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Jacksonville wins ArenaBowl XXIV in wild finish

Sat., Aug. 13, 2011

PHOENIX – The Jacksonville Sharks were down to their final play – and last option in ArenaBowl XXIV.

Capping a wild finish even by Arena Football League standards, former Washington State Cougar Aaron Garcia threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jeron Harvey on a play called “Iowa Pass” to give the Sharks a 73-70 victory over the Arizona Rattlers on Friday night.

“I was third option in that play,” Harvey said. “Seriously, it was first Jomo (Wilson) and then Jarmarko (Simmons) and they jumped on both and I just sat there wide open and he found me.”

Garcia found Harvey nine times on the night for 115 yards and three touchdowns, two in the final 1:26.

Former Spokane Shock QB Nick Davila hit Kerry Reed with a 12-yard scoring pass with 21 seconds left to put Arizona up 70-67, but Garcia connected with Wilson on a 17-yard play to put Jacksonville at the 10 with 2 seconds left.

Jacksonville (17-4) won its first title in its second year of existence, overcoming an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

Arizona (18-3) entered the game on an 11-game winning streak.

The teams set a championship game record with the 143 points, breaking the mark of 131 set in San Jose’s 69-62 victory over Arizona in 2004.

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