03/18/2011 10:57 PM -
The Jacksonville Sharks and the Georgia Force clashed on Friday night at Sea Best Field, with each team looking to gain its first win of the season, but the Sharks prevailed and defended their nearly perfect home record. The 2011 home opener began with everything going the Sharks way. The Sharks defense opened up with a huge stop on fourth down, which was quickly followed by the third field goal of the season by Marco Capozolli. A Micheaux Robinson interception on the next defensive series kept the momentum going Jacksonvilles way. The Jacksonville offense was slow to get off the ground after numerous penalties and an interception. Just as the quarter ended, Georgia completed a 40 yards touchdown pass to take the lead from the Sharks 7-3.
The Sharks second quarter began with a huge offensive burst thanks to a Jomo Wilson return, which was quickly followed by Jeron Harveys third touchdown of the year. Jomo Wilson struck minutes later with 30 yard touchdown reception to put the Sharks ahead 16-7. After a lengthy Georgia possession, Force receiver Maurice Purify scored on a 17-yard touchdown reception. With two minutes left in the half, Jamarko Simmons scored his first career AFL touchdown on a 1 yard run to build on the Sharks lead. The next defensive series for the Sharks resulted in a fumble recovery at the 19-yard. Marco Capozzolli ended the half with a 20-yard missed field goal attempt.
The second half opened up with a similar offensive explosion thanks to an 18-yard touchdown reception by Jeron Harvey, his second of the game. The Force responded quickly with a 20-yard touchdown of their own. Jomo Wilson kept the Sharks dominant offense alive with a touchdown on a 3-yard run. Micheaux Robinson did his part on the defensive end grabbing his second interception of the game, which set up a 4-yard touchdown by Kirby Griffin. Two plays later, the Force fumbled the football into the hands of Terrance Smith which he took back 10-yards for a touchdown putting the Sharks ahead 50- 21. Georgia attempted to stay with a 20-yard touchdown pass to end the quarter.
Georgia was the first team to strike on the fourth quarter after a series of empty exchanges between the two. Georgias 14-yard toss narrowed the Sharks lead 50-35. Jeron Harvey answered Georgias reception with his third touchdown catch of night with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. Georgia attempted a comeback late in the quarter, but the Sharks put an end to it with spectacular leaping catch from Jomo Wilson with fifty seconds left on the clock. In the final seconds of the game, Jeron Harveys four yard touchdown reception gave Jacksonville, 71 points, which broke the previous franchise record of 70 points set in the 2010 season. The final score of the game was Jacksonville 71, Georgia 57. The win at Sea Best Field gives Jacksonville a 1-1 record for the season, with a 1-0 division record for the 2011 season. The next Jacksonville game is next Saturday, March 26, 2011 back at Sea Best Field where The New Orleans Voodoo come into Jacksonville to take on the Sharks.