Week 12 Preview: Sharks vs. Streets
The first place Jacksonville Sharks (8-1) are heading to New York after getting their revenge against the Streets (3-6) this past Saturday in a record breaking 83-51 win in Jacksonville. The victory marks the Sharks eighth straight win, four of which have been in the Shark Tank. Now the Sharks face a three game road stretch that may determine their postseason fate. The tour begins in New York this Saturday, June 29, then onto Orlando on Friday, July 5, and finishes up with Massachusetts on Saturday, July 13. If the Sharks win all three of these games they will advance to 11-1 and clinch home field advantage in the playoffs. The Sharks next home game will be against the Massachusetts Pirates on Saturday, July 20th.
Sharks Quarterback Mike Fafaul led the offense against the Streets in his second straight start and the NAL’s #1 ranked offensive line kept him upright and untouched all night. Fafaul’s nine passing touchdowns in the game places him in a tie for the NAL single game record. Fafaul’s big night also earned him the Offensive Player of the Week award for week 11. After the 83-51 victory, Fafaul now leads the NAL with a 62.8 completion percentage.
Defensively, the Sharks struggled in the first quarter allowing back-to-back touchdowns by Streets’ receiver Edgar Poe. The second quarter was a completely different story as the Sharks shut down the Streets forcing several turnovers and holding New York to only eight points as the half expired. Defensive back Markus Smith ended the night with an interception against Streets QB David Legree, and also totaled two tackles and two pass breakups. In the trenches, the Sharks defensive line combined for two tackles for loss and one sack.
Jacksonville is aware that they must bring their A game to New York and not have a let down after their big win as the Streets look to bounce back with a win on their home turf, the Westchester County Center. The Jacksonville Sharks have players leading the league in many different statistical categories, like Defensive Lineman Nick Woodman the current NAL Sack Leader (7.5) or Seth Ellis the NAL Interception Leader (9) and Brandon Behr NAL Leader in both deuces (13) and PATS (57), Statistic leaders or not, the Sharks need to continue their same mind set since training camp “NO EXCUSES” as seen on their pre-game warm up shirts. One mindset and one goal: an NAL Title. This road trip could very well determine where the Sharks stand going into the postseason.
This Saturday the Sharks take on the Streets at the Westchester County Center, NY at 7 p.m. The game will be streamed live on the National Arena League YouTube page and links to stream the game will be posted on Sharks social media prior to kickoff.