JACKSONVILLE – The (13-1) Jacksonville Sharks are riding high on a 13-game win streak and number one seed as they head into the playoffs following a record-breaking 85-30 victory over their in-state rival the Orlando Predators. This Tuesday, August 6th the Sharks will face the #4 seeded Columbus Lions (6-8) at the Veterans Memorial Arena with kickoff set for 7 p.m. The Sharks swept the Lions in their 2 matchups this season. Columbus will have to defeat a Jacksonville team that hasn’t lost since April. Is there hope for the Lions? They have defeated the top-seeded team the last 2 years to advance to the Championship game so we will see. The National Arena League has a four-team playoff bracket, this year the Jacksonville Sharks are #1, Carolina Cobras # 2, Massachusetts Pirates #3, and the Columbus Lions #4, each have earned their ticket to the Playoffs but only two can advance to the Championship!
This rivalry dates back to 2017 as the early rivalry between Columbus and Jacksonville has led to some very exciting games. Overall the Sharks are 7-2 against the Columbus Lions and are 5-0 when playing in Jacksonville. The last time these rivals met in the postseason was in the first-ever NAL championship game, where the Sharks took down the Lions in a thrilling 27-21 nail biter. Heading into this week, the Sharks are feeling confident after a seven-interception performance against the Orlando Predators (2-12) last weekend. Not only did they record seven pics, they returned three of them for touchdowns. The team set another franchise record for the most points scored in a single game with 85, besting their defeat of the New York Streets 83-51.
The Sharks offense is looking red-hot as both quarterbacks have played well this year. Fafaul and Bane have combined for 3,163 yards, 74 touchdowns, and only 17 interceptions. Wide Receiver Devin Wilson finished the season in second place for receiving yards (1,179) and receiving touchdowns (29). All season long, he has proven to be an unstoppable force and has played a major role in the Sharks high-powered offense.
Between the two teams, the Sharks lead the league in scoring offense (805) while Columbus leads the league in total offensive plays (616). The Lions lead in field goals made (6) and Jacksonville leads the league in deuces made (23). Defensively the Sharks tip the scale in almost every category. The most impressive stat line has Jacksonville leading the league in sacks (40) and interceptions (36). An odd stat has the Lions being haunted by the number 22, giving up 22 sacks and 22 interceptions over the season. Will it be a BIG day for the Sharks D-line? Be there to find out. Don’t miss a minute of the exciting action as one team punches their ticket to the Championship.
The Sharks host the Columbus Lions in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday, August 6 at 7 p.m.. For tickets please call (904) 621-0700, visit www.jaxsharks.com or www.ticketmaster.com or go to the arena box office. Both games will be streamed live on the National Arena League YouTube channel.
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 2020 season are now available and start as low as $48. 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.