Scooter Berry has dreams of playing in the NFL. After getting cut by the Texans after his senior year at WVU, Berry signed with the Jacksonville Sharks, along with Johnny Dingle, of the Arena League. The Sharks are the defending AFL Champion, and on Friday night, the team played on the NFL Network’s Arena Football Game of the Week for the first time.
Berry knew that this was a great chance for him to audition for a chance to return to the NFL. In the Arena Leagues, the plays move very fast. The quarterback often has the ball out of his hands after a few seconds making it difficult for defensive linemen get to the quarterback and make plays.
In mid-April, the Sharks’ defense did not look like a defending champ. They gave up 10 touchdown passes to Utah on April 14th to fall to 1-3 at the time.
After that game, Berry summed it up:
“We have to play a little harder,” defensive lineman Scooter Berry said. “It’s the little things that count. It’s crazy. We’ll get it done.”
Since that game, the Sharks have tightened up on defense, going 1-1 before Friday night’s game. In that game, the Sharks were down by 23 points to the New Orléans Voodoo to earn a 41-37 victory.
Berry shined in the game. In the second half, the Sharks held the Voodoo to just 6 points when the defensive front, led by Berry, created and sustained pressure on the quarterback. As a unit, the defensive line forced 4 fumbles in the half.
The one fumble that was recovered?Berry recovered it in the end zone in the fourth quarter after he stripped it from the quarterback. It was Berry’s first Arena League touchdown.
The fumble recovery brought the Sharks to within three points, and they went on to win 41-37. Berry finished the game with 3 tackles, 2 sacks, a forced fumble, fumble recovery, and one touchdown earning the game ball from his head coach.
Berry was named the Riddell Defensive Player of the Game and the Spaulding Highlight of the game belonged to Berry’s strip/sack/fumble recovery.