Sharks Take Down Predators for Chance at Championship
Jacksonville, FL – Saturday night was the first round of the playoffs, as the first-seeded Sharks hosted the fourth-seeded Orlando Predators. This was the fourth match-up of the season between the two teams, the Sharks winning the regular season series 2-1.
The Predators started the game with a field goal attempt on 4th & 15, but Marquel Wade ran the ball off the net for a Sharks touchdown. Wade had not played in over a month due to injury.
Orlando tied the game and briefly took the lead on a successful deuce, but an 18-yard rushing touchdown from Sam Castronova gave the Sharks the spark for the rest of the game.
As the first ended, the Sharks added another two points to their total with a safety.
The Sharks led the Predators 16-9 after one.
Marquel Wade scored his second of the game to start the second quarter. He finished the game with 36 yards on top of the two touchdowns. Devin Wilson scored his first playoff touchdown of 2023 with a pick-six off of Orlando quarterback Joseph Hess.
Hess threw another interception in the quarter, right into the waiting arms of Jenson Stoshak, his first pick of the season. As the clock ran out on the half, Stoshak scored on the ensuing drive.
The defense did not give up a point in the second quarter and only one touchdown in the half. Three sacks were recorded in the half. One each by Sha-ki Holiness, Tre Harlan, and Jeremiah Price.
The Sharks led 36-9 after 30 minutes.
The Predators started the second half with a deuce, kicker Dylan Barnas’ second of the game.
Kamrin Solomon scored his first of the game after a 48-yard interception by Jabari Gorman. Gorman had a league-leading nine interceptions in the regular season and added another on Saturday night.
Castronova scored again, his second of the game, giving the Sharks 49 points. The other quarter touchdown came from Darien Townsend, who scored on a two-yard rush.
The defense continued to do what they have been known for all season and make big plays. Price had a fumble recovery to set up Castronova’s touchdown, and a second interception by Wilson set up Townsend’s score.
After three, the Sharks led 55-11 over the Predators.
Sharks backup quarterback Eddie Brill, Jr. took over the job with 9:30 left in the game and promptly threw a touchdown to Wilson for his second of the game. Orlando scored a late touchdown, but it was not enough as the Sharks took down the Predators for their spot in the National Arena League (NAL) Championship game.
Jacksonville beat their in-state rival 62-18.
Castronova threw two touchdowns and scored two rushing on his own. He threw 106 passing yards before being replaced by Brill Jr. The backup threw another touchdown to add to Jacksonville’s total.
The defense totaled five sacks (Holiness, Harlan, Price, Taylor Sanders, and Faleaoga Russell), four interceptions (Gorman, Wilson, and Marvin Ross), and a fumble (Gorman forced fumble, Price fumble recovery).
Next week’s National Arena League (NAL) Championship game will occur in Jacksonville as the Sharks take on the Carolina Cobras for the title. Come cheer on your Sharks as they fight for an NAL Championship! Purchase tickets at www.jaxsharks.com or by calling 904-621-0700.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the National Arena League (NAL).The 2019 & 2017 NAL Champions and ArenaBowl XXIV Champions play all their home games at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena. Sharks season tickets for the 2023 season are now available. To become a Shark Nation member or for more information please call (904) 621-0700 or visit https://www.jaxsharks.com/shark-nation-memberships 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.