03/30/2012 10:01 PM - TAMPA, FL - Steve Wasil hit Prechae Rodriguez for a game-winning touchdown from one yard out as time expired, dashing the Jacksonville Sharks' hopes of a dramatic comeback as the Sharks fell, 71-69, in front of 8,446 at Tampa Bay Times Forum on Friday night.
Jacksonville (1-2) had scored a go-ahead touchdown with 4.5 seconds remaining, as quarterback Bernard Morris hit Terrance Smith in double coverage for a 42-yard touchdown that gave the Sharks a 69-65 lead. However, Smith was then flagged for intentional pass interference on what would have been the final play run by Tampa Bay (2-1), a penalty that moved the ball all the way up to the Jacksonville one yard line.
With one play left, Rodriguez cut left toward the boards and Wasil delivered a perfect pass beyond the outstretched arms of a Jacksonville defender for the decisive score. It was the fifth time in the game that Wasil found Rodriguez in the end zone.
For Jacksonville, Morris entered the game early in the third quarter after starting quarterback Omar Jacobs appeared to leave with an injury. Jacobs returned to the Shark bench in the fourth, but Morris remained in for the rest of the game. In this emergency role, Morris finished 9-for-13 for 115 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a score.
In his time on the field, Jacobs seemed to put last week's four-interception performance behind him, as the Shark quarterback connected on 14 of 20 attempts for 123 yards and three touchdowns.
For Tampa Bay, Wasil finished 29-for-38 for 312 yards and seven touchdowns. Rodriguez (11 catches, 101 yards, five touchdowns) and Chandler Williams (14 catches, 169 yards, two touchdowns) each crossed the century mark for the Storm. Jacksonville receiver Jeron Harvey led Jacksonville's offense with 12 receptions for 129 yards and a score.
The game began with four touchdowns on the first five plays of the game. Smith fumbled the opening kickoff and Tampa Bay defender Riley Swanson pounced on the loose ball for a score. Smith then returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. Tampa Bay then scored on their first offensive play of the game before Smith returned yet another kick for a touchdown to make the score 14-13.
With the loss, Jacksonville drops to 1-2 in 2012 entering the team's second bye week. The Sharks will return to action on April 13, hosting the Utah Blaze on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Kickoff for that game is set for 8:00 p.m.
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and back-to-back South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Season Tickets for the 2012 season are now available, two tickets as low as $123. To reserve your season tickets or for more information, please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance.