04/06/2016 10:54 AM
JACKSONVILLE - The Jacksonville Sharks look for the first win of the season as they travel to take on the Philadelphia Soul this Monday, April 11th. Kickoff from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia is set for 7:00 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.
Monday’s game will be the first of two meetings between Jacksonville (0-1) and Philadelphia (1-0). After a tough loss Saturday night against the KISS in Anaheim, the Sharks aim to turn things around in Week 2.
In the season opener, the KISS and Sharks battled back and forth in the first half, as each team scored on its first five possessions and ended the first half tied at 33. The KISS were able to pull ahead in the second half after collecting an interception, a turnover on downs and two bar-ball recoveries on kickoffs.
A major key that the Sharks will need to learn is to get back into rhythm. The team saw multiple miscues on both offense and special teams that led to scoreless possessions and turnovers that broke the team rhythm that led to a disappointing Sharks loss.
Tommy Grady and the Sharks’ offense began the first half on fire, as Grady connected on 14 of 17 passes and threw four touchdowns. The second half seemed to show holes in the Sharks offense as Grady threw an interception in the red zone that halted Jacksonville’s fight to come back. In the loss, Joe Hills racked up with nine receptions for 151 yards and two scores, while Tiger Jones and Roger Jackson each scored a touchdown as well.
The Sharks defense was unable to consistently stop the KISS, only recording one fourth-down stop and no turnovers. Though the Sharks were able to bypass the KISS’ offensive line and put some pressure on the LA quarterback Nathan Stanley, the team was unable to capitalize in the secondary, recording no pass breakups..
Jacksonville will also look for a turnaround on special teams, as mistakes in that area disrupted the Sharks’ rhythm in the fourth quarter. The first turnover of the game came from a kickoff that ricocheted off the iron and into the hands of a KISS player. LA fullback Rory Nixon converted the short field into a rushing touchdown on the ensuing drive. The second bar-ball was recovered and ran in for a touchdown by DJ Stephens. The Sharks were also unable to consistently convert on extra points, as Marco Capozzoli went 50 percent from the field from six attempts.
This week, the Sharks match up against an intimidating Soul squad who hopes to bring their momentum home after a blowout win against the Cleveland Gladiators. The Soul commanded the game from the start after building and maintaining a 21-point lead and ending the game with a 69-41 victory.
Soul Starting Quarterback and reigning league MVP Dan Raudabaugh finished the game with a league-leading seven touchdown passes off of 21 completions. Raudabaugh did have two interceptions returned for touchdowns, but still showed his elite passing ability. The chemistry between the receiving corps was prominent as both Darius Reynolds and Shaun Kauleinamoku recorded three touchdowns.
The Soul defense seemed impenetrable, recording a league-high total of five turnovers (four interceptions and one fumble recovery). The secondary also recorded eight pass breakups and held Cleveland quarterback Chris Dieker to under 200 yards.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and four-time 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 2016 season are now available, two tickets as low as $99. 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 and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.