Massachusetts Pirates (0-1) at Carolina Cobras (1-0)
The Massachusetts Pirates take to the road for the first time this season when they face the defending National Arena League champion Carolina Cobras in Greensboro for the second and final time in the regular season.
Last week the Cobras defeated the Pirates 54 -22 in Worcester in the season opener for both teams. Pirates fans can view this game on the NAL Youtube site.
The Cobras led the season series one game to none and enjoy a three games to one advantage over the Pirates all-time.
Pirates first year Head Coach Anthony Payton is now 0-1 in his career.
Cobras Head Coach Billy Back is 3-1 lifetime against Massachusetts.
Greensboro is Blue for the Pirates:
This will be the Pirates third trip to Greensboro to play the Cobras. Carolina has won the two previous meetings in the Coliseum. (4/21/18 – 55-47 and 5/19/18 – 72-65)
The Last Meeting: (Arpil 13, 2019, DCU Center, Worcester, MA)
The Cobras shut out the Pirates for two quarters last weekend in their 54-22 victory. In fact, the Carolina defense did not allow the Pirates a point over a span of 41:02. The 22 points scored by the Pirates was a franchise low. The previous low was 36 points in last season’s NAL playoff loss on August 11 to the Columbus Lions (50-36).
The Pirates 7-6 lead in the first quarter was shorted lived. With the score 20 to 14 Carolina, the game turned when Cobras defensive pack intercepted Pirates quarterback Sean Brackett as Massachusetts was looking to score. The Cobras earned a 27-14 halftime lead and never looked back. Cobras QB Charles McCullum was 23 of 35 for 248 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. Wide receiver Jordan Jolly had nine receptions for 109 yards and three scores while WR Fabian Guerra pulled in six passes for 84 yards and a pair of TD’s For the Pirates, Sean Brackett finished 13 of 27 passing for 138 yards and two scores, both going to Mardy Gilyard. Gilyard ended with three receptions for 54 yards and the two TD’s. Rookie wide out Thomas Owens had nine receptions for 67 yards.
For just the second time in team history the Pirates have lost two games in a row dating back to last seasons’ playoff loss to Columbus. The last time the Pirates dropped two straight was on May 19 of last season, a 72-65 setback at Carolina and then a 47-42 loss to Jacksonville at the DCU Center. After the second loss, the Pirates went on a three game winning streak while taking five of its next six games.
Carolina has now won its last five games, winning its final two regular season games, a pair in the playoffs and now its opening game of 2019. The Cobras have also won their last four games at home.
On the Bright Side:
This past weekend’s game vs. Carolina did see a record setting performance by the Pirates Mardy Gilyard. Gilyard set two franchise records with three kickoff returns for a total of 102 yards, the most in a single game by a Pirate. He broke the previous record held by Bones Bagaunte of four returns for 89 yards vs. Columbus on 6/16/2018. His 48 yard return in the third quarter was also the longest in team history.
Next week the Pirates return home to the DCU Center to face the expansion Orlando Predators. Game time is set for 7:00pm.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email contact@masspiratesfootball.