07/02/2011 12:49 AM -
For this first time since March 12 and the second time this season, the Jacksonville Sharks find themselves adding a tally to the loss column. The South Division Champion Sharks (13-2) were defeated at the hands of the San Jose SaberCats (6-9) in San Jose, California 83-70.
The Sharks, still winless on the West Coast, were riding an Arena Football League record 13 consecutive wins after clinching the South Division crown last week in Jacksonville and locking up home field advantage through the American Conference Championships. The SaberCats, conversely, had not won a game since April 22 - a seven game losing streak - and were coming off a 61 point loss at the hands of the Cleveland Gladiators a week prior.
The Sharks began firing on all cylinders in "the Shark Tank." Sharks' gun-slinger Aaron Garcia led scoring drives on all six drives in the first half, including four first-half touchdown passes to Jomo Wilson. The Sharks created two stops in the first half, a fumble recovery by Jerry Brown and LaRoche Jackson's sixth interception of the season. The Sharks would close out the half leading 42-28.
The second half started with the SaberCats scoring on three consecutive touchdown drives. The Sharks saw back-to-back fumbles on kickoff returns, one in the end zone which was recovered for a touchdown. The Sharks found themselves down for the first time all game as the third quarter came to a close - the Sabercats leading by 7, 56-49. The Sharks would turn the ball over for a fourth time with an Aaron Garcia pass intercepted by the SaberCats in the end zone.
The Sharks found themselves in an unfamiliar place, chasing a team with the lead. Both teams continued to score and the Sharks could not force another defensive stop. The Sharks fell to the SaberCats 70-83 after two and a half hours before 8216 people.
Micheaux Robinson recorded his tenth interception on the season, a franchise record. With three passes broken up, he also holds the AFL's record for passes broken up in a single season (43). The previous record was 40.
Aaron Garcia tied his franchise record of 9 passing touchdowns as he completed 27-of-34 attempts for 354 yards with one interception. He is on pace to hit 50,000 yards passing by the end of the regular season, just 796 yards shy of the milestone.
Jeff Hughley and Jomo Wilson each had over 200 yards of all-purpose production. Hughley finished with 143 receiving yards and 89 kick return yards. Wilson had 134 through the air with 70 return yards. Both players had ten receptions.
The back-to-back South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks return to Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena to host the Dallas Vigilantes July 9, 2011 for Shark-A-Ritaville Night presented by Aaron's.