Thursday, June 24, 2004
By Matthew Gionta
The CardSharks will host the Staten Island Xtreme on Saturday night looking to take another big step in their quest for an NIFL playoff berth. The NIFL’s two newest teams have met once this season, with the ‘Sharks defeating the Xtreme 57-36 at Boardwalk Hall in May.
The CardSharks won their fourth game in a row last week, defeating the Carolina Rays in Florence, by a 46-35 score. The ‘Sharks have won 6 of their last 7 and are making a strong push for a spot in the NIFL postseason tournament, hoping to win against Staten Island.
The Xtreme look to play spoiler to rival Atlantic City, after coming off a loss to the Ohio Valley Greyhounds 51-29 last week. Staten Island will also look a bit different than the first match-up between the two clubs. Former Quarterback Akili Roberson has signed with the Greyhounds, Head Coach Avery Atadero has stepped down and former Kicker Matt Magrone is now a member of the CardSharks.
The ‘Sharks feature a much-improved defense now, holding opponents to just 30 points a game during their 4-game winning streak. The defensive line, featuring starters Jamal Naji, Brett Kolk and Eddie Bynes, have been attacking opposing quarterbacks in recent weeks. Naji and Kolk each forced a fumble in last week’s victory, and Kolk even scored a touchdown.
The ‘Sharks have been consistent offensively, as Quarterback Tony Racioppi, Wide Receivers Greg Muckerson and Eric “Easy” Magrini have ranked among the NIFL league leaders all season. Returning kicks for the second week in a row will be Wide Receiver Mike Osborne. Osborne returned a kickoff for a touchdown last week, replacing the injured Rocco DeMaise.
There are still tickets available for the final game of the CardSharks inaugural season at historic Boardwalk Hall. For tickets to Saturday, June 26th’s 7:35 pm game, call Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420 or visit them on the web at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information on the CardSharks, visit www.accardsharks.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 609-264-8700.
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