07/09/2011 10:08 PM -
Saturdays game featured the first game this season between the Dallas Vigilantes and the Jacksonville Sharks, two of the top teams in the AFL. The Sharks returned home after having their 13-game win streak snapped by the San Jose SaberCats. The Dallas Vigilantes entered Saturdays game riding a four-game win streak of their own. The Sharks looked to exact some revenge for their disappointing loss, but the Vigilantes looked to make a statement by defeating the South Division Champions at home for the first time of the season.
The Sharks offense opened up the game, with Garcias 13th interception of the season. Dallas was able to capitalize, scoring on a 1-yard rush by Derrick Ross. After the Sharks turned the ball over on downs, Dallas struck immediately with a spectacular touchdown catch by Tiger Jones. The Sharks showed signs of life with less than a minute left in the first quarter with a 43 yard touchdown pass from Aaron Garcia to Jeff Hughley.
Javonte Holmes got his first interception of the season, when he picked off Dan Raudabaugh on fourth down, then took it back for a touchdown to tie the game at 14. Dallas and Jacksonville exchanged scores midway into the second quarter to keep the game a tie at 21. The teams fired back to back touchdowns with huge receptions by Dallas DeAndrew Rubin and Jacksonvilles Jeff Hughley, but a missed Jacksonville extra point gave Dallas the lead 28-27. Dallas recovered a Jacksonville onside kick to get possession on the Sharks 3-yard line. After two attempts, Derrick Ross managed to run the ball in from the 1-yard line, for his second touchdown of the night. The Sharks answered back immediately with a two play drive that ended in a touchdown pass from Garcia to Hughley, their third hook-up of the evening. Dallas managed to score with no time left in the first half, buut their PAT attempt was blocked by Sharks Linebacker Derrick Summers and returned by Jerry Brown for 2 points.
Dallas opened up the second half, scoring on touchdown pass from Raudabaugh to DeAndrew Rubin to give the Vigilantes the lead 48-36. Jacksonville answered with a precision pass from Garcia to Jomo Wilson, but the Dallas offense continued to roll. On the next possession, the Vigilantes drove down the field and scored on Tiger Jones third receiving touchdown of the evening. Jomo Wilson brought down his second touchdown reception of the evening to put the Sharks within six points, 49-55. Both Jacksonville and Dallas scored on their final possessions of the third quarter, but the Sharks failed attempt at a two point conversion put the score at 62-55, Dallas in the lead.
On the first possession of the quarter the Vigilantes manages to drive the ball into the Sharks red-zone, but Jacksonville managed to force a fumble, that Defensive Tackle Richard Clebert recovered at the Sharks 4 yard line. The Sharks scored in two plays on Jeff Hughleys fourth touchdown catch of the night, which tied the game at 62. Richard Clebert made back to back impressive defensive plays, bringing down Dallas QB Dan Raudabaugh in the endzone for a safety, which gave Jacksonville their first lead of the night 64-62. The Sharks offense had an opportunity to capitalize on their defense but back to back interceptions from Aaron Garcia led to two scored by Dallas to put the Vigilantes ahead 75-64. The Sharks offense scored with 30 seconds left on the clock, but a failed two point conversion kept the Dallas lead at five points. A failed onside kick by Jacksonville allowed Dallas to run out the clock, and take the win from Jacksonville.
The loss to Dallas was the Sharks second loss in a row, and the Dallas fifth win in a row. Garcias three interceptions set a new franchise record for the Sharks. The Sharks gave up their first loss at Sea Best Field since the playoff loss to Orlando during the 2010 post-season. Although the Sharks have home field advantage clinched through the conference championship game, home field through the ArenaBowl has slipped slightly out of the picture. Things are only going to get more difficult for the Sharks; they go back on the road next weekend when they travel to Kansas City to take on the Command, Friday, July 15, at 9:00PM Eastern Time. The Sharks return home July 22nd, when they take on the Spokane Shock in the final game of the 2011 regular season.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
Offensive Player of the Game: Tiger Jones (DAL)