Jacksonville Sports Day

ARENA: Sharks Beat Columbus Lions, Advance to NAL Championship

The Jacksonville Sharks are headed to the NAL Championship game for the second time in three years.

The Sharks advanced to the title game, which will be held in Jacksonville, with a 67-43 win against the Columbus Lions, marking their fourteenth straight win overall – a franchise record.

As has routinely been the case for the Sharks this season, the team look the lead early in the first quarter and never looked back. It was a split effort at QB, with starter Mike Fafaul leaving the game at halftime due to injury, giving way to former starter Jonathan Bane retaking the reigns.

Together, Fafaul and Bane combined for a remarkably efficient stat-line: they were a combined 17-for-17, throwing for 198 yards and 4 touchdowns. Fafaul threw three of those four TD passes prior to exiting the game.

The Sharks’ offense also put up a total of four rushing touchdowns, led by three scores from Zack Brown. Alstevis Squirewell was the other runner to score.

Jarmon Fortson led the way among receivers, with seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown against his former team. Devin Wilson added six catches for 72 yards and 2 TDs, and Durron Neal also found the endzone.

On defense, the Sharks continued their strong play by coming away with four interceptions – two for Markus Smith, and one for Tony Goodman and Cody Saul – and limiting the Lions to just one passing touchdown.

With the win Tuesday night, the Sharks will advance to their second NAL Championship game in just three years of play within the league. Last time the Sharks made it this far, they ended up winning the 2017 NAL Championship – against the Lions, coincidentally.

This time, they’ll take on last year’s champs, the Carolina Cobras, on Saturday, August 17 at the VStar Veterans Arena as they look to win their second NAL title – and their third overall league championship.

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