Game Preview: Orlando Predators vs. Jacksonville Sharks

Game Preview: Orlando Predators vs. Jacksonville Sharks

Orlando, FLA -- The Orlando Predators (0-1) are set to travel to Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FLA, on Saturday June 12th at 7pm, to take on their in-state rival Jacksonville Sharks (0-0) in their second game of the season.

Heading into the matchup, Orlando dropped their first game on the road against the Columbus Lions (1-1), 55-40 to start the year.

Predators head coach Ben Bennett preached at practice this week that penalties are what caused the most damage to the team. The Preds played well statistically, but penalties made the difference in the result of the game. Last week, Orlando committed seven penalties for 48 yards.

In the first contest, quarterback Bryan Hicks threw for 195 yards and five scores while completing 21 of his 34 passes.

The Preds pass catchers came to play, with wide receivers, Donavan Rasberry, Desmond Maxwell and Troy Grant each logging at least one scoring play throughout the course of action. DJ Myers was able to find the end-zone twice on opening night. 

Rob Jones (2019 Second Team All-NAL) contributed in both the run and pass game, scoring a two-yard rushing touchdown behind his 151 total yards from scrimmage. 

Defensively, Bradyn Jasper and Nick Girgio were able to get to the quarterback and register a sack for the Preds defense.

Defensive back Josh Jenkins made his presence felt in Columbus earning National Arena League Defensive Player of the Week, finishing his first game with eight tackles, three pass break up’s, and an interception. 

Although Jenkins did stand out, the Predators need to improve defensively. The unit allowed a perfect conversion rate on fourth down (5/5) against the Lions in their season opener. 

Kicker Jorge Leon made his NAL debut at 41-years old, converting on four of his six extra point attempts while also registering two touchbacks. 

Orlando will be facing a formidable opponent in Jacksonville, as the Sharks won the 2019 NAL Championship.

Outside of their starting signal caller Mike Fafaul, Jacksonville has nine returning players from their championship roster. 

On the flip side, the Orlando Predators already have a game under their belts as opposed to their in-state rivals who have yet to play a down of football this season. This could be an advantage for Orlando heading into week two. 

The last time these two teams met, the Preds fell to the Sharks 48-20. 

Back in 2019 against the Sharks, Hicks tossed for 164 yards and 3 scores. Wide receiver LJ Castille was on the receiving end of all three of Hicks’ touchdowns, while also hauling in ten total passes for 74 yards.

The Preds are aiming to break even on the young 2021 season. A win against the Sharks will allow the team to reach a .500 record at 1-1 on the season. 

All Orlando Predator games this season can be streamed on YouTube. 

Photo Credit: Balanx Sports

About the Orlando Predators: 

The Orlando Predators are a professional Arena Football team based in Orlando, Florida and a member of the National Arena League (NAL).  The team was founded in 1991 as an expansion team of the Arena Football League (AFL). The team advanced to the playoffs 19 consecutive seasons between 1992 and 2011, becoming the Arena Bowl champions in 1998 and 2000 during that span. The team plays their home games at the Amway Center in beautiful downtown Orlando, FL. For more information about the Orlando Predators visit