Jacksonville Sports Day

AFL: Jacksonville Sharks Hold Off Gladiators, 46-43

CLEVELAND — Facing the defending American Conference champions on Saturday night, the Jacksonville Sharks ( 2-5  OVERALL, 1-4   CONFERENCE) forced four turnovers, built a three-score lead in the third quarter and withstood a late rally en route to a 46-43 victory over the Cleveland Gladiators at Quicken Loans Arena.

On offense, QB Tommy Grady completed 20 of his 31 pass attempts, throwing for a total of 191 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. Ross set season highs with 13 carries for 54 yards, and in the process became the first player in AFL history to notch 2,500 career rushing yards. 

At receiver, Rodriguez caught eight passes for 75 yards and two scores, Joe Hills led the team with 10 receptions for 92 yards and added a touchdown, while Jones totaled two reception for 24 yards and a score.

Defensively, Smith led all players with 10 total tackles, while Xavier Brewer notched four solo tackles, broke up a pass and forced a fumble. 

Up front Sykes extended his streak to six consecutive games with a quarterback sack and forced his team-leading fourth fumble of the season. Jerry Turner recorded his first sack of the season as well.

For Cleveland, Austin went 21-of-32 for 288 yards and six touchdowns against three interceptions. Amarri Jackson led the Gladiators with nine catches for 135 yards and three touchdowns, while Dominick Goodman added seven receptions for 78 yards and a score.  Justin Hannah led the Gladiators with eight solo tackles.

The Sharks will return to Jacksonville and prepare to face the Philadelphia Soul on Saturday, May 16. Kickoff from Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena is set for 7:00 p.m.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game — Jacksonville WR Prechae Rodriguez
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game — Jacksonville JLB Alvin Ray Jackson
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game — Cleveland WR Amarri Jackson
Cutters Catch of the Game — Cleveland WR Collin Taylor’s 24-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the fourth quarter
AFL Highlight of the Game — Cleveland WR Dominick Goodman’s over-the-wall two-point conversion reception with 7:36 remaining in the fourth quarter

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