JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A second comeback in as many weeks was not in the cards for the Jacksonville Sharks on Saturday night, as the team fell to the Philadelphia Soul in the American Conference Championship Game, 75-59, in front of 9,161 on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
With the result, Philadelphia advances to ArenaBowl XXVI, where the Soul will face either the Arizona Rattlers or Spokane Shock. As of the end of Saturday’s game, the National Conference Championship Game between the Shock and Rattlers was still in progress.
In defeat, Morris completed 31 of his 49 pass attempts for 416 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions. Philadelphia was able to neutralize Morris’ ability to make plays with his legs, holding the Shark quarterback to five yards on three attempts. White led all players with 14 receptions for 188 yards and four touchdowns, while Harvey contributed seven catches for 101 yards and three scores.
On defense, Micheaux Robinson led Jacksonville with 6.5 total tackles (six solo) and two pass breakups to go along with his interception. Turner had a strong all-around game with a fumble recovery, an interception and a blocked kick. In addition to Marcorelle’s sack-fumble, Turner and Derrick Summers split a sack for the Sharks. Bill Alford, Terrance Smith and Tracy Belton each recorded a pass breakup in the secondary.
For Philadelphia, Raudabaugh went 18-for-27, totaling 220 yards and eight touchdowns against two interceptions. Ross scored twice on the ground and twice in the air, racking up 54 rushing yards and 31 receiving yards in the process. Jones, Ryan McDaniel and Larry Brackins each caught a pair of touchdowns for Philadelphia. On defense, Jack linebacker Joe Goosby led the Soul with nine total tackles (seven solo). LaRico Stevenson led all players with four pass breakups, while Kizer added three of his own.
The Sharks’ season comes to an end with an overall record of 13-7, as Jacksonville falls to Philadelphia in the conference championship game for a second consecutive season. The Sharks will enter the offseason looking to build on a strong core of returning players as the team shoots for a fifth consecutive South Division Title in 2014.