Week 10 Preview: Sharks vs. Empire
Sharks Head to Albany to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Sharks (2-5) play their final regular season game this weekend with the postseason right around the corner. Despite a fourth quarter comeback led by quarterback Connor Kaegi and relentless effort from the Sharks defense the Sharks fell in a close match 54-44 to the Carolina Cobras (2-5). Now entering week 10 Jacksonville currently is in a three way tie with Carolina & Jersey at 2-5 at the bottom half of the NAL standings. The Sharks will automatically advance to the playoffs if the Carolina Cobras and Jersey Flight lose this weekend and if the Sharks can pull off another victory against the Empire Saturday.
Last week, the Sharks struggled with adversity, the most severe of which were injuries and turnovers. Going into the game the Sharks were without All-NAL fullback Alstevis Squirewell and All-NAL linebacker Zack Brown. However, Sharks All-NAL Defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor stepped up big with three sacks against the Cobras while strong play came from Kiante Northington and Ken Walton who combined for three interceptions. Offensively, Southwick who is recovering from injury made plays in the first half but was battered by the Cobras' defense suffering three sacks but still threw 10 passes for 77 yards and had two touchdowns. In the second half, the Sharks went with the fresh 6’7 quarterback Connor Kaegi who threw four touchdowns in the second half and did not give up a single interception. It was unfortunately a matter of time for the Sharks with the clock running down and the Cobras still up by 10 points Jacksonville did not have enough time to complete their comeback in the home game finale.
The Empire played the Columbus Lions where they had a big victory over the Lions 63-43 in Georgia. The victory gave the Albany Empire the #1 seed going into the playoffs. This 2021 NAL season marks the Empire’s third straight season of entering the postseason as the #1 seed.
This week's game is scheduled for Saturday July 31, with kickoff at 7pm in Albany, NY. If you can't make it to the game you can watch the game locally on television’s CW-17 broadcasted throughout Northeast Florida & South Georgia or you can watch the Sharks world-wide on the NAL YouTube channel for our full game live stream. You can also go to our Dicks Wings watch party in Mandarin (10550 Old St. Augustine Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32257). The watch party will start at 6:30pm and there will be a Sharks raffle for those who attend for a chance to win prizes throughout the watch party.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The 2019 & 2017 NAL Champions and ArenaBowl XXIV Champions play all of their home games at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Shark Nation Memberships for the 2021 season are still available. Call David Diana at 904-621-0700 Ext. 717 or visit jaxsharks.com