The Pittsburgh Power (12-3) won their ninth-straight game Saturday night with a 64-48 win on the road over the Jacksonville Sharks (5-9.) It was the Power’s first win over the Sharks in franchise history.
Power quarterback Tommy Grady shined in the win completing 24 of his 37 pass attempts for 353 yards and nine touchdowns. All three of his receivers finished the contest with multiple touchdowns.
Things started off badly for the Power when wide receiver Prechae Rodriguez put the ball on the turf on Pittsburgh’s first play from scrimmage. Jacksonville capitalized one play later with a 19-yard touchdown run by Jared McGriff-Culver to put the Sharks up 7-0 early. Pittsburgh responded with a Tommy Grady touchdown pass to Shaun Kauleinamoku to tie things up. Pittsburgh swung momentum back in their direction when Power defensive end Jake Killeen sacked Jacksonville quarterback R.J. Archer in the end zone for the Power’s league-leading 5th safety to give Pittsburgh a 9-7 lead. Pittsburgh added to that lead with another connection between Grady and Kauleinamoku that made it 16-7.
Kauleinamoku caught eight passes on the night for 73 yards and two touchdowns.
The Power opened up the second quarter with a six-yard touchdown pass from Grady to wide receiver Hank Edwards to make it 23-14. Pittsburgh’s defense came up big once again when Power Mac linebacker James Bryant scooped up a McGriff-Culver fumble. Pittsburgh added two touchdown passes from Grady to wide receiver Prechae Rodriguez to take a 37-21 lead into the locker rooms at halftime.
Rodriguez hauled in a team-best 10 receptions on the night amassing 165 yards and three scores.
The Power and Sharks traded scores throughout the third period with Pittsburgh leading 51-35 heading to the final frame. Jacksonville’s Terrance Smith kicked off scoring in the fourth with a three-yard touchdown reception. Jacksonville then recovered an onside kick, but Pittsburgh got the ball back immediately with an interception by defensive back Al Phillips. Pittsburgh kept their foot on the gas with a Grady touchdown pass to Edwards followed by a Latarrius Thomas interception that set up Grady and Edwards for a final time.
Edwards finished the game with six receptions for 115 yards and four touchdowns.
Smith and the Sharks added one last touchdown late in the fourth, but it was too late as Pittsburgh picked up their ninth-straight win 64-48.
Pittsburgh looks to stay hot as they travel to the Big Easy for a Monday night showdown with the New Orleans VooDoo. Kickoff from the Smoothie King Center on July 7 is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game:
Tommy Grady, Pittsburgh
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game:
Al Phillips, Pittsburgh
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game:
Prechae Rodriguez, Pittsburgh
Cutters Catch of the Game:
Prechae Rodriguez’s touchdown catch over the boards
AFL Highlight of the Game:
Prechae Rodriguez’s 49-yard touchdown reception