05/30/2010 12:15 AM -
The Jacksonville Sharks opened a 3 game road trip on the west coast for a contest that matched up the league's top two ranked teams. #1 Jacksonville entered the night with the league's best record (6-1) while the Shock were voted #2 in the power rankings (5-2). The Sharks offensive coordinator was returning to Spokane for the first time since leading the Shock to the 2006 ArenaCup championship as their head coach.
The Sharks came out strong and took the lead early with Garcia's first touchdown pass of the night. With the 7 point lead, the league's top ranked defense took the field for the first time that night. Dee Webb created a fumble which Jeff Littlejohn recovered on that first series. The Sharks offense capitalized with another touchdown from Garcia.
With a 14-0 lead in the early stages of the game, the Sharks looked to be in complete control. This would be the largest lead for the Sharks all game. The Shock answered the score with one of thief own. The next possession for the Sharks resulted in an interception which was returned for a touchdown, but the extra point would be missed. The Sharks continued to hold the lead, trading off touchdowns with the Shock through out the first half.
With a two point lead at halftime, 35-33, the game looked to be another shoot out, something the Sharks have become familiar with over the past few weeks. Jacksonville and Spokane continued to trade touchdowns back and forth until an untimely fumble by Kirby Griffin allowed the Shock to take the lead for the first time that night. Replay would show the ground forced the ball out of the fullback's hands, but with no replay system in the AFL, the Sharks were powerless to change the ruling on the field.
Continuing to trade touchdowns, the Sharks found themselves down 10 points. Griffin would find the end zone (twice that night in total) to bring the Sharks within a field goal of tying the game with minutes left. An onside kick attempt was recovered by the Shock and they later scored, giving them a 10 lead again and scoring more points than any team the Sharks have played this season, 67-57.
Garcia rallied the team for a last drive down the field, but with 17 seconds left, Garcia was picked off for a second time. The Shock held on the win 67-57. The Sharks will remain on the road next week to face the Chicago Rush, which will be featured on the NFL Network as the AFL's Game of the Week.