Jacksonville defeats Columbus 53-48
JACKSONVILLE- The Jacksonville Sharks (9-5) defeated the Columbus Lions (8-5) with a 53-48 score, and coming back from a 20-point deficit, which is the Sharks greatest comeback in NAL history. This victory moves the Sharks to second place in the NAL and keeps the Lions at third place in the league.
Sharks Quarterback Patrick McCain played the entire duration of the game. He had a slow start, but ended up finishing the night 22-of-34 for 312 yards and seven touchdowns. McCain also rushed three times for 19 yards. Fullback Derrick Ross rushed a total of five times for six yards, and snuck the ball in the end zone on a sneaky two-point conversion. Wide Receiver Larry Brackins made his debut as a Shark and recorded six receptions for 73 yards and one touchdown. Trevor Kennedy played his first home game for the Sharks and racked up five receptions for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Tom Gilson also had an incredible game with five catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns. Cody Saul caught the ball four times for 55 yards and one touchdown. All Sharks receivers who caught the ball averaged at least 10 yards per reception.
For the defense, Defensive Back Seth Ellis finished the night with 7.5 tackles. Jermiah Price racked up two sacks and one interception. Silverberry Mouhon and Damien Jacobs shared a sack with each other. Mouhon and Jacobs’ sack was the game-securing sack, as it set up the Lions for fourth and long, making it nearly impossible to reach the first down.
The Lions instantly caught a huge lead over the Sharks as Lions Kicker Tyler Rausa made a 23-yard field goal, then forced Jacksonville to stay in the end zone on the next kickoff to give the Lions one point. The score at this point is 0-4 with the Sharks scrambling for answers. A Lions touchdown made things 11-0 in the Lions favor before the Sharks could put anything on the board. The first Sharks’ points was from a 30-yard touchdown pass from McCain to Saul. A Lions touchdown ended the first quarter with a 7-20 score with the Sharks behind. After exchanging two touchdowns, the Lions put up a deuce to put the Lions lead at 18 points. A Sharks mistake shortly before halftime proved to be costly, as the score was 21-39 at halftime, sending the Sharks in a panic.
The Sharks got the ball first in the second half and immediately took advantage of it, scoring two touchdowns and leaving the Lions with just a deuce in the third quarter. To start the fourth quarter, the Sharks were closing the gap, but still needed to do some work, as they trailed the Lions 33-41. The game seemed to be over, as it was a back and forth game, but the Sharks took advantage of turnovers and sacks. The Sharks offense and defense both synced with each other and scored on the Lions defense and allowing the Lions to no points in the fourth quarter, and two points in the second half alone.
The next Sharks game will be on Saturday, July 28 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena versus the number one Massachusetts Pirates at 7:00 pm (E.T.) for 80’s Night/Fan Appreciation 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.