Strong first half proves not enough to secure victory in Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE- The Jacksonville Sharks (1-3) lose to the Carolina Cobras (3-1) in an upsetting battle in Jacksonville. The series between the two teams is now tied up at 1-1.
Sharks Quarterback Adrian McPherson made his debut as a Shark, but didn’t last very long as Ryan Walker replaced him midway through the second quarter. McPherson got back into the game after halftime. McPherson was 8-of-13 for 65 yards and one interception before being taken out of the game. Walker was 5-of-12 for 26 yards and one touchdown on the night. McPherson would end up throwing 18-of-34 for 163 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
The game was interesting at first, as the Cobras got the ball and fumbled as they were about to score a touchdown. Damien Jacobs recovered the fumble and instantly gave Jacksonville momentum. Two plays later, McPherson threw it down the field and Michael Green for Carolina came down with the interception at their own one yard line. Just like the last Cobras drive, the Cobras were looking to score, as they were on the Jacksonville five yard line. Defensive Back Ken Walton for the Sharks caught an interception in the end zone and returned the ball to the Jacksonville 25 yard line.
To start the second quarter, the Sharks quickly got on the board. That lead lasted for just a few seconds as Kicker Brandon Behr kicked off to Carolina and Tyron Laughinghouse returned the kickoff for a touchdown. The missed PAT but good deuce makes the game 7-8 now with Carolina on top. Jacksonville scored their second touchdown of the night, but gave Carolina just over 20 seconds to score, and the Cobras did just that. To close the first half, the Cobras were up 17-14.
Jacksonville couldn’t start the second half strong, as they turned the ball over and allowed the Cobras to score a touchdown. Jacksonville soon found an answer, but Carolina looked to keep their lead, as the third quarter ended with a 23-21 score with the Cobras barely hanging on.
The fourth quarter is where things didn’t look good for Jacksonville, as they turned the ball over multiple times. One turnover was a fumble from Chris Gilchrist, and another turnover was a Pick Six from Toni Pulu for Carolina. The Cobras found the end zone multiple times in the fourth quarter, but the Sharks could not find the end zone at all in the fourth quarter.
This 21-55 loss is also the first time the Sharks scored less than 30 points in a game. The last time they did this was on May 2, 2015 at the Tampa Bay Storm when the Sharks scored 28 points.
For the defense, Defensive Back Seth Ellis led the team in tackles with 6.5 total tackles. Ellis also had two pass breakups. Marvin Ross had five total tackles and three pass breakups. Defensive Back Damien Jacobs left the game early, but scooped up one fumble. Ken Walton and Dallas Jackson both had one interception. Walton returned his for 18 yards and Jackson returned his interception for three yards.
Players of the Game:
QB Charles McCullum - 23-of-38 for 265 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions, and one rushing touchdown
DL Toni Pulu - 1.5 tackles, one sack, one interception returned for a touchdown
K Craig Peterson - 3-of-5 PAT, three deuces
The next Sharks game is in Maine as they take on the Maine Mammoths (1-2) in the Cross Insurance Arena at 7:00 pm (ET). The next Sharks home game is against the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks for Hawaiian 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.