Despite an effortful second half comeback in Jacksonville, the Predators fell short to the Sharks on Saturday night.
The Predators (3-4) fell to the Sharks (4-4) 45-34 in the first of three games against the Sharks this season. The Predators, who were riding high after a two game win streak, look to come back next week refreshed and ready to display what they know they can to the fans.
“This is not the Orlando Predators that the fans have been seeing,” running back Desmond Maxwell said. “We’ve got some work to do.”
Despite the team’s loss, Higgins said he is proud of the effort his team displayed in the second half, and he hopes they are able to use that through the rest of the season.
“I’m really proud of them and the fight they put up by staying together in all three phases,” Higgins said. “That’s why we were in the game and had a chance to win at the end.”
The game started slow in the first half for the Predators, as they scored just six points compared to the Sharks 32. Head coach Jeff Higgins said the team’s struggles early in every aspect of the game is what kept the team from walking out of Jacksonville with a win.
“They gave us all the had in the first half,” Higgins said. “A lot of things that could have gone wrong, all went wrong in the first half. But in the second half, we stayed together as a team and that’s the key to this game.
In the team’s second half comeback attempt, the Predators defense allowed just 13 points. The defense was led by defensive back Dalvon Randall, who brought in two interceptions for the team. Randall is now tied for the most interceptions in the NAL with six.
“The first half we started out slow but during halftime, we regrouped after we didn’t get any stops,” Randall said. “In the second half, we came out and played the Orlando Predators’ defense that we knew how to play.”
On the offensive side of the ball, wide receiver Clarence Williams continued to shine, racking up 10 catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday night. Williams has emerged as a top-five receiver in the NAL totaling 417 yards and 11 touchdowns so far this season.
After taking the loss to Jacksonville, the Predators look to regroup at home against the San Antonio Gunslingers (1-5) who defeated the Albany Empire (4-3) for their first win of the season. Lineman De’Quan Murray said that San Antonio is a different team compared to what they’ve played the previous two times this season.
“They’ve got their ears pent back,” Murray said. “They took a couple losses early in the season but you can’t count nobody out in this game of arena football. That’s just what it is.”