Slow start is downfall in finale
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The Power's season finale Friday was supposed to be a chance for the team to head into the offseason with some momentum.
After a disastrous season, the Power finally had a permanent head coach in place, and were even coming off a win in the previous game against Georgia.
Instead, the game was just a reminder of how far this team still has to go.
The Power fell to Jacksonville 64-39, posting the team's third-lowest point total of the season.
Perhaps the worst part of this one, though, was that it appeared over not long after the teams took the field.
It took the Power a full quarter just to gain a first down. The first three possessions of the game all ended in 3-and-outs, giving the Sharks the ball at the Power 12-, 9- and 7-yard lines.
Jacksonville took advantage, scoring on its first four possessions to take a 27-0 lead before the Power had even moved the sticks.
The game was coach Derek Stingley's first since having his "interim" tag removed earlier this week.
He will now begin the process of evaluating and identifying which players he will invite back next season.
One position he'll certainly look at is quarterback. Andrico Hines started the game under center for the Power, but was removed at the end of the first quarter after suffering a concussion from a big hit. Prior to the injury, Hines completed just 3 of 10 passes for 17 yards.
Bryan Randall came in and threw an interception on his third pass, but Chris Leflore got the ball back for the Power on an impressive one-handed grab in the back of the end zone.
On the ensuing drive, the Power finally got on the board. A seven-play, 45-yard drive culminated with a touchdown pass from Randall to Mike Washington.
Randall finished 12 of 22 for 204 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for two scores. Washington caught five passes for 57 yards and the lone touchdown.
The defense still had no answer for Jacksonville's offense as Leflore's interception was the team's only defensive stop of the first half.
The Power did force the Sharks to settle for two field goal attempts in the second half, but both long after the game was out of reach.
On offense, the Power kept pace with the Sharks in the second half, but was unable to make up enough ground to overcome the disastrous start.
Sharks quarterback Bernard Morris threw for six touchdowns in the first half alone, and receiver Jeron Harvey caught six passes for 39 yards and three scores in the opening 30 minutes.
Morris finished 20 of 25 for 194 yards and eight touchdowns, despite being lifted at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Harvey caught 13 passes on the day for 99 yards and four touchdowns.
Rendric Taylor added 59 yards on seven carries.
At the end of the first half, the Sharks added insult to injury when they converted an onside kick and scored a touchdown with two seconds on the clock to take a 48-13 lead into the break.
First Published July 21, 2012 12:07 am