06/02/2018 8:49 PM
JACKSONVILLE- The Jacksonville Sharks (6-3) took down the Columbus Lions (4-2) in a back and forth second-half battle with a score of 67-65. This is the second time Jacksonville has faced the Lions this season. This game ties the series between the two at 1-1. The last time the Lions were in the Shark Tank was the NAL Championship Game, where the Sharks won in another nail-biter 27-21.
Sharks Quarterback Adrian McPherson had his best game as a Shark tonight, and is rapidly improving. His 26-of-37 for 327 yards, eight touchdowns, and one interception performance helped the Sharks take the lead multiple times this game. Leading receiver, Antonio Vaughan had a 100-yard performance with eight receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns. McPherson used his targets wisely, as Chris Gilchrist finished the night with 90 yards and three touchdowns, Cody Saul had 55 receiving yards with one touchdown, and Tom Gilson had a game that helped the team out tremendously by having four receptions for 68 yards and two touchdowns.
The Lions looked strong early in the game, as they forced the lead and kept the lead all first quarter. Wide Receivers Durron Neal and Jarmon Fortson both made incredible touchdown catches to help the Lions have the lead. Lions Fullback Quayvon Hicks helped keep the lead for the Lions as well. The Sharks were looking to hang on, but couldn’t quite keep the lead, as Antonio Vaughan reeled in a touchdown pass, and Fullback Derrick Ross rushed for a touchdown. The first quarter ended with a 14-20 score with Jacksonville trailing. Challenges and timeouts killed Jacksonville in the second half, as Columbus won on two challenges in the second quarter. Jacksonville was forced to use an unwanted timeout as the play clock was winding down. Jacksonville still hung on and took the lead and exchanged touchdowns with Columbus. In the final minute of the half, the Lions were down 32-35, but that didn’t stop the Lions from finishing the half strong, as they took a 38-35 lead going into halftime.
The second half is where the game got closer and closer and these two teams kept scoring on multiple drives to change the leader. The Sharks kicked off the second half very strong, throwing a touchdown pass in the first 40 seconds of the half. Lions Fullback Quayvon Hicks rushed for multiple touchdowns on the night and found ways to make plays and get many yards on the night. He rushed for one touchdown in the third quarter, but had many more yards in the quarter. The final quarter was looking like it was one of those games where the last team to have the ball wins, and it actually happened. Gilchrist, for the Sharks, caught all three of his touchdowns just in the fourth quarter. When it came down to the wire, the Lions were set to kick a 21-yard field goal while being down 67-65 to win as time expired. Kicker Lindsey Wolfe hit the goalpost to give Jacksonville the ball with two seconds left. From there, the Sharks rushed the ball for a yard to finish the game.
The next Sharks game is in Greensboro, North Carolina as the Sharks take on the Carolina Cobras on June 9, 2018 at 7:00 pm (ET).
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.