Jacksonville heads to Carolina for the first round of playoffs
JACKSONVILLE- The Jacksonville Sharks (10-6) had a long journey to Portland, Maine to take on the Maine Mammoths (7-8). The Sharks looked to sweep the Mammoths in the final regular season game, but the Mammoths had other plans, defeating the Sharks 43-36.
To open the game, the Sharks received the ball, but couldn’t get things going until their third drive of the game. This slow start gave the Mammoths enough momentum to control the first quarter, which translated to controlling the first half. The Mammoths scored 13 points before the Sharks were on the board. The Jacksonville defense stepped it up big time, forcing a safety on the Mammoths, which gave the Sharks an extra two points and a chance to score a touchdown, which they did. The Sharks defense did their job by intercepting a pass, but the offense was unable to take advantage of the interception, missing a 60-yard field goal. The Sharks started to fall apart as a team again, allowing a Maine touchdown and allowing a Pick-Six for the Mammoths. Wide Receiver Tom Gilson found the end zone from 13 yards out to close the Mammoths lead with a 22-27 deficit. The Sharks offense couldn’t take advantage of another interception from the Jacksonville defense, as they attempted another field goal and missed again. The first half would end with a 22-27 score with the Sharks trailing.
Both teams were really slow to start the third quarter, as nobody could find the end zone for nearly the entire quarter. The only points that were scored in the third quarter was a touchdown pass from Mammoths Quarterback Jonathan Bane to Wide Receiver Devin Wilson from five yards out. Just like the second quarter, the Sharks scored on the opening play of the fourth quarter from a Derrick Ross rush for two yards. A Mammoths score and Sharks interception set up the Mammoths for another touchdown. The Sharks defense bent, but did not break, as they only allowed three points to be put up on the board for the Mammoths. When the Sharks had their backs against the wall and had nothing else to lose in this game, Bane fumbled the snap and Defensive Lineman Damien Jacobs recovered the fumble to give the Sharks control of the ball again. The Sharks would quickly score, as they knew they had just over a minute to score 14 points. They got seven to put the game at 36-43 but failed to recover the onside kick. The game was not over at that point yet because Dallas Jackson ended up being a clutch defensive back and intercepted the ball in the end zone. Unfortunately for the Sharks, McCain threw another interception to give the Mammoths the ball with no time left.
The next Sharks game will be on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, at the Greensboro Coliseum as the Sharks travel to Greensboro, North Carolina to take on the number two Carolina Cobras (10-5) in the first round of the playoffs.
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 2019 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.