Jacksonville earns fourth straight victory
WORCESTER- The Jacksonville Sharks (5-3) defeated the number three team in the league, the Massachusetts Pirates (5-3). The game was a close nail-biter until the end when Jacksonville came up with the win to increase their win streak to four in a row. The Sharks stay in fourth place because the Pirates beat the Sharks by seven points in the first game and the Sharks beat the Pirates by five points this time, which puts us two points behind Massachusetts in the series while it’s tied up at 1-1. This Sharks victory also ended the Pirates active home game win streak of three home victories in a row.
Sharks Wide Receiver Antonio Vaughan returned to the field after missing a few weeks to a Turf Toe injury. In the first half, he caught three of the Sharks four touchdowns. For the entire game, he totaled seven receptions for 79 yards and four touchdowns. A receiver can’t do his job is there is no quarterback, which is why Adrian McPherson is on the field and dominating. He had his best performance yet as a Shark, going 21-of-33 (63.64%) for 246 yards, seven touchdowns, and two interceptions. McPherson also had the game-securing rush to put triple zero’s on the clock. He rushed one time for one yard to end the game. Wide Receiver Tom Gilson also stole the show tonight as he racked up 90 yards on five catches for two touchdowns. Offensive Lineman/Tight End Glenn Haisley made a huge impact on the game, as he was targeted three times, but only making one catch for a 25 yard touchdown. Cody Saul also had two receptions for eight yards. The Boss, Derrick Ross, rushed eight times for 17 yards, had one catch for nine yards, and helped the Sharks win in their last drive to end the game.
To start the game, the Pirates scored on a one-play drive from Quarterback Sean Brackett to Wide Receiver Mardy Gilyard for a 32 yard touchdown, followed by a deuce by Kicker Ali Mourtada. Jacksonville couldn’t get the job done on their opening drive, as McPherson threw an interception. Jacksonville recovered a fumble in the end zone to give Jacksonville the ball at their own five yard line. Later on, the Sharks finally scored to make things 7-9. From there, it was all back and forth after each team turned the ball over. The first quarter ended a 7-9 with the Sharks trailing the Pirates. The Sharks and Pirates would fight until the end of the half, as constant scoring kept changing who had the lead. Touchdowns from Gilson and Vaughan helped the Sharks out a lot, as they kept the score a close 27-30 at halftime with the Sharks down by three but getting the ball first after halftime.
The second half was the most interesting, as both teams had clutch plays. The Pirates had a 20 yard Pick-Six, and the Sharks had multiple turnover on downs and a fumble recovery. The Sharks found many ways to get their receivers open all night, and so did the Pirates. McPherson played his best football in the second half, and so did the Sharks defense. The defensive line got things started for themselves when Jermiah Price came up with a huge sack. To help conclude the game, Brandon Roe, who was playing Jack Linebacker, tipped a pass on 3rd and 18 deep in the Pirates territory to send it to fourth down. The next play, Brackett got wrapped up by Defensive Lineman Keith Bowers, but Brackett threw it away before going down. Before the game ended, Derrick Ross and Adrian McPherson shared the ball with each other to wind the clock down with less than a minute to go. The Sharks ultimately won 47-42 in a close game.
The next Sharks game is in Jacksonville, Florida as we take on the Columbus Lions on June 2, 2018 at 7:00 pm (ET) for Teacher/Superhero Appreciation 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.