Exciting start for a brand new season
GREENSBORO- The Jacksonville Sharks (1-0) defeated the Carolina Cobras (0-1) in the first week of the 2018 NAL season. This victory allows Jacksonville to clinch their first win of the 2018 season and this road victory allows Sharks to return to Jacksonville with a win under their belt and a streak to build to build on. Quarterback Patrick McCain made his Sharks debut in this game as the Sharks starting quarterback.
The first quarter of the game was a slow start, as the Cobras scored on their opening drive and the Sharks defense struggled to force a turnover. The Cobras first touchdown came from Cobras Quarterback Charles McCullum to Wide Receiver Phillip Barnett.
In the second quarter, the Sharks quickly scored a touchdown from Quarterback Patrick McCain to Wide Receiver Jamar Howard early in the second quarter to go until halftime. McCain had a successful debut as the Sharks new starting quarterback, finishing the night with three touchdowns. An onside kick from Kicker Nick Belcher gave the Cobras the ball on the Sharks half of the field. The Cobras scored a touchdown, going up on the sharks 14-7. Inside two minutes left in the half, McCain connected again with receiver Jamar Howard for a three yard touchdown, tying the game at 14. On a crucial drive on defense, the Sharks needed to stop the Cobras offense from scoring and taking the lead. With 57 seconds left in the half, McCullum lost control of the snap and Defensive Lineman Damien Jacobs came up with the recovery. Going into halftime, Belcher made a field goal that put the score at 17-14 with the Sharks on top.
Opening the third quarter, Cobras kicker Craig Peterson made a deuce, putting the Cobras within one point from tying the game. After exchanging touchdowns, Defensive Back Marvin Ross intercepted a pass, which was followed by a 41 yard touchdown pass from McCain to Jamar Howard. On the next Sharks drive McCain threw another touchdown pass, but this time it came from a 13 yard pass to fullback Derrick Ross. Ross, finished his 2018 debut with one rushing touchdown and one passing touchdown.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Sharks trail the Cobras 30-32. A rushing touchdown by fullback Derrick Ross, a failed 2-point conversion to an interception, and a deuce from Belcher, the Sharks are now up 38-32. Once the Cobras were back in striking range, McCullum threw an interception to Linebacker Charlie Hunt gave the Sharks a major advantage, being up by six points with control of the ball. A field goal from Belcher puts the Sharks up 41-32. A Cobras touchdown puts the Cobras back into the game, trailing the Sharks 38-41. After an onside point attempt, the Cobras recover the kick. Sharks Head Coach Siaha Burley, out of desperation, challenged the ruling on the field. After review, it was determined that the Cobras touched the ball at the nine yard line, which gave Jacksonville the ball with 58 seconds left. From there, the Cobras used the rest of their timeouts, and the Sharks moved forward to end the game. This victory gives the Sharks a perfect record on the season. This Sharks victory also means that the Cobras lost their first ever game in team history.
The Jacksonville Sharks host the Massachusetts Pirates next Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 7:00 pm (ET) at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena for Country Night.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The 2017 NAL Champions and ArenaBowl XXIV Champions and play all home games at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Sharks Nation Memberships for the 2018 season are now available. Shark Nation Memberships start as low as $75. To become a Shark Nation member or for more information please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter and Instagram @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.