05/08/2019 2:36 PM -
JACKSONVILLE - The Jacksonville Sharks (2-1) play host to the defending NAL Champion Carolina Cobras (3-0) on Saturday, May 11th at 7pm. It's gonna be a battle for 1st place as the Champions from the last two years clash during our First responders night. In addition to being two of the best teams in the NAL both teams have two of the best coaches in the league. Sharks coach Burley and Cobras coach Back both have wins, titles and awards under their belts but they also share that fact that both were former players. Burley a former AFL All-Arena Wide Receiver and Back also a former Wide Receiver who played in multiple arena leagues. Saturday's match up will not only come down to the battle on the field but also the battle of the minds as these experienced coaches to try out maneuver and out think each other to help their team get the win.
The Sharks are on a 2 game win streak after beating both Columbus and Massachusetts on the road. The Cobras on the other hand have won all 3 of their games including last week against the previously undefeated NY Streets. Currently both teams lead the league in different offensive categories. The Sharks top the Cobras in total offense, averaging 245 yards per game compared to the Cobras 221 and touchdowns 20 to 19. The Sharks also have the edge in rushing yards. Jonathan Bane is making some noise in the MVP race, showing he is willing to do whatever it takes to score points. He leads the league in TD's with 15 passing and 2 rushing. He's also leading the league in completions with 64 (averaging over 21 per game) As a result the Sharks have three of their receivers in the NAL's top 10 for receiving TD's. On the defensive side of the ball the Cobras lead the league in turnovers with 12 in only three games (Sharks are 2nd with 8). The Cobras stingy secondary looks to take advantage of any QB mistakes and will consistently keep pressure on the offense. This game might come down to who can control 3rd and 4th downs. That would be in the Sharks favor as they are allowing the fewest 3rd down conversions, shutting teams down 88% of the time and 55% on 4th downs. If the Sharks can continue that kind of play it could help them get the win.
The fans will see a great match up Saturday as the two best defenses in the NAL face off. One notable returning player for the Sharks is defensive back Seth Ellis. Since his return he has totaled 14 tackles, 5 pass break up and 2 interceptions. Another key factor for the Sharks will be their defensive line, it's currently 1st in sacks with 9 (the Cobras are 3rd with 7). One of the new names upfront is Nick Woodman, who currently leads the team and the league with 3.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss.
This Saturday's game will kick off at 7pm, for those watching at home the game will be broadcast on YouTube live on the National Arena Leagues YouTube channel. A link to the stream will be posted on the Sharks social media pages prior to kickoff. It's Fortnite and First responders night, tickets are on sale now and start at just $10. All First responders receive a Buy One Get One ticket free deal. For tickets call 904-621-0700 or visit jaxsharks.com