The Force took a bite out of the Jacksonville Sharks with a final game score of 56-39 in the Arena Football League’s Week 14 contest held at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. The game was played in front of 3,826 arena football fans.
The Sharks made a statement early in the game, with a 13 yard touchdown pass from QB Bernard Morris to WR Jamarcko Simmons. Roughly two minutes later, the Force responded with a 12 yard touchdown pass from QB RJ Archer to WR Larry Shipp. With 7:38 left in the first quarter, Morris found WR Bobby Sewall for a 17 yard touchdown pass. To close out the first quarter, Morris once again found Simmons for an 8 yard touchdown pass, giving them a 20-9 lead.
As the Force was looking to close the gap, Sharks DB LaRoche Jackson intercepted Archer’s pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown. Archer managed to find Shipp for a 12 yard touchdown pass with 4:55 left in the first quarter, narrowing the Sharks lead to 11 points.
Within minutes of the start of the second half, Archer completed a 5 yard touchdown pass to Shipp. A few minutes later, Morris found WR Jeron Harvey for a 5 yard touchdown pass, keeping them in the lead at 33-26. The Force once again narrowed the Sharks lead to only a point with a 7 yard run by FB Mykel Benson. The Force came up with a big safety when NG Kris Cooke sacked Bernard in the endzone at the end of the third quarter, giving Georgia the first lead of the night. After the Sharks forced the fumble, Morris hooked up with Simmons for a 1 yard touchdown. With approximately two minutes left in the game, Shipp rushed in a one yard touchdown. The Force kept the momentum going with a interception by LB Jeremy Grier, which was then returned for a 5 yard touchdown. On 4th & goal and 17 seconds left in the game, Shipp threw a 3 yard touchdown pass to WR Shay Hodge, giving the Force the final winning score of 56-39.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Larry Shipp, Georgia
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Jeremy Grier, Georgia
JLS Ironman of the Game: Terrance Smith, Jacksonville
AFL Playmaker of the Game: Larry Shipp, Georgia
Cutters Catch of the Game: Shipp to Hodge, 4th quarter touchdown
Spalding Highlight of the Game: Jeremy Grier pick six touchdown, Georgia
National Guard MVP: Larry Shipp, Georgia
The Force will be on the road next weekend, facing the Chicago Rush on Saturday, June 16th at 8 p.m. EST at the Allstate Arena Center in Rosemont, Illinois. The game will be streamed live on Ustream.
WR Brandon McRae has been activated off of IR after starting WR CJ Johnson strained his hamstring in the contest against the New Orleans VooDoo on June 2nd. Before being placed on IR for a broken thumb, McRae accomplished 41 receptions for 361 yards resulting in 12 touchdowns in just seven games with the Force.
“CJ contibutes to the team in so many different ways,” stated head coach Dean Cokinos. “Losing him for this this game leaves a void to fill. We will count on Shipp and the young receivers (Jake Allen, Brandon McRae, and Shay Hodge) to pick up the slack.”
The Force will remain home this weekend, facing the Jacksonville Sharks on Saturday, June 9th at 7 p.m. EST at the The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. When the Force met the Sharks earlier this season, they dominated the game, with a final score of 69-41. The Sharks will no doubt be looking for revenge and to keep their 3-game winning streak alive. The showdown will be streamed live on Ustream as well as televised on WSB’s MeTV 2.2, Comcast channel 248 and Charter channel 126.
The 2012 is in full-swing with an exciting, family-friendly slate of promotions and entertainment. For more information on how to reserve your single game tickets, please call the front office at 770.609.1300. For more information, please visit http://www.georgiaforce.com. Be sure to follow the Force Blog as well as Twitter and Facebook for all the latest updates.
Join fellow Force fanatics on a road trip to Jacksonville to support the team as they take on the Sharks at the Sea Best Field at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena this Saturday at 7 p.m.! Interested? Contact Sandy Harbinson at 904.284.0900 or by email at sandy.harbinson(at)BWJTB.com. The cost is $56/night. Tickets can be purchased in the visiting team section for $31 or $16 by calling the JAX Sharks ticket office at 904-621-0700. Ask to sit in the visiting team section.