Predators fall to the Sharks at home

The Predators were unable to fend off the Sharks in their third and final meeting of the season during Friday’s matchup.

The Predators (3-7) dropped their fourth consecutive loss at home against the arch-rival Sharks (6-5) 37-34 in the final home game of the season for the Predators.

“We played well and fought back,” head coach Jeff Higgins said. “We had a chance to go up but it didn’t work out. Hats off to Jacksonville for getting the win.”

Despite the loss, the team was able to rally behind new quarterback Matt Parsons, who went 17-32 with 118 yards and four touchdowns and an interception. The team also faced adversity with several players missing, including veteran lineman De’Quan Murray who was suspended for the matchup.

“We had eight to 11 guys not here but we rallied behind Matt and asked guys to step up and do different jobs and they did that,” Higgins said. 

Once again on the defensive side of the ball, it was a showcase of talent. Defensive back Joshua Jenkins, who  leads the NAL in tackles with 54, brought in two interceptions, bringing his season total to five. Defensive Back Brian Foy Jr. was also able to grab his first interception of the season. 

“I’m obviously happy with the way I played, but if it doesn’t translate to winning then it doesn’t mean anything to me,” Jenkins said. “I’m happy with the way we played as a team and kept going. We never let our heads hang low and I am happy about that.”

In the trenches, the Predators were able to get to the quarterback three times with one sack each from linemen Victor Alvarez Jr. and Rashad Miller along with linebacker Kewan Alfred. 

“I would say as one of the leaders of the defense, we are doing our job really well right now,” Jenkins said. “We just have to keep playing that way and keep getting stops.”

Offensively, the Predators managed to gather a few big plays, including a 40-yard run by fullback Desmond Maxwell. Receiver Lonnie Outlaw led the Predators receiving core with six catches and 39 yards.

The Predators will have a bye week this week and will follow it up on the road for the last two games of the season. The Predators are set to take on the Albany Empire (6-4) on July 16 in Albany, N.Y. 

With the Predators currently sitting in last place, the team must win these two final games in order to compete for a playoff spot.