-59 with nine seconds left.
After an 18-yard completion to Ben Bronson moved the ball to the Houston 21-yard line, Hall's desperation toss off the net bounced off the outstretched hands of ThunderBears' backup quarterback Mike Hold. Hold entered the game on the T-Bears final series after WR/DB Damon Bowers was ejected after altercation with a fan. Houston was without another wide receiver and had to use Hold for the final two plays.
Carolina (2-9) matched the high-powered Houston offense score for score through three and a half quarters, taking their final lead when Fred McNair connected with Dexter Dawson for a nine-yard touchdown.
McNair finished 23 of 36 for 235 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. He also ran once for a 1-yard score. Dawson caught 11 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Hall completed 33 of 45 passes for 348 yards and six touchdowns to lead Houston (3-8). Bronson caught 17 passes for 167 yards and three scores.
The win broke Carolina's eight-game losing streak.
The Cobras head west to take on the Arizona Rattlers next Saturday, July 8 at America West Arena in Phoenix. The game will be televised locally on WKTV-TV (Channel 40). Kick off is set for 10 p.m. (ET). Carolina returns to the ESA for the final two games of their inaugural season, July 14 against New Jersey and July 21 Tampa Bay. Kick off for both games will be at 7:30 p.m. -COBRAS--->