07/24/2012 6:12 PM - JACKSONVILLE – The Arena Football League and ArenaBowl XXIV Champion Jacksonville Sharks announced Tuesday that Jacksonville quarterback Bernard Morris has been selected as the Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week for Week 20 of the 2012 AFL season. Morris earned the award following a stellar performance in Jacksonville’s division-clinching 64-39 road win against the Pittsburgh Power on Friday, July 20.
Against Pittsburgh, an explosive Morris led the Sharks to three touchdowns within the team’s first seven offensive plays, helping Jacksonville build an insurmountable 27-0 lead in the first quarter. Despite resting for the entire fourth quarter, Morris finished the game 20-of-25 passing for 194 yards and eight touchdowns against just one interception. He scored a two-yard rushing touchdown in the game as well.
The total of eight passing touchdowns matched the third-year quarterback’s career high, as Morris also accomplished the feat while playing for the Power during the 2011 season. With his rushing touchdown taken into account, Morris set a new personal career high and tied the franchise single-game record with nine total offensive touchdowns in the game. He became the fourth Shark to hit that mark in team history.
“Bernard is developing as a young quarterback,” Sharks Head Coach Les Moss said. “Now he’s a playoff quarterback, he’s won a division, and he’s going to continue to get better and better."
Morris was assigned to the Sharks’ 2012 roster prior to the team’s Week 3 game against the Georgia Force. Beginning as Omar Jacobs’ backup, Morris stepped into the starting role when Jacobs suffered a season-ending injury in Week 9 against New Orleans. Starting the team’s final 11 games, Morris led the Sharks to a 7-4 record in the games in which he started, completing 62.2 percent of his passes and throwing 59 touchdowns against 14 interceptions.
A dynamic runner out of the pocket, Morris set a single-season franchise record with 291 rushing yards in 2012. Morris led the team with 11 rushing touchdowns and finished atop the AFL leaderboard with an average of 4.3 yards per carry.
Morris becomes the seventh Shark to win a weekly award this season. Wide receiver Terrance Smith was named AFL Playmaker of the Week following Week 4 and Week 6, later earning the Spalding Highlight of the Week after Week 7. Lineman Jason Holman was named the J. Lewis Small Ironman of the Week for Week 8, while fullback Rendrick Taylor earned the Highlight of the Week for Week 11 and defensive back LaRoche Jackson was selected as the Riddell Defensive Player of the Week for Week 16.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and back-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 2013 season are now available, two tickets as low as $185. 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.