06/03/2011 10:55 PM -
Jacksonville, Fla - The Jacksonville Sharks (10-1) defeated the New Orleans VooDoo (2-10) 62-55 in the Big Easy for the Sharks tenth consecutive win. The Sharks held off a second half surge by the VooDoo to improve to 6-0 in the South Division.
The Sharks, and their AFL top ranked offense, began the game by scoring touchdowns on six of the first half's seven drives, the last drive ending in a missed field goal as time expired. The VooDoo, on the other hand, scored two touchdowns on their first four drives, both stops coming with Micheaux Robinson's fifth and sixth interceptions on the season. The Sharks went to the locker room at the half leading 42-28.
The second half would have the VooDoo amounting a would-be come back after Danny Whimprine replaced starting quarterback D Bryant. Whimprine, who went 13-of-29 with four touchdowns and an interception in the first meeting this season between the two teams, completed 17-of-30 passes for 194 yards, five touchdowns and no turnovers.
Though the Sharks never trailed in the game, the VooDoo continued to match the Sharks touchdown-for-touchdown throughout the second half. The Sharks pushed ahead by 20 points with 5:36 left in the game, but the VooDoo scored on back-to-back possessions after holding the Sharks to a second missed field goal attempt. With just five seconds left in the game, the VooDoo had pulled within seven points, but failed to recover an onside kick. Sharks quarterback Aaron Garcia would throw the ball into the stands as time expired to give the Sharks a tenth straight win, 62-55.
Sharks veteran signal caller Aaron Garcia ended the night completing 21-of-29 passing attempts for 240 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. Garcia has thrown 5 touchdowns or more every game this season.
Sharks fullback Kirby Griffin continues to set personal bests and franchise records in 2011. Griffin's 7 carries gives him 68 carries on the season, giving him a new Sharks record career best for carries in a season- his previous was 66 attempts as a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pionner (aft) in 2009. Griffin also rushed for four touchdowns, another franchise record. Griffin now has 207 rushing yards on the year, well surpassing last season's 127 yard output.
Micheaux Robinson tied the team lead with his fifth and sixth interception on the season, his second two-interception game of the season. The league leader in passes defended now has nearly 30 passes broken up on the season, only 10 shy of the AFL single season record.
Jeff Hughley continued to demonstrate why he is one of the best return men in the AFL. Though he did not cross the goal line on a return this game, he had five returns for 175 yards, including two 50-plus yard returns. The VooDoo eventually stopped kicking to Hughley to attempt to neutralize his return abilities. Hughley became the first Shark this season with a 200 all-purpose yard game having amassed 207 all-purpose yards including one receiving touchdown.
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The first place Sharks - and reigning South Division Champions - are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The Sharks return to action Saturday, June 11, 2011 in Orlando against the Predators. Catch all the action live on WCWJ, CW17 and 1010XL starting at 7:30pm EDT. The Sharks return to Sea Best Field Saturday, June 18, 2011 to host the Milwaukee Mustangs. To reserve your season tickets, group tickets, or for more information please call (904) 621-0700. Single game tickets are available at the arena box office, ticketmaster.com or many ticketmaster outlets. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and Twitter @jaxsharks