Jacksonville Sports Day

ARENA: Jacksonville Sharks are NAL Championship Bound

FILE Photo Coutresy The Coastal / Nathan Woods

JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Sharks (14-1) are championship bound, setting the longest win streak in franchise history after defeating the Columbus Lions 67-43 in the NAL playoffs.

The Sharks face the defending NAL champs, the Carolina Cobras (9-5) in the 2019 NAL Championship. The Sharks after losing to the Cobras in the 2018 Playoffs.

This 14 game win streak has placed the Sharks in the 2019 National Arena League Championship game. This year the championship will be played Saturday, Aug. 17 with kickoff at 7pm in the Veterans Memorial Arena.

Jacksonville makes it’s second NAL championship appearance and 4th league championship game in the team’s 10 year history.

The big game will feature several of the league’s best players and the NAL’s two championship coaches, Carolina’s Billy Back and Jacksonville’s Siaha Burley.

Billy Back and his Cobras lead the league in rushing defense, only allowing 15.9 yards per game, scoring defense only allowing 31.1 points per game and pass defense only allowing 165.6 yards per game.

However, this season has been record-breaking for Siaha Burley and several Sharks players. Kicker Brandon Behr broke the franchise record for most deuces in a season (27), and broke his career-high in PATs with 103 on the season.

Defensive Lineman Nick Woodman continues to lead the NAL for 12.5 sacks, and to top it off Defensive Back Seth Ellis leads the league with 13 interceptions, while breaking several single game records this season. Sharks Wide Receiver Devin Wilson also broke the NAL record for 18 consecutive games with a touchdown catch.

The Sharks as a team broke two impressive records this season including the longest single season win streak (14) and the franchise record for most points in a game, a record they broke twice this season with their latest totaling 85 points against the Orlando Predators.

NINE SHARKS MAKE FIRST TEAM – Jacksonville Sharks featured nine players that made the 2019 All-NAL First Team. The Sharks dominated the first team honors with four players making the first team offense and four players making the first team defense.

In addition, Sharks kicker Brandon Behr was named the league’s First Team All-NAL Kicker. The Sharks have a total of nine 1st Team All-NAL players, meaning Jacksonville has the most in the league with the Pirates and Cobras tied for second with four each.

All-NAL First Team Offense

FB: Alstevis Squirewell

C: Derrick Zeigler

OL: Jabari Buckey

WR: Devin Wilson

All-NAL First Team Defense

DL: N. Woodman

MLB: Zack Brown

JLB: Cody Saul

DB: Seth Ellis

All-NAL First Team Kicker
Brandon Behr

Two Sharks Earn 2nd Team All-NAL Defensive Honors – The Jacksonville Sharks feature two defensive players that made the All-NAL Second Teamt. defensive back Markus Smith and defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor on both earn their first All-NAL honors.

In his second year with the Sharks, Smith had a breakout season. Smith was the Sharks third leading tackler with 50.0 tackles this year and was tied for second on the team in interceptions with eight.

Taylor earns All-NAL Second Team defensive honors in his first year in the NAL. Taylor was a key part of the dominant defensive line for the Sharks this year totaling six sacks and eight tackles for a loss.

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