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 Bay Area Panthers

Panthers Improve to 2-0 After Road Win at Jacksonville

April 7, 2024 - Indoor Football League (IFL)
Bay Area Panthers News Release

JACKSONVILLE, Fl--Shane Simpson scored four touchdowns and the Bay Area defense allowed just six points per quarter in a dominant 48-24 win over the Jacksonville Sharks to improve to 2-0 on the Indoor Football League season.

After trailing 6-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Panthers scored 21 points in the second for a 21-12 lead at the half. Simpson scored three touchdowns--a 2-yard run and his first IFL scoring catches from Daquan Neal from 21 and 23 yards

"That's just something we saw on film and it was awesome we were able to use my versatility as well," said Simpson. "We put the defense on their heels and work together to get open. We all have each other at the end of the day."

Simpson scored on a 2-yard run early in the third and Neal hooked up with Jazeric Peterson on an 8-yard scoring pass for a 35-12 lead with 6:30 left in the quarter. The scores capped a 28-0 run which was more than enough for the Bay Area defense.

"We answered the bell. We were down a possession and were able to get a stop. Then we were able to get multiple stops to gain that momentum back," said Head Coach Rob Keefe. "The biggest part of the game was that we didn't give a great fan base an opportunity to celebrate much. That helped us control the crowd and the crowd noise for a fan base that likes to get rowdy, out of the game."

The Sharks were held to 25 yards rushing on 12 carries and were just 1-6 on third down.

Neal ended the night 13-18 for 148 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Felix Harper took over in the final period and closed out the Panthers' scoring with a 10-yard TD pass to JT Stokes.

Simpson led the Panthers on the ground with 11 carries for 40 yards and two scores along with 47 yards on four receptions with two touchdowns.

"That's one smooth running back with the ball in his hands," said Keefe. "He has a high IQ to understand what's happening around him. He catches the ball out of the backfield and shows his versatility. In my opinion, he's one of the best, if not the best back in the league right now."

For Simpson, the transition to the West Coast has been seamless after playing with Quad City last season.

"It's been great so far bonding with the guys. It feels like we've known each other for years even though it's only been a month," said Simpson. "It speaks volumes of the coaches we have and how we are as people."

Rookie Pierre Williams paced Bay Area with six catches for 69 yards and his first IFL touchdown.

Both Tevaughn Grant and Tyler Watson had five tackles to lead the defense and Grant recorded 1.5 sacks.

"I'm so proud of the way we fought as a team," said Keefe. "The adversity we face week in and week out and how we rise to each challenge speaks to the character of the players we've signed this year."

The defending champions should remain on top of the IFL coaches poll and play on the road next Sunday, April 14 in Tucson at 3 PM.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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