Sharks Stopped by Soul on Sunday, 63-52
Sunday April 12, 2015
Jacksonville unable to erase 14-point halftime deficit, falls to 0-3
Philadelphia (3-0) gained the early edge by forcing a pair of turnovers on downs in the second quarter, turning what was a 14-14 game into a 35-21 Soul lead at the halftime whistle. By contrast, the Jacksonville (0-3) defense was not able to generate a stop in the first half, as Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh fired a touchdown pass on each of the Soul’s five first-half possessions.
The Sharks fell into an even bigger hole early in the third quarter, as Philadelphia received the opening kickoff of the second half and eventually scored on a pass from Raudabaugh to Ryan McDaniel. The Soul then dialed up a surprise onside kick, recovering the ball and converting the extra possession into another touchdown. Tommy Taggart’s six-yard rush put Philadelphia comfortably in front, 49-28.
McDaniel proved to be a particularly difficult challenge for the Sharks’ defense on Sunday, as he at one point collected touchdowns on three consecutive Soul drives, and scored five times overall.
Jacksonville did close the gap later in the second half, as the Sharks’ defense was able to force a pair of fourth-quarter turnovers, as Joe Sykes forced a fumble and Terrance Smith hauled in his second interception of the season. But the Sharks never got closer than the 11-point final margin at any stage of the second half. Jacksonville did get the ball back with 15 seconds and one timeout to work with, but the Soul defense sacked Tommy Grady and forced a fumble, extinguishing what little chance the Sharks had left.
Penalties also proved costly for Jacksonville, as the Sharks were flagged 13 times for a total of 97 yards. By contrast, the Soul committed just six infractions that cost Philadelphia 34 yards.
Jacksonville’s loss comes despite a remarkable effort by wide receiver Tiger Jones, who got the Sharks’ offense going with a pair of touchdowns on fourth-down plays in the first quarter. On the game’s opening drive, Jones hauled in a 36-yard strike from Grady to convert a fourth-and-12 and get Jacksonville on the board. Jones went on to rack up 239 receiving yards, setting a new single-game franchise record. Jones collected a total of 13 receptions and scored five touchdowns for the second straight week.
For the Sharks, Grady completed 26 of his 41 pass attempts, throwing for 346 yards and eight touchdowns without an interception. In addition to Jones’ five-score performance, Joe Hills caught 10 passes for 79 yards and three touchdowns of his own. On the ground, Derrick Ross carried the ball nine times for 32 yards, but was held out of the end zone for the first time this season. Sykes and Nicolas Jean-Baptiste each recorded a sack for the Sharks’ defense.
On the other side, Raudabaugh went 21-of-30, throwing for 261 yards and eight touchdowns against one pick. McDaniel paced the Soul with 11 catches for 133 yards and five touchdowns, while Marco Thomas chipped in with 73 yards and two scores on his seven receptions. Taggart carried the ball 10 times for 13 yards and a touchdown, while Beau Bell forced a fumble for Philadelphia.
The Sharks now face a quick turnaround, as the team prepares to host the San Jose SaberCats on Friday, April 17. Kickoff from Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena is set for 8:00 p.m.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game – Philadelphia QB Dan Raudabaugh
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game – Philadelphia DB James Romain
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game – Philadelphia WR Ryan McDaniel and Jacksonville WR Tiger Jones
Cutters Catch of the Game – Philadelphia WR Ryan McDaniel’s one-handed touchdown catch in the second quarter
AFL Highlight of the Game – Philadelphia WR Shaun Kauleinamoku’s 34-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and four-time South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Season Tickets for the 2015 season are now available, two tickets as low as $99. To reserve your season tickets or for more information, please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.