03/31/2011 11:24 AM -
Jacksonville, Fla-The Jacksonville Sharks (2-1) look to move to 3-1 this week against in-state rivals the Tampa Bay Storm (1-2) at Amalie Oil Field at the St Pete Time Forum Friday, April 1, 2011 at 8 pm EDT.
This will be Jacksonvilles third regular season game against the Storm as Coach Les Moss and the team is currently 2-0 vs. the Storm. As for Tampa Bay this will be Coach Dave Ewarts first regular season game against the Sharks.
After an narrowing season opening loss the Arizona Rattlers the Jacksonville Sharks have fixed mistakes and have looked to build on last years success by winning two games in a row and setting franchise records in the process. The Sharks scored 71 points vs. the Georgia Force and then set another record last week by beating the New Orleans Voodoo by 31 points. Wide Receiver Jeron Harvey is establishing himself as quarterback Aaron Garcias go-to weapon. Harvey is currently leading the AFL in touchdowns and receiving yards. Additionally WR Jomo Wilson is averaging 150 all-purpose yard per game. Nobody is looking more on target and in mid-season mode than Aaron Garcia. Garcia, who was awarded Offensive Player of the Week for his 8 touchdown performance last week, will be facing a Tampa team that is third worst in points allowed, tied for worst in takeaways and last in opponent passer rating.
Tampa Bay, the 2010 American Conference Champion, had a successful season last year going 11-5 and eventually lost Arena Bowl 23 to Spokane Shock by 12 points. 2011,however, started in disarray and has not gotten much better. The Storms longtime, successful coach Tim Marcum surprisingly resigned a month before the season began and was replaced internally by Dave Ewart. Tampa is looking to bounce back from a loss by 40 points at the hands of the Cleveland Gladiators last week. In Tampas two losses this season they have lost by an average of 38 points.
Jacksonville must look to contain Tampas defensive lineman Cliff Dukes. Dukes,who leads the AFL with six sacks, is having a career year and is only one away from tying his last years totals. Sharks offensive lineman Isaac Morales, Andy Degg and Vladimir Richard must find a way to contain Dukes and give Garcia enough time to deliver the ball to his dangerous weapons.
Sharks defensive back Micheaux Robinson and the rest of the Sharks defensive backfield still look to reassert their dominance from last year. The Sharks are currently last in the league in yards allowed. The defense however has allowed the least points in the AFL. Robinson was awarded Defensive Player of the week vs. the Georgia Force two weeks ago. He has picked off three passes in the last two weeks. The entire defensive backfield will look to continue their takeaway streak against Tampa Bay who has thrown five interceptions on the season.
This weekends contest between the Jacksonville Sharks and the Tampa Bay Storm has been selected as the NFL Network Game of the Week. It will air on the NFL Network at 8:00PM. Radio play-by-play will be broadcast by 1010XL, and hosted by Terry Norvelle.