Jacksonville Sharks Improve to 5-5
JACKSONVILLE, FL- It was another great night in the Shark Tank as the Sharks took down their in-state rival the Orlando Predators with over 6,500 filling the tank tonight for this great NAL matchup.
The Sharks defense came out strong in what was a slow start with the Sharks shutting down Orlando early with back to back turnover on downs. However, the Sharks failed to score on their first drive. Late in the first, the Predators were the first to put points on the board with a touchdown reception from Orlando’s receiver Lonnie Outlaw. Offensively, the Sharks struggled to get things going ending the first quarter scoreless. Jacksonville’s well-needed spark came from defensive back Clifton Duck who gained a fumble recovery to give the Sharks offense the ball back with good field position. Coach Burley’s offense capitalized with a rushing touchdown by FB/LB Anthony Johnson to tie the game 7-7 in the second quarter.
From there, it was a back and forth battle as both teams exchanged scoring drives with Orlando scoring on a receiving touchdown by Larry Beavers, while Jacksonville’s Arvell Nelson threw a touchdown pass to receiver Nyqwan Murray to keep the score tied but a botched onside kick caused the Predator’s to recover the ball for a run-in touchdown giving Orlando the 21-14 lead with less than a minute left in the half. Right before time expired, the Sharks stunned the crowd with a diving touchdown catch by receiver Milton Williams for a Sharks score but a missed extra point by Cody Barber would send the Sharks into the locker room down by one.
Entering the third quarter, the Predators held on to a thin lead 21-20. After a great stop by the Sharks defense, quarterback Arvell Nelson tossed a pass to receiver Nyqwan Murray who reached across the endzone to give the Sharks the lead. Instead of the kick, FB/LB Anthony Johnson punched in the two-point conversion to give the Sharks a 28-21 lead. Jacksonville’s defense remained hot in the second half shutting down the Predators on the next drive that included back to back sacks by FB/LB Anthony Johnson to add to his MVP-like night. The 3rd down stop forced a field goal attempt that was missed by Orlando’s kicker Daniel Justino.
With the ball back in Jacksonville’s hand, Burley put the pressure on his quarterback to extend the lead. Nelson, the arena football veteran, did not disappoint, throwing his third touchdown of the night to receiver Nyqwan Murray. Kicker Cody Barber added the extra point to put the Sharks up 35-21. Desperate to stay in the game, Orlando’s quarterback Rakeem Cato launched a bomb to the endzone that was caught, but by a Shark! Defensive Back Clifton Duck stole the Predators touchdown attempt for his first interception of the night. With a little help from his offensive line the Sharks ran a QB sneak to score their next touchdown extending the lead 42-21 in front of the roaring Jacksonville crowd.
The Preds fought back in the fourth with an earlier rushing touchdown by WR/DB Clarence Williams. However, Jacksonville would not let hope rise for Orlando as FB/LB/DL Chei Hill punched in the Sharks third rushing touchdown of the night raising the score 48-28. Jacksonville sealed the win tonight on an Arvell Nelson pass to Nyqwan Murray for the final touchdown of the night while the final nail in the coffin came from kickoff as kicker Cody Barber kicked a deuce and finished the night 3/5 in extra points.
The Sharks advance to 5-5 this weekend and will face the Predators next Friday, July 1 with kickoff set for 7pm at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL. The victory couldn’t be achieved without some major playmakers. Sharks quarterback Arvell Nelson continues to be undefeated in the Shark Tank tonight with 26 completions for 261 yards and five touchdowns with zero interceptions. His number one target was receiver Nyqwan Murray, who caught 10 passes for 115 yards and four touchdowns. On defense, defensive back Clifton Duck had a huge game gaining three tackles, two pass breakups, and one interception. The ironman of the night came from FB/LB Anthony Johnson who had five tackles, two sacks, a rushing touchdown and a two-point conversion.
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.