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     Week Ending 26 May 2018

Sharks win 4th straight

from nationalarenaleague.com

WORCESTER- The Jacksonville Sharks (5-3) defeated the number three team in the league, the Massachusetts Pirates (5-3). The game was a close nail-biter until the end when Jacksonville came up with the win to increase their win streak to four in a row. The Sharks stay in fourth place because the Pirates beat the Sharks by seven points in the first game and the Sharks beat the Pirates by five points this time, which puts us two points behind Massachusetts in the series while it’s tied up at 1-1. This Sharks victory also ended the Pirates active home game win streak of three home victories in a row.

Sharks Wide Receiver Antonio Vaughan returned to the field after missing a few weeks to a Turf Toe injury. In the first half, he caught three of the Sharks four touchdowns. For the entire game, he totaled seven receptions for 79 yards and four touchdowns. A receiver can’t do his job is there is no quarterback, which is why Adrian McPherson is on the field and dominating. He had his best performance yet as a Shark, going 21-of-33 (63.64%) for 246 yards, seven touchdowns, and two interceptions. McPherson also had the game-securing rush to put triple zero’s on the clock. He rushed one time for one yard to end the game. Wide Receiver Tom Gilson also stole the show tonight as he racked up 90 yards on five catches for two touchdowns. Offensive Lineman/Tight End Glenn Haisley made a huge impact on the game, as he was targeted three times, but only making one catch for a 25 yard touchdown. Cody Saul also had two receptions for eight yards. The Boss, Derrick Ross, rushed eight times for 17 yards, had one catch for nine yards, and helped the Sharks win in their last drive to end the game.

To start the game, the Pirates scored on a one-play drive from Quarterback Sean Brackett to Wide Receiver Mardy Gilyard for a 32 yard touchdown, followed by a deuce by Kicker Ali Mourtada. Jacksonville couldn’t get the job done on their opening drive, as McPherson threw an interception. Jacksonville recovered a fumble in the end zone to give Jacksonville the ball at their own five yard line. Later on, the Sharks finally scored to make things 7-9. From there, it was all back and forth after each team turned the ball over. The first quarter ended a 7-9 with the Sharks trailing the Pirates. The Sharks and Pirates would fight until the end of the half, as constant scoring kept changing who had the lead. Touchdowns from Gilson and Vaughan helped the Sharks out a lot, as they kept the score a close 27-30 at halftime with the Sharks down by three but getting the ball first after halftime.

The second half was the most interesting, as both teams had clutch plays. The Pirates had a 20 yard Pick-Six, and the Sharks had multiple turnover on downs and a fumble recovery. The Sharks found many ways to get their receivers open all night, and so did the Pirates. McPherson played his best football in the second half, and so did the Sharks defense. The defensive line got things started for themselves when Jermiah Price came up with a huge sack. To help conclude the game, Brandon Roe, who was playing Jack Linebacker, tipped a pass on 3rd and 18 deep in the Pirates territory to send it to fourth down. The next play, Brackett got wrapped up by Defensive Lineman Keith Bowers, but Brackett threw it away before going down. Before the game ended, Derrick Ross and Adrian McPherson shared the ball with each other to wind the clock down with less than a minute to go. The Sharks ultimately won 47-42 in a close game.

 

Havoc forced to forfeit

Cape Fear claims 6-0 victory, Atlanta Appeal Pending

By Jay Luster

27 May 2018

The 9-0 Atlanta Havoc was scheduled to host the 3-3 Cape Fear Heroes. The Heroes are vying for the last playoff spot and were looking forward to the opportunity to try and take down the upstart, undefeated Havoc. The Havoc, in sole possession of first place, needed this game as a tie-breaker against the 8-1 Richmond Roughriders to maintain their home-field playoff lock. Their stadium is owned and operated by the Buford Georgia school system, and they needed the building Friday for their high-school graduation commencement. Originally scheduled to be held outside, the plan changed at the last minute due to rain. According to Atlanta Havoc GM, Josh Resignalo, the team usually had 48-72 hours lead time to get the arena ready for play. However, the change to the graduation ceremony left the team with under a day. The arena itself has special requirements, which make preparation a longer process than what is expected in a standard hockey rink. For most teams, it’s a matter of laying down the field, hanging the goal posts, and padding up the dashers, and they're ready to go. In Buford, along with that, they have to assemble the walls and put a protective net around the $1.2 million-dollar Jumbotron, and they have to do it all without help from the arena. Protecting the hi-def scoreboard requires working on a 50-foot tall lift, which isn't for the faint of heart. The nets and goal posts could not be hung until the field was in place and since the team couldn’t even begin until around midnight, they knew they had their work cut out for them. With that in mind, they contacted AAL Commissioner Jack Bowman, who granted them a one-hour extension which would move the 7 pm kickoff back to 8 pm. Generally speaking, team's take the field around 90 minutes ahead of game time for warm-ups, which gave the Havoc until 6:30 pm. When 7 pm arrived, and Resignalo was still hanging the nets around the Jumbotron with the goal posts still to go, talks began about possibly holding the game but only squib or onside kicking. The Heroes refused because both their kicking, and return game are vital to their team as it is to most teams. If they had known they wouldn’t have needed a kicker, they would have activated another position player. Considering the Heroes were on the road against the top team in the AAL, and one of the best teams in all of arena football, their game planning included their special teams and being deprived of that would have put them at a distinct disadvantage. The Havoc were determined to play and pleaded for more time, and the suggestion was made for the Heroes to stay over until Sunday and play the game then. Again, Cape Fear declined. Housing and feeding a football team on the road is an expensive proposition and doing it for an extra day doubles that cost. For arena football teams, playing on the road is an expense only proposition. There is no profit sharing, and in many cases, there are no profits to share anyway, so traveling expenses are completely absorbed by the visitors and count against their bottom line. Purposely doubling your expenses is a poor business decision, and the Heroes simply weren’t going to do it. Aside from that, many of the players and coaches on both teams had holiday weekend plans with family and were reluctant to give them up. Shortly after 7 pm, the decision was made by the league that Atlanta had forfeited. Havoc co-owner Chris Duffy has asked for and has been granted an appeal of the decision. AAL President Jack Bowman confirmed the appeal and referred the decision to AAL CEO Tony Zefiretto. Responding with a text, Cape Fear Heroes GM Crystal Williams had no-comment. Jack Bowman said the league would have no further comment until the appeal ruling was announced. The Havoc believes, if given just a bit more time, they could have played the game. The league will not comment about how this affects the standings until after the ruling is made. With Richmond’s victory over the New Jersey Flight last night, they are once again in a first-place tie with the Havoc. The tie breakers are complex, but what we know is that Richmond owns the tiebreaker with their victories over the Florida Tarpons and the Cape Fear Heroes, and the Havoc hold the tiebreakers with their victories over the Carolina Energy and Georgia Doom. The Havoc also owns the tiebreaker with their victory over the High Country Grizzlies, but if the Riders beat the team from Boone, NC by more than 43 points, a tall order, and the Havoc lose their appeal (which seems likely), then home-field advantage throughout the playoffs will belong to the Roughriders.   

 

AAL Tiebreaking Procedures

The four postseason participants from each conference are seeded as follows:   The league champion with the best record. The league team with the second-best record. The league team with the third-best record. The League team with the fourth-best record.

NOTE: Tie games count as one-half win and one-half loss for both clubs.  

TO BREAK A TIE WITHIN THE AAL

If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the league finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.   

Two Clubs Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).

Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the league.

Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.

Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference. Strength of victory.

Strength of schedule.

Best combined ranking among league teams in points scored and points allowed.

Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.

Best net points in common games.

Best net points in all games.

Best net touchdowns in all games.

Coin toss   Three or More Clubs

 

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