Saturday, June 12, 2004
By Matthew Gionta
The CardSharks defeated the Fort Wayne Freedom 41-27 at Boardwalk Hall on Saturday, June 12. The ‘Sharks, winners of five out of their last six and three in a row, improve to 6-5 on the season. The Freedom (6-6) now trails the expansion CardSharks by ½ game in the Atlantic Conference Playoff standings. The game was decided in the air, as Atlantic City threw the ball effectively and came up with a four interceptions to stop the Freedom.
Cornerback Chonn Lacey set the tone for the evening, with a first quarter interception return for a touchdown. Lacey had 2 picks on the night, and has intercepted at least one pass in the last three games. Free Safety Quincy Baker also contributed with his first 2 interceptions of the season. Linebacker Earl Biddy picked off a Freedom conversion attempt and returned it the distance for his second 2-point conversion of the season. Biddy, who is back at full strength after returning from a severe ankle sprain earlier in the season, had 3 solo tackles and 2 assists on the night.
Offensively, Quarterback Tony Racioppi completed 15 of 28 passes for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns. Wide Receiver Greg Muckerson continued to make plays with 7 catches for the third week in a row. “Muck” netted 95 yards on the 7 receptions, and scored twice. Ron “Saint” Lewis picked his spots and scored twice on the ground for the ‘Sharks.
Rocco DeMaise, four time Atlantic Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, went down in the second half with an injury to his arm. DeMaise, who has been a sparkplug for the CardSharks offense and special teams all season, will miss the remainder of the regular season. DeMaise still returned 4 kickoffs for 67 yards on the evening.
Head coach and General Manager of the CardSharks, Mike Siani said, “Muckerson really set the pace for the offense tonight. Every time we needed a big play he came through.” Siani added, “Our offense and special teams will miss Rocco, but everyone will need to step it up a notch. You don’t lose the best kick returner in the league and not feel it, but we’ll have to pull together.”
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