Sharks Host Stingy Milwaukee Mustangs on Saturday
Despite their 4-8 record, the Milwaukee Mustangs are expected to present the league-leading Jacksonville Sharks with one of their toughest defensive match ups of the season when they visit Sea Best Field at Veterans Memorial Arena Saturday night at 7 p.m.
The stingy Mustangs, who boast the best pass defense in the league — allowing just 236 passing yards per game — and the third best rushing defense, have some serious weapons.
Their vaunted defense held the Tampa Bay Storm to 33 points in late April, and limited Kansas City to just 34 points on Saturday. In the previous two weeks, the Mustangs allowed only 35 and 39 points, respectively, narrowly losing games to Orlando and Philadelphia.
Despite their defensive prowess, the Mustangs realize that they’ll have their hands full trying to contain Jacksonville’s Aaron Garcia.
The 40-year-old Garcia, who has tossed for 74 touchdowns this season — including eight in last Saturday’s thrilling 68-67 victory over the revenge-minded Orlando Predators — is the all-time leading passer in Arena Football League history, throwing for a record-breaking 1,036 career touchdowns.
The "Ancient One," as one Milwaukee sportswriter recently described him, threw for 329 yards against the Predators.
The victory was Jacksonville’s eleventh in a row.
The Quad City Steamrollers, who won 24 straight games during the 2000 and 2001 seasons, recorded the longest winning streak in league history.
The Sharks can reach the halfway point toward shattering that goal with a victory against the Mustangs. A win would also clinch a playoff berth for the high-scoring Sharks, who are averaging 63.9 points per game.
Trailing the expansion Pittsburgh Power and the Cleveland Gladiators by three games and the Philadelphia Soul by a single game in the American Conference’s hotly-contested East Division, Milwaukee still has an outside chance of making the playoffs, but will need huge road wins against the Sharks on Saturday and the Power next week at the new Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh to have a realistic shot of contending for one of the league’s wild card spots.
The Mustangs, who have struggled offensively, will be playing without star defensive back and wide receiver Andre Jones, who recently signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.
Jones, who had eleven interceptions on the season — returning three for touchdowns — before signing with the CFL on June 7, has been replaced by Antonio Malone, who played college ball at Toledo.
The 27-year-old Malone had a pair of interceptions, including one for a touchdown in last Saturday’s 54-34 win over the Kansas City Command.
Malone will be joined in the secondary by defensive backs Marcus Everett and Kelvin Rodgers, all three of whom will be hoping to disrupt Garcia’s highly efficient passing game.
Saturday’s game, billed as “Halloween in June,” will be aired locally on CW 17.