Jacksonville Sports Day

ARENA: Jacksonville Sharks Look to Prey on Lions in Postseason

Photo Courtesy of The Coastal / Nathan Woods)

JACKSONVILLE – The (13-1) Jacksonville Sharks are riding high on a 13-game win streak and number one seed as they head into the playoffs following a record-breaking 85-30 victory over their in-state rival the Orlando Predators.

This Tuesday the Sharks will face the #4 seeded Columbus Lions (6-8) at the Veterans Memorial Arena with kickoff set for 7 p.m. The Sharks swept the Lions in their 2 matchups this season. Columbus will have to defeat a Jacksonville team that hasn’t lost since April.

The Lions have defeated the top-seeded team the last two years to advance to the championship game. The National Arena League has a four-team playoff bracket, this year the Jacksonville Sharks are #1, Carolina Cobras # 2, Massachusetts Pirates #3, and the Columbus Lions #4, each have earned their ticket to the Playoffs but only two can advance

This rivalry dates back to 2017 as the early rivalry between Columbus and Jacksonville has led to some very exciting games.

Overall the Sharks are 7-2 against the Columbus Lions and are 5-0 when playing in Jacksonville. The last time these rivals met in the Play was in the first-ever NAL championship game, where the Sharks took down the Lions in a thrilling 27-21 nail biter.

Heading into this week, the Sharks are feeling confident after a seven-interception performance against the Orlando Predators (2-12) last weekend. Not only did they record seven pics, they returned three of them for touchdowns. The team set another franchise record for the most points scored in a single game with 85, besting their defeat of the New York Streets 83-51.

The Sharks offense is looking solid as both quarterbacks have played well this year.

Mike Fafaul and Jonathan Bane have combined for 3,163 yards, 74 touchdowns, and only 17 interceptions.

Wide Receiver Devin Wilson finished the season in second place for receiving yards (1,179) and receiving touchdowns (29). All season long, he has proven to be an unstoppable force and has played a major role in the Sharks high-powered offense.

Between the two teams, the Sharks lead the league in scoring offense (805) while Columbus leads the league in total offensive plays (616).

The Lions lead in field goals made (6) and Jacksonville leads the league in deuces made (23). Defensively the Sharks tip the scale in almost every category. The most impressive stat line has Jacksonville leading the league in sacks (40) and interceptions (36).

An odd stat has the Lions being haunted by the number 22, giving up 22 sacks and 22 interceptions over the season.

The Sharks host the Columbus Lions in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. For tickets please call (904) 621-0700, visit www.jaxsharks.com or www.ticketmaster.com or go to the arena box office.

Games will be streamed live on the National Arena League YouTube channel.

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