Jacksonville Sharks Upset Undefeated Albany Empire 61-58

Sharks Rebound From Road Loss By Defeating 4-0 Albany Empire

JACKSONVILLE— The Jacksonville Sharks entered the Shark tank tonight after two straight losses and matchup against the #1 ranked Albany Empire (4-0), Jacksonville looked to be the underdog in this matchup as Albany had previous beaten their last two opponents by over 20 points. 

The Sharks improved on both ends of the ball. In the first half,  the defense racked up 18 total tackles, with Kenny Veal and Cheatham Norrils leading the way with five tackles each. Albany averages 65.7 points per game, but the Sharks defense limited them to only 27 points in the first half. The Sharks also grabbed an interception from their former quarterback Tommy Grady. The Sharks logged six total pass breakups against the Empire, with Kenny Veal leading the team with three. The Sharks seemed to have new life on offensive with a veteran quarterback Danny Southwick. Southwick finished the first half 13 of 15 for 145 yards and three touchdowns including one on this first drive with the Sharks this season, finding Jordan Williams for 69 yard touchdown. This was the first game in 2021 where the starting Sharks quarterback played all four quarters. Brandon Behr kicked two deuces in tonight's game as well as knocked down two field goals and a kickoff to the corner end zone that Albany failed to return that led to a Sharks touchdown. 

Jacksonville maintained the lead throughout most of the night but Tommy Grady and the Empire offense kept this game extremely close. Despite the score, quarterback Danny Southwick responded with a huge touchdown strike to Devin Wilson, scoring his third touchdown of the game taking the lead over the Empire, 58-52. Local Sharks kicker Brandon Behr had an incredible game on special teams and became a critical playmaker in the final minutes scoring an extra point followed by a deuce 61-52. The Sharks new-found star Danny Southwick had solid first night as a Sharks throwing 26 passes for 281 yards and five touchdowns. 

The Sharks shut the door on a Albany comeback as Jacksonville's defense held them off to win the game. Overall the team played well on all three sides of ball and displayed championship level production against an undefeated Albany team that just suffered their first NAL lost in team history. The Sharks will hit the road to face their in-state rivals the Orlando Predators this week. If you would like to ride a Jacksonville Sharks fan bus email info@jaxsharks.com 

Tonight’s Duval Motor Company Shark Players of the Game Include:

Duval Ford Offensive Player: WR, Jordan Williams. The speedy receiver / kick returner is a new addition to the Shark offense this year. In his third game as a Shark and is a two game award winner.

Duval Acura Defensive Player of the Game: DB, Kenny Veal. In his first game with the Sharks he proved to be a defensive weapon that was a major improvement to the Sharks defense. 

Duval Honda Special Teams Player of the Game: K, Brandon Behr. A top kicker in the NAL, continues to impress going into his third season with the Sharks. Behr finished the night with two Darley's Deuces, two field goals, and kickoff team recovery for a touchdown.

About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The 2017 NAL Champions and ArenaBowl XXIV Champions and play all home games at the Vystar Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. SINGLE GAME TICKETS ARE NOW AVAILABLE.  To become a Shark Nation member or for more ticket information please call (904) 621-0700 or visit jaxsharks.com  Follow the Sharks on Facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter and Instagram @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.