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Vipers Host Jacksonville Sharks in Home Opener Tonight

Tonight the Alabama Vipers will host their first Arena Football League game at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville against division rival Jacksonville.

The Vipers (0-1) return home after a heartbreaking and controversial loss on the road at Bossier City-Shreveport, while the Sharks (1-0) are coming off a huge road win over Oklahoma City last week.

Jacksonville comes into Huntsville with a wily veteran at quarterback in Aaron Garcia.

Garcia attempted just 16 passes last week, completing 11 of them for 154 yards with five touchdowns and one interception.

His favorite targets were Trandon Harvey and Jomo Wilson. Both receivers hauled in five passes each, with Harvey catching two touchdown passes and Wilson grabbing one.

Jason Willis also caught two scores on four catches.

Defensively, the Sharks were led by former Vipers linebacker RayJohn Myles. Myles totaled three tackles along with 1.5 sacks.

Defensive back Dee Webb garnered six tackles and one interception on the night.

The Sharks had the best defensive effort in the league last week, giving up less points and less yards than any other team in the league.

On the other side of the field will be the Alabama Vipers, who struggled through a tough loss last week against another former af2 team in Bossier City-Shreveport.

The Vipers will take the field with the league's leading rusher and leading receiver on the season.

Fullback Dan Alexander rushed ten times for 17 yards and five touchdowns, while receiver Michael Johnson hauled in 14 passes for 229 yards, but no scores.

Quarterback Kevin Eakin only completed 58 percent of his passes and threw for just two scores, but the second year signal caller was able to lead his team and did not commit any mistakes to put his team in bad situations.

Defensively, the Vipers will get an added boost in the secondary with the addition of Ahmad Hawkins. Hawkins arrived in Huntsville earlier this week and is expected to play tonight.

Last week, Alabama gave up 306 passing yards and seven touchdowns to Raymond Philyaw and the Battlewings, but Hawkins will certainly help the situation on defense.

The defensive line was not able to get to Philyaw at all last week, but Eric Scott was able to knock down three passes at the line of scrimmage.

Tonight, Alabama will have to put together a complete effort to keep the Sharks at bay and complete their first victory in the AFL.


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