05/21/2011 9:51 PM -
On Saturday, May 21, 2011, the Jacksonville Sharks traveled to Georgia to take on the Georgia Force in the first game in the teams three game road trip. The Force entered the game with a 5-4 record after suffering a two-game losing streak. The Sharks came into Saturday with an 8-1 record and an ongoing eight game winning streak. The Force sought to make an impact in the South Division with a huge win over the number one team in the league, the Jacksonville Sharks.
The Force began the game, fending off a Jacksonville penalty, which allowed Quarterback Brett Elliot to complete the first touchdown pass of the game to Maurice Purify. Jacksonville fought back during the next series, with Garcia scrambling his longest run of the season. They managed to put their first points on the board at the eight-minute mark in the first quarter with an Aaron Garcia pass to Jomo Wilson. On Georgias next possession, a Jason Holman sack on fourth down stopped the Force for the first time in the night. The Sharks seemed to regain their composure with the next offensive series. Jacksonville managed to take the lead with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Garcia to Wilson for the second time in the evening. The Sharks defense remained aggressive during the next Georgia possession. Jason Holman gained his second sack of the night, and immediately after, Jerry Brown managed to recover a Brett Elliot fumble to give Jacksonville possession on the Georgia one-yard line.
The Sharks started the second quarter right next to the Georgia goal line. The Sharks scored on the first play in the quarter with Jomo Wilsons third touchdown reception of the night, giving the Sharks the lead 21-7. Maurice Purify kept Georgia in the game, bringing down his second touchdown catch in the game. Larry Shipp made an amazing catch to score again for the Force. A failed onside kick attempt by Georgia set up an easy Kirby Griffin rushing touchdown to give the Sharks a 35-21 lead over Georgia. Jason Holmans third sack of the night put Georgia in a difficult position, which left Georgia to settle for a 33-yard field goal to make the score 35-24. A squib kickoff by Georgia set up a quick touchdown to Purify, to put Georgia within four points of Jacksonville at the end of the half.
Jacksonville opened up the second half with the football, and drove the ball all the way down the field, only to have Garcia throw his eighth interception of the season. Georgia capitalized with a drawn out drive of their own that resulted in C.J. Johnsons first touchdown reception of the night to give the Force the lead, 38-35. Sale Key ended the Jacksonville scoring drought with a 28-yard touchdown reception from Garcia to recapture the lead at the end of the third quarter, 41-38.
Georgias opened the fourth quarter with possession. The drive led to yet another Maurice Purify reception, and gave Georgia the lead again 45-41. The frustrated Sharks struck back immediately with a 37 yard touchdown pass to Jeron Harvey, his second of the night. Georgia tied the game at 48 points on the next series with a 40-yard field goal from Carlos Martinez, his second of the evening. Jomo Wilson continued his rampage with a 25-yard touchdown reception to break the tie. The back and forth scoring continued when Larry Shipp brought down another touchdown reception for Georgia. Jeron Harvey pulled in his third touchdown of the night from Garcia on the first play of the drive for Jacksonville. The Sharks defense cam up huge when they stopped the Force at the goal line on fourth down. The stop gave Jacksonville possession with the lead and 30 seconds left on the clock. The Sharks managed to work the rest of the clock out and walk out of Georgia with a tight win, 62-55.
The win advanced the Sharks impressive win streak to 9 games. Jacksonville managed to fight through the toughest game since the first game of the season, and proved why they are the number one team in the league. They managed to work through a juggernaut performance by Maurice Purify and hold their composure while doing so. The Sharks advance to a 9-1 record, and remain undefeated in division play. The next game for the Sharks will be in two weeks, on June 4th, 2011, when the Sharks travel to New Orleans to take on the VooDoo in the Graveyard on NFL Network. The next home game for Jacksonville is on June 18th, when the Sharks are up against the Milwaukee Mustangs at Sea Best Field.