Sharks Down Gladiators: Stay undefeated at home.

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The Jacksonville Sharks played the Cleveland Gladiators Saturday night, looking to add another win to their impressive season. The record crowd of 11,715 filled the Jacksonville Memorial Arena with thunderous sounds as the game began.

The game started with a roar when Sharks’ quarterback Aaron Garcia threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jason Willis. It wasn’t long until the Gladiators scored on their first drive to tie the game 7-7. 

On the Sharks next possession, Garcia threw an interception, but their defense would prevail. The Sharks shut down the Gladiators’ offense, and blocked a field goal to obtain possession. The Sharks scored on the drive to go ahead 14-7. By the end of the first quarter the game was tied 14-14.

It was the Sharks’ defense which kept them in the game, from blocked field goals to blocked passes. At the end of the first quarter, Garcia completed 4-of-5 for 79-yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Cleveland’s quarterback, John Dutton, completed 10-of-15 passes for 98-yards and two touchdowns.

The score was close the entire game, but penalties kept the Gladiators from getting their offense to full potential. Cleveland had 11 penalties for 65-yards, while the Sharks had six penalties for 37-yards.

With 3:02 left in the game, the Sharks successfully completed an onside kick. This seemed to lock the win, as they scored again making it 46-37. Although the Gladiators tried for a late fourth quarter comeback, they failed.

The final score 46-44, put the Sharks at 6-1 on the season, while the Gladiators fell to 3-4. Garcia completed 23-of-40, with six touchdowns and two interceptions for 290-yards. “I know we had to score on the last drive and take advantage,” Garcia said. “With 11,000 great fans, I had to make a contribution. I felt I wasn’t playing well all game.”

Garcia also felt the key to their success for the win was sticking together as a team. He had help from wide receivers Dallas Baker and Jomo Wilson who combined for 16 catches for 234 yards and five touchdowns. This is Les Moss’ first year as the Sharks head coach, and remains unbeaten at home on Sea Best Field.