The Good, The Bad And The.. well.. Championships!
There is NOTHING better then Back To Back Championship Weekends and after last weekend in Albany, the Focus is on Jacksonville Florida as the Defending National Arena League Champion Carolina Cobras visit the shark tank at the Vystar Veterans Arena to take on the league leading Jacksonville Sharks.
Let’s recap what happened last weekend and then move forward.
The Albany Empire defeated the Philadelphia Soul, 45-27, in front of 12,042 fans at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY, to become the champions of ArenaBowl 32 after going a League-best 10-2 this season.
Congratulations to Rob Keefe and the Albany Empire for one heck of a season. The Squad that was put together this year is insane. Empire QB and former Jacksonville Sharks Tommy Grady went 16 of 25 for 200 yards and 5 touchdowns earning himself the game MVP award. Empire receiver, Quentin Sims, hauled in nine catches for 93 yards, and four receiving touchdowns, being named Offensive Player of the Game. Empire defensive back, Maurice Leggett, returned an interception for a touchdown and had a fumble recovery, being named Defensive Player of the Game.
The Arena Football League announced Malachi Jones, WR of the Albany Empire, earned the Offensive Player of the Year Award.
The Arena Football League announced James Romain, DB of the Philadelphia Soul, took home the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
The Arena Football League announced nine-year AFL veteran, Empire QB Tommy Grady, earned the MVP award after another phenomenal season in the League. This is Grady’s second-consecutive MVP award, and third MVP honor of his career, which he first received in 2012.
The Arena Football League announced Clint Dolezel, Head Coach of the Philadelphia Soul, won the 2019 Moss-Marcum Head Coach of the Year Award. Dolezel, in his seventh season with the Soul, earned his third Head Coach of the Year Award after also being recognized in 2015 and 2016.
And now the WAITING Begins… Who will join the Arena Football League for 2020? Cleveland is Back…. but who else? Tampa maybe?
Now Let’s talk National Arena League:
Saturday night a Champion will be crowned. Will the Carolina Cobras REPEAT as Champions or Will the Jacksonville Sharks regain the Championship again.The Sharks have home-field advantage and are ready to take back the title after losing to the Cobras in the 2018 Playoffs. The big game will feature several of the league’s best players and the NAL’s two championship coaches, Carolina’s Billy Back and Jacksonville’s Siaha Burley. Two formidable coaches! Burley vs. Back! Both have extensive playing careers in arena football and as coaches they have risen to the top of the NAL, however, this could be the biggest game in their coaching careers as the two best teams in the league will officially battle this Saturday to prove who is the best of the best in the National Arena League.
Billy Back and his Cobras lead the league in rushing defense, only allowing 15.9 yards per game, scoring defense only allowing 31.1 points per game and pass defense only allowing 165.6 yards per game. However, this season has been record-breaking for Siaha Burley and several Sharks players. Kicker Brandon Behr broke the franchise record for most deuces in a season (27), and broke his career-high in PATs with 103 on the season. Defensive Lineman Nick Woodman continues to lead the NAL for 12.5 sacks, and to top it off Defensive Back Seth Ellis leads the league with 13 interceptions, while breaking several single game records this season. Sharks Wide Receiver Devin Wilson also broke the NAL record for 18 consecutive games with a touchdown catch. The Sharks as a team broke two impressive records this season including the longest single season win streak (14) and the franchise record for most points in a game, a record they broke twice this season with their latest totaling 85 points against the Orlando Predators.
To witness Burley vs. Back, the 2017 vs. 2018 champs, and the #1 vs. the #2 teams in the league for the National Arena League Championship please call now for tickets (904) 621-0700, visit www.jaxsharks.com or www.ticketmaster.com or go to the arena box office. or CLICK HERE.