GREENSBORO, NC - The Jacksonville Sharks completed a tough two-week road trip between the Albany Empire last week and tonight against the Carolina Cobras in North Carolina. The Sharks (1-4) entered the game as a heavy underdog against the #1 ranked team in the NAL, the (5-0) Carolina Cobras. However, the Sharks did not let the past affect them in the Snake Pit as they got on the scoreboard immediately, with new quarterback Arvell Nelson scoring on his first play as a Shark. with a screen pass to WR/DB Miles Kelly how made a great move to go in for the touchdown to open the game.
During the first quarter, both teams exchanged offensive blows as the Cobras struck back when star wideout Kendricks Ings snagged a touchdown from Cobra QB Jonathan Bane followed by a Cobras deuce by kicker TC Stevens. Sharks star wide receiver Devin Wilson answered back with his first score of the night bringing the score to 14-9. From there the blows from this heavyweight fight continued, a desperate Cobras offense punched in a rushing touchdown to avoid the four and out while the Sharks delivered their first rushing touchdown of the night on their next drive from FB/LB Anthony Johnson. It looked like the team that made the 1st stop might just win..
Both teams scored again on back-to-back drives, with Devin Wilson, scoring his second TD of the night the Bane responded with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Ings to bring the score to 30–28. New Sharks quarterback Arvell Nelson showed no rust driving the Sharks down the field and DL/FB Chei Hill finished the drive with a rushing touchdown to put the Sharks up 35-30. Sharks kicker Cody Barber added a deuce before the end of the half, his first of the season giving the Sharks the 37-30 lead. Barber would finish going 7 of 8 on extra points with 2 Deuces. With under 30-seconds left the Cobras managed to punch in a rushing touchdown by FB/LB Zack Brown but failed to convert the two-point conversion giving Jacksonville the lead at halftime.
Red hot Sharks kicker Cody Barber re-entered the game to kick another deuce to start the second half and pinned the Cobras back on the 5 for their first drive of the second half and giving the Sharks a 39-36 lead. The Sharks defense stepped up to stop the Cobras forcing a missed field goal attempt by Cobras kicker TC Stevens. The Sharks stopped the Cobras again this time on a turnover on downs. The Sharks Arville Nelson threw a touchdown pass to Devin Wilson to put the Sharks up 46-36. The Cobras countered with another touchdown to Kendrick Ings and in this back and forth battle the Sharks struck back with a quarterback sneak as Nelson gave the Sharks a 10-point lead 53-43.
The Sharks defense forced the Cobras to another 4th & 4 near the endzone but the Cobras slithered out by getting the ball into Lance Evans’ hands for his second score. On the next drive Jacksonville found themselves in a similar fourth and short but a great play call by coach Burey resulted in a Nelson to WR/DB Murray game-saving touchdown, making the score 69-50. In a last-ditch effort to save their streak the Cobras launched ball after ball down field but would only get one more score. The Sharks ended the Cobras win streak with a 59-56 win on the road in North Carolina.
In his first game with the Sharks AFL veteran quarterback Arville Nelson led the them to victory with less than a week with the team. Nelson had 18 passes for 243 yards, five passing touchdowns, and one rushing touchdown. His top target on the night was receiver Devin Wilson who had three receiving touchdowns. Defensively it was a real battle to try to slow down the undefeated Cobras but Jacksonville did it with three turnovers on downs tonight. FB/Linebacker Anthony Johnson had a sack along with three tackles while DL/FB Chei Hill ended the night with a sack and four tackles.
Jacksonville now returns home to face the San Antonio Gunslingers (0-4) Friday, June 3rd as its Pirates and Princess night. The first 1000 fans will receive a FREE Sharks bandana. Tickets are on sale now visit jaxsharks.com or call 904-621-0700 ext 717
About the Jacksonville Sharks The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The 2019 & 2017 NAL Champions and ArenaBowl XXIV Champions play all their home games at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena. Sharks Nation Memberships for the 2022 season are now available. 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.