Jacksonville Sports Day

ARENA: Jacksonville Sharks Struggle in 52-41 Season Opening Loss to Rival Orlando

JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Sharks finished their first night of National Arena League action with a 52-41 loss to the Orlando Predators before a packed Veterans Memorial Arena Saturday night.

This was first game since the Sharks won the National Arena League Championship in 2019.

Longtime rival Orlando Predators entered the game 0-1 under Orlando new head coach and arena football legend Ben Bennett. After back to back scoring drives by QB Mike Fafaul and a deuce from kicker Brandon Behr, Jacksonville was in position to take over the game. In the second quarter.

But Orlando battled back putting up 19 points Fafaul, who went down before halftime, prior to the injury. Fafaul completed 14 passes for 171 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The efense kept Orlando QB Brian Hicks in check as the Sharks defense combined for four tackles for loss, a sack, forced fumble, and seven pass breakups.

Turnovers became too costly as Jacksonville who started the game up 14-0 later found themselves behind 35-45 entering the fourth.

Backup QB Breck Breckenridge threw a 22-yard pass to All-NAL fullback Alstevis Squirewell who’s touchdown put the Sharks six points shy of a victory. An a 11-yard touchdown pass from Hicks to DJ Meyers put the game away.

The Sharks will face Orlando on Friday, July 2 in Orlando at the Amway Center for their last regular season matchup. The Sharks next opponent will be their most recent NAL rival, the Columbus Lions (2-1), in Columbus, GA at the Columbus Civic Center on Saturday, June 19.

Duval Motor Company Shark Players of the Game Include:

Duval Ford Offensive Player: WR, Devin Wilson. Wilson finished the night leading the team in receptions with 10 receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

Duval Acura Defensive Player of the Game: LB, Zack Brown overall leader in tackles for lost gaining 2.5, a sack that resulted in a five yard loss, and a pass breakup.

Duval Honda Special Teams Player of the Game: K, Brandon Behr who earned his first deuce in 2021 as well as kicked three PATs for the Sharks.

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