03/19/2012 4:12 PM - JACKSONVILLE - The ArenaBowl XXIV Champion Jacksonville Sharks have begun preparation for the team’s home opener against the Georgia Force this Saturday, March 24 on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Kickoff for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
After a weekend of travel and rest, the Sharks will practice on four consecutive days from Tuesday through Friday. The team will use the sessions to build on last Friday’s season-opening 52-28 win over the Kansas City Command.
A full weekly practice schedule is detailed below (start and end times are approximate):
Tuesday, March 20: 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at Glen Kernan Golf & Country Club
Wednesday, March 21: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at Glen Kernan Golf & Country Club
Thursday, March 22: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at Glen Kernan Golf & Country Club
Friday, March 23: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at Glen Kernan Golf & Country Club
Saturday’s game marks the Sharks’ first television broadcast of 2012, as the game is set to air locally on CW17. The game will also be broadcast online via the Sharks’ official UStream channel, found at ustream.tv/JacksonvilleSharks. The Internet radio broadcast of Saturday’s game will be streamed through I Heart Radio. Links to both broadcast feeds will be available at jaxsharks.com on the day of the game.
Wrapping Up Last Week
The Sharks’ 52-28 victory over the Command was keyed by a string of 38 consecutive points scored by Jacksonville between the second and fourth quarters of the game. Key in that stretch was the second-half play of Jacksonville’s defense, which scored twice and forced a pair of second-half turnovers.
Thanks in large part to the offense’s 10-plus-minute drive to open the third quarter, Jacksonville allowed Kansas City to run just one offensive play in the entire third quarter – one that resulted in a fumble. The Sharks then forced a safety the only other time that the Command touched the ball in that third quarter.
Overall, the 28 points allowed by the Sharks is the third-lowest single-game total that the team has given up in franchise history. The team’s record low is 20, set against Bossier-Shreveport in 2010. The Sharks also allowed just 27 points against the Iowa Barnstormers last season.
Know Your Foe
The Georgia Force enter this week’s action with a record of 1-1. Each of the Force’s two games this season have been decided by three points or less. First, the team held serve at home in their season opener, defeating the Cleveland Gladiators by a score of 41-39. Georgia then fell to the Tampa Bay Storm this past weekend, 50-47.
The Force feature several familiar faces from last year’s team, as kick returner C.J. Johnson and wide receiver Larry Shipp have already made a significant impact in 2012. One notable name missing from the 2012 edition of the Force is that of Maurie Purify, the reigning AFL rookie of the year who now plays for the Arizona Rattlers.
Georgia did not compete in the Arena Football League in 2010. To this point, the Sharks have had success against this divisional foe. Jacksonville won both regular-season meetings last season before taking down the Force in the American Conference Championship Game en route to ArenaBowl XXIV.
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and back-to-back 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 2012 season are now available, two tickets as low as $135. 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.