04/23/2011 10:12 PM -
Jacksonville, Fla, - Saturdays game featured two- division leading franchises in the second meeting between the two ever. Aaron Garcia started the game just eight passing touchdowns away from reaching the one-thousand passing touchdown mark. The game opened up quickly and the game the pace never let loose.
Cleveland opened up the game with a tough fought one-yard rushing touchdown by the Quarterback, Kurt Rocco. The Sharks blasted right back with a rushing touchdown of their own, on a Kirby Griffin 2-yard rush. The Gladiator offense drove the ball down to the Jacksonville 1-yard line, which set up Kurt Roccos second rushing touchdown of the night to open up the second quarter.
The Sharks maintained the offensive spark with a 10 yard touchdown pass from Aaron Garcia to Jeron Harvey, his 12th touchdown reception of the season. The next series for the Gladiators resulted in one of the longest plays of the season, a 49 yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Kurt Rocco to Wide Receiver Robert Redd, which gave Cleveland the lead 21-14. Jacksonville scored on the next series thanks to a surprising Jomo Wilson fumble that landed in the hands of Kirby Griffin, for a 3 yard recovery touchdown, that tied the game at 21. Clevelands uncharacteristic offense kept moving towards the end of the half, thanks to Kurt Roccos third rushing touchdown of the night. The first half ended with Jacksonville giving up a safety that would have set up a tying drive.
Jacksonville was able to open up the second half with a 22 yard touchdown pass from Garcia to Wilson, the first of the game between the explosive duo. The Cleveland offense rolled into the second half without issue due to Roccos second passing touchdown of the night. The game characterized itself as an offensive shootout between the two programs, when Jeron brought down his second touchdown of the night.
Jacksonville missed an opportunity to take the lead after a missed PAT that tied the game at 42. The Jacksonville defense made the first stop of the night on the Gladiators next drive. Aaron Garcia showed his versatility when he used his legs to scramble into the endzone for his first rushing touchdown of the season. The Sharks defense showed more signs of life towards the end of the fourth quarter when Micheaux Robinson got a huge interception to swing the momentum back into the Sharks favor, and gave them the opportunity to build on the lead. Jacksonville strategically attacked in the final seconds of the game giving Cleveland the ball with less than 40 seconds on the clock, after Jomo Wilson took a 22 yard pass to the endzone for his second of the game. The Sharks defense remained solid until the end of the game, turning a big Cleveland pass play, into a last second fumble recovery by Terrance Smith, his third of the season. Jacksonville let the clock run out, and sent Cleveland packing with the final score being Jacksonville-56, Cleveland-42.
The victory propelled Jacksonville to a 5-1 record, with the only loss of the season coming from week one against Arizona. The next game for the Sharks is next Saturday, April 23rd, when they take on their rival team, the Orlando Predators. The theme for next weeks game is Blood Red Night, and the Sharks will seek to drive the Predators out of town and seal up the South Division lead. With Aaron Garcia a mere three touchdowns away from his milestone, it looks to be both an explosive and historic night for the Jacksonville Sharks.