The Los Angeles KISS (7-7) will play their final road trip of the regular season starting on Saturday when they take on the Jacksonville Sharks (5-9) at Veterans Memorial Arena. The KISS made a statement in the first game of the season when they played the Sharks, as they defeated the 2015 ArenaBowl runner up 64-39, and that could’ve jumpstarted the Sharks never-ending turmoil.
Jacksonville fired head coach Les Moss, after losing four straight games, including last week to the two-win Portland Steel. Jacksonville is entering the first game of the Bob Landsee era, as the team will try to finish the season strong before the playoffs begin in three weeks.
Los Angeles has won three of their last four games, and they’ve used the third quarter to their advantage. Los Angeles has outscored opponents 27-0 in the last two third quarters, and that’s a testament to their defense. The KISS defense ranks first in points allowed, and they’ve had phenomenal performances against the Tampa Bay Storm, as they’ve only allowed 48 combined points to Tampa Bay this season.
Jacksonville might’ve lost four straight games, but they definitely have the offense that could get them out of this massive slump. Quarterback Tommy Grady has thrown for 4,061 yards and 82 touchdowns. He has completed 67.6% of his pass attempts, and he has posted a quarterback rating of 125.0. Grady’s biggest weapon has been Joe Hills, who is having a remarkable season. Hills leads the league in receptions (146), yards (1,859), and touchdowns (51).
Grady has another reliable weapon in Tiger Jones, who has caught 94 passes for 1,095 yards and 16 touchdowns. Fullback Derrick Ross has had another fantastic season, as he leads the league carries (88), yards (325), and touchdowns (17).
The defense has been led by Greg Reid, who leads the team in interceptions (8), and tackles (81.5). The KISS enter with a .500 record because of a consistent offense and stout defense. Despite being out for a good chunk of the season, quarterback Nathan Stanley has put up stellar numbers. Stanley has completed 184 of his 313 pass attempts, for 2,051 yards and 41 touchdowns.
His top target has been Donovan Morgan, who has caught 88 passes for 1,215 yards and 38 touchdowns. The defense has been led by Fredrick Obi, who leads the team in interceptions (5), and tackles (78.5). If Jacksonville wants to bounce back, they’ll need to limit Morgan, and they’ll need to pressure Stanley. Los Angeles will need to force turnovers, and limit penalties.