Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tomcats Fall to Norfolk, Will Return in Playoffs Nighthawks Now 8-0 at Home, Host Jacksonville Again on Wednesday

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tomcats Fall to Norfolk, Will Return in Playoffs Nighthawks Now 8-0 at Home, Host Jacksonville Again on Wednesday

Article excerpt

NORFOLK, Va. -- The road to the af2 title just got a lot tougher for the Jacksonville Tomcats.

Needing a victory to earn a first-round home game, the Tomcats failed as the Norfolk Nighthawks beat them 37-28 at the Scope last night.

"It's tough because now we have to travel and that means there's no time for practice," said Jacksonville wide receiver Terrance Flagler.

The two teams meet again at the Scope on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., which isn't good news for the Tomcats because the Nighthawks are 8-0 at home.

The Tomcats, who had to make a 10-hour bus trip to Virginia, couldn't get anything going early.

Jacksonville (9-7) couldn't stop the Nighthawks as Norfolk marched down field on seven plays to begin the game. Nighthawks quarterback Sal Cardella's 12-yard touchdown pass to Tony Morrison helped give Norfolk the early 7-0 lead.

Jacksonville came back with a drive of its own as it took the ball to the Nighthawks' 6, but couldn't punch the ball into the end zone on fourth-and-4 as wide receiver A.D. Badon was stopped at the 1.

The Nighthawks -- thanks to a pass interference call on 3rd-and-long -- kept the scoring going. Norfolk running back Chris Avery score one of his two first-half touchdowns with a 5-yard run to help give the Nighthawks the 14-0 lead.

Things didn't get much better for the Tomcats in the second quarter. Quarterback Jeff McCrone hit Badon for a 27-yard pass to move the ball to the Nighthawks' 5, but once again they couldn't get the ball in the end zone. Following a 9-yard sack and Tomcats coach Perry Moss's first of three unsportsmanlike conduct calls, McCrone was intercepted by Nighthawk defender Stever Carter to spoil another drive.

Norfolk (10-6) got another break when a missed field goal wasn't recovered after it bounced off the net. The Tomcats touched it but didn't recover it and the Nighthawks wound up with the ball on the Jacksonville 4. …

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