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photos: Steve Marcotte / OsideNews
Oceanside CA- The North County Cobras kept their undefeated record intact and advance to the LCFL Championship game with a resounding win over the San Diego Thunder, 42-12, in semi-final action.
North County struck first, scoring from 9 yards as Ramell Watts powered up the middle capping a 60 yard, 7 play drive with 7:12 left in the first quarter. The Cobras forced the Thunder to punt after a short drive and the Cobras took over deep in their own territory. A botched exchange and fumble gave the ball back to the Thunder and they scored quickly on 3 yard dash by San Diego, RB Larry Gist Jr. The point after was blocked and the score was 6-7, 3:25 left in the first quarter. The Cobras answered with a 30 yard touchdown pass to Kris Jones giving the Cobras a 14-6 lead into the second quarter.
Frustration was building for the Thunder, on the sidelines, as penalties and dropped passes thwarted drives. A well thrown ball by San Diego QB, Justin Happ was dropped and would have kept a second quarter drive alive. The dropped pass prompted one of the players on the Thunder bench to say “What is it about us coming up to Oceanside? We get up here and we can’t even catch a cold.” The Cobras added to the Thunder frustration on a Garrett to Dre Alexander, 35 yard touchdown pass with 4:27 left in the half and a 21-6 lead. The Cobras were hit with an excessive celebration penalty and the kick-off gave the Thunder a short field to play on. San Diego was unable to take advantage of the field position as the Cobra defense stepped it up a notch with strong pressure on Thunder quarterback, Justin Happ. The Cobras got the ball back, moved the ball to mid-field where the drive stalled. San Diego RB, Scooter Walker was back for the Thunder but muffed the return and the Cobras recovered the ball at the Thunder three yard line. With just over a minute to play, Jerry Garrett punched it in, with the PAT the score 28-6. Things got a little strange for the ensuing kick-off. The Thunder were penalized 45 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct as the Thunder players decided to tell the referees how do to their jobs and some things about their mothers that can’t be printed here. The kick-off was from the Thunder 20 yard line which led to more confusion and eventually, the end of the first half.
The Cobras didn’t let off on San Diego. A 30 yard touchdown reception by Kris Jones had the Cobras up 35-6 with 11:04 left in the third quarter. The Thunder didn’t go away, quietly as Happ hit San Diego wide-out, Marlon Dorn for a 15 yard TD but the two point conversion failed, the Thunder trailed 35-12. The Thunder seemed to gain some momentum but penalties, turnovers and strong play by the defensive line ended the Thunder threat. The Cobras scored once more on a one yard push to the end zone by RB, Chris Colbert and the final score, 42-12.
The Cobras meet the Inglewood Blackhawks in the title game next Saturday, time to be determined. The Blackhawks wanted this rematch with the Cobras as the North County team traveled to Inglewood and beat the #1 ranked team in the country 10-9 [link].