Sharks Slip Past Cobras 54-52 in Nail biter
Championship Rematch Leads to Road Victory
JACKSONVILLE— The Jacksonville Sharks entered the Greensboro Coliseum tonight after a loss against the Orlando Predators last Saturday. This was the first time the Sharks played the Cobras since the 2019 NAL championship.
The Sharks had a strong start ending the first 1st quarter on top 21-12, with a rushing touchdown by fullback Zack Brown and two passing touchdowns from quarterback Danny Southwick to receivers Jarmon Fortson and Jordan Williams. The Cobras stayed close behind as an injured quarterback James Summers was replaced by Sam Castronova that found rhythm early but struggled to score as Sharks defensive back Kenny Veal slowed the Cobras pursuit with an interception before the end of the half and the Sharks defense held Carolina to only six points.
Coming into the second half up 33-18 the Sharks continued to battle as Jacksonville gained multiple stops led by the guys upfront as Shark defensive lineman Keith Bowers piled on two sacks in the second half and a tackle for loss, fellow lineman Jonathan Taylor added two tackles for a loss, a sack, and a forced fumble while defensive lineman Justin Marcus kept the pressure on with four tackles and a pass block. To add on the defensive onslaught Kenny Veal gained his second interception of the night toward the end of the third quarter. The fourth quarter became a different story for Jacksonville as the defense lost 28 points to the Cobras offense who made a last chance run for a comeback to win at home. The back and forth battle came down to the final three drives; the Cobras forced a touchdown on the ground with a one yard rush by fullback Dashawn Johnson putting the Cobras up 52-48. The Sharks rebounded with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Danny Southwick to Devin Wilson to make the score 54-52 with 21 seconds left. In a final drive eerily similar to the 2019 NAL championship the Cobras struck fast down the field in range to win with less than 10-seconds left on the clock, quarterback Sam Castronova made a touchdown attempt that was deflected by Sharks defensive back Kiante Northington to win the game in a another nail biting game against the Carolina Cobras.
Sharks quarterback Danny Southwick finished the night with 18 completions for 201 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. Shark receivers combined five touchdowns with Willliams and Wilson recording one each and Jarmon Fortson leading the team tonight with three. Sharks kicker Brandon Behr had a much better game on the road in Carolina knocking down two deuces and a field goal. The Sharks (2-3) return home next Saturday, July 17 to face the rival Columbus Lions (4-1) with kickoff for Shark-A-Ritaville presented by Baptist Health & Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute set for 7pm. Tickets are on sale now online at jaxsharks.com.
Tonight’s Duval Motor Company Shark Players of the Game Include:
Duval Ford Offensive Player: WR, Jarmon Fortson. The Sharks receiver stood out tonight catching seven passes for 40 yards and three touchdowns. His best game of the season and second game with the Sharks in 2021.
Duval Acura Defensive Player of the Game: DB, Kenny Veal. Led both teams in interceptions tonight racking up two against the Cobras. Veal also added a tackle for a loss and a pass breakup.
Duval Honda Special Teams Player of the Game: K, Brandon Behr. Behr finished the night with two deuces and a field goal.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The 2017 NAL Champions and ArenaBowl XXIV Champions and play all home games at the Vystar Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. SINGLE GAME TICKETS ARE NOW AVAILABLE. To become a Shark Nation member or for more ticket information please call (904) 621-0700 or visit jaxsharks.com Follow the Sharks on Facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter and Instagram @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.