The Jacksonville Sharks were able to outlast the visiting Columbus Lions on Saturday night, winning 49-41 despite an intense second-half comeback effort from the Lions.
Everything seemed to be going the Sharks’ way in the first half. The team scored first on a touchdown pass from QB Jonathan Bane to WR Jarmon Fortson, and its defense seemed to be too much for Lions QB Luke Collis. On the Lions’ first three possessions, Collis fumbled once and was picked off twice – both times by Sharks DB Seth Ellis.
The Sharks scored three times before the Lions were able to get on the board, and the team carried a 29-8 lead into the half.
In the second half, though, the Lions came out like a completely different team – led by Collis, who was clearly determined to make up for his earlier struggles.
Collis threw for five second-half touchdowns and led a fevered comeback drive from the Lions, who were able to cut the lead to just nine points by the end of the third quarter.
A fumble by Fortson to start the fourth left the door wide open for the Lions, but Collis would cough up his second fumble of the game on the ensuing Lions drive.
The Sharks scored to bump their lead to 16. And though the Lions kept fighting, the Sharks were able to do just enough to hang on. A touchdown run by LB/RB Zack Brown would seal the win for Jacksonville.
It was a standout effort for Brown, who ran for two TDs and also caught a 16-yard TD pass.
Bane struggled with accuracy, completing just 46% of his passes, but still threw for 228 yards and 4 TDs – along with adding one rushing TD. Fortson led all Sharks receivers with 7 catches and 2 TDs, while Devin Wilson added 6 catches for 95 yards and a score.
The Sharks now advance to 6-1 and extend their current win streak to six games as they prepare to take on the second-place Carolina Cobras in Greensboro next Saturday night.