Pirates Look to Remain Perfect at Home

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The Massachusetts Pirates hit the midway point of the season on Saturday night as the Jacksonville Sharks, the defending champion in the National Arena League, makes its first ever trip to the DCU Center in Worcester for a showdown at 7pm.

Thus far the Pirates have been undefeated on their home turf in three tries this season while posting a 5 -2 overall record. That mark gives them the second best winning percentage in the league (.714).

The Sharks will get their first look at Massachusetts Wide Receiver Mardy Gilyard who since arriving in week four has caught 32 passes for 279 yards and eight touchdowns plus another score rushing. Gilyard, along with Devonn Brown and Lavon Pearson have been productive for quarterback Sean Brackett. The trio has accounted for catching 26 of his 29 touchdown passes this season.

Despite losing on the road last week in Carolina the defense accounted for a season high five interceptions, giving the Pirates a total of 14 on the year.

The Sharks have turned their season around after the arrival of quarterback Adrian McPherson in week four. Jacksonville is riding a three game winning streak after halting a three game slide.  McPherson was not on the roster when the Pirates traveled to Jacksonville in week two, picking up their first road victory in franchise history, a 63-56 win over the Sharks. That game was not decided until the final seconds when Brackett went deep to Brown 26 yards for what proved to be the winning score with eight seconds remaining. A two-point conversion try was no good, leaving Massachusetts with a 57-56 lead.

     On the final drive the Sharks could not move the ball past their own 15 yard line. With six seconds left, kicker Nicholas Belcher tried a 50 yard field goal for the win but Bill Vavau blocked the kick which was recovered by Toby Jackson who returned it five yards for a touchdown as the final horn sounded.


WEEK 8 MATCHUP

 

 SHARKS (4-3) AT PIRATES (5-2)

Saturday, May 26 at 7 p.m. ET - DCU Center, Worcester, MA

 

SHARKS

PIRATES

REG. SEASON SERIES LEADER

PIRATES lead 1-0

STREAKS

W3

L1

LAST WEEK

W 46-25 vs Maine

L 72-65 @ Carolina

LAST REG. SEASON MEETING

4/14/18 Pirates 63 vs Sharks 56

TOTAL OFFENSE  

219 YPG

279 YPG

TOTAL DEFENSE

192 YPG

180 YPG

POINTS SCORED – AVG. (RANK)

297 – 42.4 (4)

386 – 55.1 (2)

POINTS ALLOWED – AVG. (RANK)

280 – 40.0 (3)

311 – 44.4 (4)

TURNOVER MARGIN

- 2

+ 4

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

PIRATES:  QB Sean Brackett has been under center in six games completing 111 of 184 passes (60.3%) for 1.821 yards with 29 TD’s and 10 interceptions. Wide Receiver Lavon Pearson has 34 receptions for 427 yards and nine scores while WR Devonn Brown leads the Pirates with 587 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns on 29 catches. Dashawn Johnson leads the rushing attack with 17 carries for 33 yards and five scores. Defensively Kiante Northington and John Hardy-Tuliau each have six interceptions. Northington leads the team with 32 tackles and nine passes broken up while Hardy-Tuliau has 29 stops and 6 PBU’s. Linebacker Pasquale Vacchio is third on the team with 24 tackles and he also has two interceptions.

 

SHARKS: In four games at quarterback Adrian McPherson is 57 of 102 (55.9%) for 652 yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions.  The Sharks leading receiver is Chris Gilchrist with 32 receptions for 365 yards and five TD’s. Fullback Derrick Ross is the workhorse carrying the ball 53 times for 170 yards and 11 scores while catching 10 balls for 52 yards and another score. DL Jeremiah Price leads the team with 9.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for a loss. Defensive Back Marvin Ross is the Sharks leading tackler with 28 stops while breaking up 6 passes.

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. Pirate Nation Season Ticket Memberships for the 2018 season are now available. Pirate Nation Memberships start as low as $60.00. To become a Pirate Nation Season Ticket member or for more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email contact@masspiratesfootball.com or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For group outings please call Kara Mancini at 508-929-0125 or email kmancini@dcucenter.com. Follow the Pirates on facebook at facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.

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