Sharks post 22 penalties and 2 Ejections as Carolina Runs away with playoffs
The No. 2 Carolina Cobras (11-5) move on to the NAL championship after defeating the No. 3 Jacksonville Sharks (10-7), 73-48. A foul-ridden night for the Sharks, Jacksonville committed 22 penalties, with two players being ejected in the process, leading to their defeat tonight in Carolina. Carolina started the game quick, going on a 26-0 scoring streak, holding the lead for the entire game. The Cobras host the championship on Monday, August 27, at 7 E.T. against the No. 4 Columbus Lions (9-7), who just defeated the Massachusetts Pirates to advance to the final.
The first quarter was a rough one for the Jacksonville defense, which committed four fouls on Carolina’s opening drive, allowing the Cobras to easily move down the field for a touchdown from Phillip Barnett. Immediately following the score, Craig Peterson tacked on a deuce, taking the Cobras up to 9. The Sharks’ offense was slow to start the game, not able to convert a fourth down pass on their second set of downs, turning the ball back over to Carolina. Peterson capitalized off of the turnover, kicking a 22-yard field goal to extend the lead. The Sharks’ were stopped on offense once again, with kicker Brandon Behr’s 50-yard field goal attempt blocked. The Cobras, with their newborn opportunity, struck again, with McCullum throwing a dime to the back of the endzone to Barnett giving the Cobras a 19-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Sharks played two quarterbacks, as Patrick McCain was the starter. McCain played in the majority of the first half before being backed up by Danny Southwick. McCain was 19-of-32 for 233 yards, six touchdowns, and one interception. Southwick was 5-of-8 for 42 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The top receiver was Trevor Kennedy for the Sharks. He racked up 11 receptions for 114 yards, three touchdowns, and successfully rushed for one yard on a two-point conversion attempt. Cody Saul had a great game with five receptions for 88 yards and three touchdowns. Saul also made a two yard catch on a two-point conversion. Tom Gilson caught six passes for 47 yards and one touchdown. Jenson Stoshak made one catch for six yards. Tight End Glen Haisley caught the ball two times for 14 yards. Fullback Derrick Ross rushed five times for 32 yards. He made one catch for six yards. Throughout the game, Jacksonville suffered from 19 penalties for 139 yards.