07/09/2010 11:57 PM -
The Jacksonville Sharks (9-4) thwart a comeback attempt by the Utah Blaze (1-12) 67-56 on Friday, July 9th. The Blaze scored 21 unanswered points to come within 11 points. The Sharks scored at least one rushing, passing, special teams and defensive touchdown in the victory. Sharks quarterback, Aaron Garcia, set yet another record by becoming the first football player at any level to reach 1,000 combined touchdowns in his career.
The Sharks started the game off with fireworks as wide receiver and kick returner Jomo Wilson returned the opening kickoff 57 yards for a touchdown. This was Wilson’s first action since going down in the first half against Arizona June 26 with a corneal abrasion.
Aaron Garcia set yet another record in his already legendary career. Garcia found receiver Dallas Baker for an 11-yard pass for his third passing touchdown of the game - Garcia’s 1,000 career combined touchdown (955 passing, 45 rushing). No person has ever reached the milestone at any level of football. Garcia would end the game completing 18-of-22 passes for 222 yards, 5 touchdowns and no interceptions. Garcia completed all five touchdowns to different receivers and connected with seven different receivers on the night.
Back-up quarterback - and full-time utility man - Bernard Morris completed his first passing touchdown of his budding AFL career on a 36 yard connection to Dallas Baker. The passing touchdown gives Morris a passing, rushing, receiving, special teams and defensive score for the rookie this season. Morris had not attempted a pass in a game since the inaugural game April 3rd in Oklahoma City. Morris ended the night completing 7-of-9 passing for 88 yards and a touchdown. Morris also rushed 3 times for 11 yards.
The Sharks first offensive score came on Kirby Griffin’s 3-yard leap over the wall, but more importantly, over the goal line. Griffin has 9 rushing touchdowns and 95 net rushing yards on the season. Griffin was also a recipient of a pass from Garcia and found the end zone for a second time after a 28 yard run after the catch.
The Sharks forced two turnovers in the game. The Sharks leading tackler, Jason Perry, found the end zone after a 35-yard return for his first touchdown in the AFL. Perry has two interceptions on the season along with 71 total tackles, 58 solo.
The Sharks return to Sea Best Field at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena Saturday July 17 to host the South Division rivals, and current leaders, the Tampa Bay Storm on Halloween in July presented by Buddy’s Home Furnishings.