Sharks' Hughley wins two AFL awards
The Jacksonville Sharks and the Arena Football League announced Tuesday that Shark wide receiver/kick returner Jeff Hughley has been named the Playmaker of the Week for Week 4. In addition, Hughley has earned the AFL Highlight of the Week award for his missed field goal return touchdown in the Sharks’ 76-30 win over the New Orleans VooDoo.
??The Sharks led 7-0 in the game’s opening quarter when the Jacksonville defense forced New Orleans into a long field goal attempt. When the kick sailed wide left and bounced off the rebound net, Hughley collected the loose ball, cut past several would-be tacklers and dashed to the end zone to give the Sharks a two-score lead. Hughley’s runback was the first missed field goal return touchdown in franchise history.??
Hughley’s Playmaker of the Week honor stems from more than just the missed field goal return, as he scored each of Jacksonville’s first three touchdowns in what was a 28-0 first quarter in favor of the Sharks. Hughley caught a short touchdown pass from Bernard Morris on Jacksonville’s second offensive play of the game. After the missed field goal return, he caught another touchdown pass to extend his team’s lead. Hughley added 72 kickoff return yards for a team-high total of 144 all-purpose yards on Friday.??
Nearly a month into the season, the reigning Ironman of the Year has again emerged as one of the top playmakers in the League. Hughley leads the entire AFL with an average of 194.8 all-purpose yards per game, has caught two touchdown passes in each of the team’s first four games and leads the Sharks with a total of 11 non-passing touchdowns in 2013.??
The 28-year-old Hughley is in his fourth AFL season after being assigned to the Jacksonville roster on a three-year contract in October of 2012. After spending last season with the Philadelphia Soul, Hughley has returned to the franchise with which he won an ArenaBowl title in 2011.??
With Hughley’s awards in the books, the Sharks have now totaled three weekly award winners through the first four weeks of the 2013 season. Defensive lineman Jerry Turner was selected as the Riddell Defensive Player of the Week for his three-sack performance in Week 2.??
Hughley and the Sharks will return to the field on Friday, April 19, hosting the Iowa Barnstormers on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Fans attending this week’s game are asked to bring a donation of canned food that will be collected on behalf of Second Harvest North Florida. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m.
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