SaberCats Tie AFL Record in 60-38 Win Over KISS

(ANAHEIM)- The San Jose SaberCats (17-1) wrapped up the regular season with a 60-38 victory over the LA KISS (4-14) on Saturday night. With the win, San Jose tied last season’s Cleveland Gladiators with a 17-1 regular season record, the best mark in Arena Football League history for the 18-game format.

(Photo By: Sergio Estrada)

(Photo By: Sergio Estrada)

The SaberCats outscored the KISS 23-7 in the second half and Maurice Purify scored the first five touchdowns for the SaberCats, including two from quarterback Erik Meyer. Meyer finished with 120 yards and two touchdowns on 7-of-10 passes. Purify paced the SaberCats with six touchdowns total, three rushing and three receiving, while adding 87 yards receiving.

Getting out to an early 21-6 lead the SaberCats seemed in control; however, LA outscored San Jose 19-7 to pull within three points at 28-25. Replacing Meyer in the second quarter, the SaberCats continued to pounce with quarterback Nathan Stanley connected with Purify on a 14-yard touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the second half as the lead swelled back to 35-25. Stanley finished the game by completing 13-of-24 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns in relief.

Regaining possession, the KISS scored on a Joe Clancy 10-yard pass to Dorgan Morgan, his third of the first half. LA Kicker Andre Heidari’s PAT kick was blocked and returned by David Hyland, awarding San Jose two points and a 37-31 halftime advantage. Clancy finished with 261 passing yards and six total touchdowns, but also had two interceptions.

LA opened the second half with possession but Francis Maka was able to recover a fumble forced by Donte Paige-Moss on a run by LA fullback Hamani Stevens, as San Jose regained possession. The turnover set up the SaberCats for a nine-play drive, capped off with a six-yard touchdown run by Purify, giving San Jose a 44-31 lead.

In the fourth quarter, San Jose scored on a deep, 43-yard touchdown pas from Stanley to D.J. Stephens, yet the KISS would answer with a 44-yard bomb from Clancy to Morgan, cutting San Jose’s lead to 53-38 with 10:52 remaining in the game. Morgan finished with seven receptions for 145 yards and four touchdowns, passing 2,000 yards receiving for the season as well. Stephens led the SaberCats with 97 yards receiving on five receptions.

The opportunistic SaberCats defense would capitalize when Hyland grabbed an interception for the second straight week, this time taking it back for a 47-yard touchdown, extending the lead to 60-38 with five minutes remaining in the game. Hyland also led the SaberCats with seven tackles, while KISS defensive back Shaine Boyle led all defenders with nine tackles.

In his first start of the season, defensive back Kenny Okoro sealed the victory for San Jose, intercepting a Clancy pass with two minutes remaining. Also making his first start of the season, defensive end Chris McAllister recorded his first sack as a SaberCat on a safety with Maka also credited on the sack of Clancy in the fourth quarter.

The SaberCats roll into the playoffs with home field advantage and will host the first round of the National Conference playoffs at the SAP Center on Friday, August 14th at 7:30 pm PDT.

Offensive Player of the Game: SJ WR Maurice Purify
Defensive Player of the Game: SJ JLB David Hyland
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: SJ WR Maurice Purify
Cutters Catch of the Game: LA WR Donovan Morgan catch to pass 2,000 yards in a season
AFL Highlight of the Game: SJ David Hyland interception return for a touchdown

San Jose SaberCats vs Los Angeles KISS

(SAN JOSE) – The San Jose SaberCats (16-1) will hit the road for the regular season finale in an interstate matchup against the LA KISS (4-13) on Saturday, August 8th at 7:00pm PDT. Fans can catch all of the action on ESPN3, the Watch ESPN APP and on radio 1220AM KDOW.
The SaberCats have been on a roll with a five game winning streak, though the only blemish on their record was due to the efforts of the KISS.

San Jose Sabercats vs LA Kiss

In a week 12 matchup in June, the SaberCats trailed 42-35. San Jose scored on a touchdown pass from Meyer to Gray to tie the game as time expired in regulation. In overtime, the KISS stopped the SaberCats on fourth down, taking over on downs and winning the game on a 16-yard pass from Danny Southwick to DeMarco Sampson.

Last week, San Jose held off the Arizona Rattlers in a convincing, 56-29 home victory on Fan Appreciation Night. One of the premiere passers in the league, quarterback Erik Meyer orchestrated the attack on offense, which outscored the Rattlers 27-3 in the second half. Meyer threw eight touchdown passes, including three each to receivers Reggie Gray and Maurice Purify.
Meyer is ranked among the league leaders in passing yards (3,937), touchdowns (91) and has thrown the least amount of interceptions (six). Gray, leads the league with 44 receiving touchdowns (47 total), 158 receptions and is tied for fourth with 1,659 receiving yards.

The defensive unit for San Jose continues to flourish, ranking number one in the Arena Football League surrendering an average of 36.7 points per game. Against the Rattlers, the SaberCats forced two turnovers, totaled three sacks and held Arizona to a season-low 29 points.

Defensive back Ken Fontenette has already set a franchise record for most tackles in a season and leads the AFL with 146.5 total tackles and is second with 12 interceptions. Roaming the secondary along with the legendary Clevan Thomas and standout rookie Fredrick Obi, the SaberCats have registered 31 interceptions and 80 pass breakups collectively.
In the trenches, San Jose has a league-high 43 sacks, with three players ranked in the top seven. Francis Maka is second in the AFL with 11 sacks, while defensive tackle Jason Stewart has 10 and defensive end Donte Paige-Moss has 9.5, including 1.5 last week against Arizona.

For the KISS, the defense has been a major contributor to the recent success over the past two months. With the addition of Rayshaun Kizer, who leads the team with 66 tackles, 14 pass breakups and five interceptions in nine games, LA has held three of its past four opponents under 40 points.

Attempting to keep its playoff hopes alive, the KISS dropped a heartbreaking loss last week on the road against the Tampa Bay Storm. Trailing 34-31 with 15 seconds remaining, Storm quarterback Jason Boltus connected with T.T. Toliver on a 15-yard touchdown, giving the Storm the edge.

With the win last week over Arizona, San Jose clinched the number one overall seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, including the ArenaBowl.

Erik Meyer Earns AFL Offensive Player of the Week Honors

MEYER, McGINNIS, AND THOMPKINS EARN WEEKLY HONORS
Smith and Brooks also awarded for weekend’s highlights
LAS VEGAS – San Jose SaberCats quarterback Erik Meyer has been awarded Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week, while Cleveland Gladiators nose guard Willie McGinnis has been awarded Riddell Defensive Player of the Week, and Orlando Predators wide receiver Brandon Thompkins has been awarded J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week for Week 19 of the 2015 Arena Football League season. In addition to these awards, the AFL is also awarding the Cutters Catch of the Week and AFL Highlight of the Week. The Cutters Catch of the Week has also been awarded to Jacksonville Sharks defensive back Terrance Smith, while the AFL Highlight of the Week has been awarded to Portland Thunder wide receiver Duane Brooks.

RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Meyer (6-2, 215, Eastern Washington) passed for 286 yards and eight touchdowns in the SaberCats’ 56-29 rout of the Arizona Rattlers in Week 19. The former League MVP has not thrown an interception in five straight games and ranks second in the League with a passer rating of 124.2 on the year.

SJvsAZ127970.jpg

RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
McGinnis (6-3, 310, Rhode Island) notched five tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble in Cleveland’s playoff-clinching 59-42 win over the Spokane Shock in Week 19. The veteran nose guard leads the team with 9.5 sacks this season, three sacks shy of the single-season franchise record of 12.5.

J LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE WEEK
Thompkins (5-10, 190, Arkansas State) scored touchdowns as a receiver, rusher, and returner in the Predators’ 64-50 victory over the Jacksonville Sharks in Week 19. The Playmaker of the Year candidate has hauled in a touchdown reception in 14 consecutive games and rushed for a score in each of the last three contests. He has also recorded triple-digit all-purpose yards in all but one game this season.

CUTTERS CATCH OF THE WEEK
Smith (6-2, 200, South Carolina State) went over the wall for an interception in the first quarter of Jacksonville’s 50-64 loss to the Orlando Predators in Week 19. The veteran defender also finished the game with two tackles, bringing him within 12 of Micheaux Robinson’s record of 293 in a Sharks uniform. He will receive a Cutters hat and t-shirt in recognition of the catch.

AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Brooks (5-10, 185, Stephen F. Austin) set a new single-season AFL record with his eighth kickoff return touchdown of the year in Portland’s 64-33 victory over the Las Vegas Outlaws in Week 19. The Thunder’s all-time leader in kickoff return yards (3,116) and touchdowns (8) also extended his single-season franchise record for kick return yards to 1,930 in 2015.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week candidates included: Cleveland’s Collin Taylor, LA’s Donovan Morgan, Orlando’s Larry Brackins, Philadelphia’s Tommy Taggart, and Portland’s V’Keon Lacey.

Riddell Defensive Player of the Week candidates included: Orlando’s Terence Moore, Philadelphia’s Beau Bell, Portland’s Varmah Sonie, San Jose’s David Hyland, and Tampa Bay’s Al Phillips.

J Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week candidates included: Cleveland’s Shane Austin, Philadelphia’s Marco Thomas, Portland’s Duane Brooks, San Jose’s Maurice Purify, and Tampa Bay’s Undra Hendrix.

The Arena Football League is also awarding the MVP of the Week, where fans are given the opportunity to select the winner. Candidates include Cleveland Gladiators wide receiver Collin Taylor, Portland Thunder wide receiver V’Keon Lacey, and San Jose SaberCats wide receiver Maurice Purify. Fans will have 24 hours to vote on ArenaFootball.com beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, August 5. The winner will be announced on Thursday, August 6.

About the AFL
Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network will nationally broadcast AFL games each week for the entire 2015 season. This season will also be the first with Scott C. Butera leading the way as Commissioner. The AFL schedule culminates with ArenaBowl XXVIII Saturday, August 29, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

STORY URL: http://www.arenafootball.com/sports/a-footbl/spec-rel/080415aaa.html

SaberCats Roar Back in 56-29 Clinching Win Over Rattlers

(SAN JOSE) – The San Jose SaberCats (16-1) clinched the number one overall seed in the Arena Football League and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, with a triumphant 56-29 victory over the Arizona Rattlers (13-4).

The showdown featured the previous two AFL Most Valuable Players in quarterbacks Erik Meyer and Nick Davila. Leading the way for the SaberCats, Meyer, the 2013 MVP, completed 73 percent of his passes for 286 yards and eight touchdowns. Meanwhile, the San Jose defense came up huge, allowing just three second half points.
SJvsAZ129537

“We didn’t play well the last two games in our mind and we wanted to come out and have a good showing with a lot of energy and they did that tonight,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet.

The Rattlers got on the board first when fullback Mykel Benson finished a six play drive with a three-yard touchdown run. San Jose would answer on a scoring drive of its own, as Reggie Gray caught a seven-yard pass and dove into the end zone, evening the score at 7-7.

Arizona would answer in the second quarter with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Nick Davila to Rod Windsor and another score on a 20-yard pass to Kerry Reed, as the Rattlers led 20-7.
With the history of these two rivals, the back-and-forth pendulum swung, as the SaberCats cut into the Rattlers’ lead with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Meyer to Maurice Purify. The touchdown was the first for Purify as a SaberCat, who spent the past three seasons with Arizona, and cut the lead to 20-14.

The momentum carried over for the SaberCats after Davila fumbled the snap and Donte Paige-Moss recovered the ball, giving San Jose possession. The SaberCats would capitalize with a 10-yard touchdown reception by Odie Armstrong to tie the game 20-20 with just under a minute remaining in the first half.

Arizona followed the 14 points scored by San Jose with a 10-yard touchdown reception by Windsor; however, the PAT kick would be blocked by Francis Maka and scooped up by Rodney Fritz, who returned the kick, awarding the SaberCats two points and cut the lead to 26-22. Following the stellar special teams play, San Jose scored on a four-yard pass from Meyer to Purify, his second of the game, as the SaberCats held their first lead of the game at 29-26 to end the first half.

After recovering the second half kickoff from a ball off of the net, the Rattlers tied the game 29-29 with a 27-yard field goal by Fabrizio Scaccia. The SaberCats would answer as Gray would get open in the back of the end zone for the 16-yard touchdown reception, giving San Jose a 35-29 edge.

The SaberCats’ number one ranked defense continued to stifle the Rattlers. Following an interception by David Hyland, San Jose capitalized on the turnover when Purify grabbed the pass from Meyer, broke a tackle and took off for a 34-yard touchdown, as the SaberCats lead swelled to 42-29 with 1:38 remaining in the third quarter. Purify finished with 10 receptions for 108 yards and three touchdowns.

“There is never a doubt in anyone’s mind no matter what the score,” said Meyer. “We always know that there is going to be a play made and the momentum will switch in our favor eventually.”

Not allowing the Rattlers to get into a rhythm offensively, Donte Paige-Moss and Francis Maka teamed up for back-to-back sacks to force a 4th and 19, culminating in an incomplete pass by Davila and turnover on downs. Leading the AFL in touchdown receptions, Gray would find a soft spot in the end zone and haul in his third touchdown of the game, extending the SaberCats lead to 49-29.
With a routine 12-yard reception in the second quarter, Gray broke Jason Willis’s franchise record for most receiving yards in a season (1,606) set in 2013. Gray, who hauled in 11 receptions for 88 yards and three touchdowns, is now the SaberCats all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, touchdown receptions and scoring in a season.

Veteran SaberCat Clevan Thomas recorded two tackles, en route to becoming the ninth player in Arena Football League history with 600 or more career tackles.

“They were in tuned with each other and they played well tonight,” said Arbet. “The first goal is to win your division, second goal is home field advantage and from there it’s to get to that game.”

The SaberCats will hit the road to take on the LA KISS on Saturday, August 8th in the regular season finale.

PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Offensive Player of the Game: QB Erik Meyer
Defensive Player of the Game: LB David Hyland
J Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: WR Maurice Purify
Cutters Catch of the Game: WR Reggie Gray 12-yard record setting catch
AFL Highlight of the Week: WR Maurice Purify 34-yard TD reception

San Jose SaberCats vs. Arizona Rattlers Game Preview

(SAN JOSE)-The San Jose SaberCats (15-1) will host National Conference rivals, the Arizona Rattlers (13-3) on Friday, July 31st; kickoff is set for 7:30pm PDT and the game will be broadcasted on CBS Sports Network as well as 1220AM KDOW.

With a win, San Jose would clinch the top seed in the National Conference, giving them home field advantage in the opening round and conference championship game. The showdown will feature the past two Arena Football League Most Valuable Players in quarterbacks Erik Meyer and Nick Davila.

San Jose Sabercats vs Portland Thunder
In their last game, the SaberCats erased a 20-point deficit to comeback for a wild, 55-49 overtime victory over the Portland Thunder. Meyer paved the way, completing 68-percent of his passes, adding eight touchdowns and the go ahead score to receiver Ben Nelson. Meyer’s 83 touchdowns rank fifth in the AFL and are the second most in a season for his career.

In the win over the Thunder, receiver Reggie Gray broke the SaberCats franchise record for receptions and touchdowns in a single season. Gray leads the league with 44 touchdowns (41 receiving) and 147 receptions, propelling the SaberCats offense to an average of 59.1 points per game, trailing the Philadelphia Soul by six points (59.4) for the top mark in the AFL.

Meanwhile, The Rattlers held off a second half rally by the LA KISS, en route to a 68-55 victory on Sunday. Davila, who missed the first matchup earlier this season in Arizona, has thrown seven or more touchdowns in each of the past three games. The reigning league MVP has 79 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 12 games this season.

Davila’s favorite target Rod Windsor, earned Week 16 AFL MVP honors with 113 receiving yards and four touchdowns against the Las Vegas Outlaws and is carrying a streak of 25 consecutive games with a touchdown. The fifth year receiver has 126 receptions 1,611 yards and 34 touchdowns, averaging 115.1 receiving yards per game this season.

After being activated last week, fellow receiver Chase Deadder grabbed a game-high four touchdown receptions, including three in the fourth quarter to hold off the KISS. Deadder increased his total to 14 receiving touchdowns on the season and along with Kerry Reed, who has 23 touchdowns, the Rattlers rank third in scoring offense (56.7 points per game).

Though the Rattlers have a potent offense, the SaberCats’ defense has stifled their opponents. Through 16 games, San Jose has surrendered a league-low 37.2 points per game and have held six of their opponents under 30 points. San Jose is led by standout defensive back Ken Fontenette, whose 138.5 tackles is a new franchise single-season record and leads the AFL.

The veteran duo of Francis Maka and Jason Stewart has propelled the SaberCats to a league-high 40 sacks this season. Maka is second in the AFL with 10.5 sacks and is currently San Jose’s all-time franchise sacks leader. Stewart, the 2014 AFL Defensive Player of the Year, has 10 sacks and a total of 20.5 tackles to go along with a forced fumble and recovery. With the combination of ball hawks in the secondary and elite pass rushers, the SaberCats defense will be in a battle against the top scoring offense they have faced this season.

Similarly, the Rattlers have a tremendous defensive back and pair of pass rushers sure to disrupt the flow of any offense. Jeremy Kellem leads the team with 87.5 tackles and leads the AFL with 13 interceptions and 31 pass breakups.

Meanwhile, Tyre Glasper has been a force for Arizona’s pass rush. In his fifth season with the Rattlers, Glasper has set a career-high with 13 tackles for a loss and his 10.5 sacks are tied with Maka for second in the league. Glasper also had his first interception of the season against the KISS this past week. Defensive end Michael McAdoo is second on team with nine sacks in just 12 games, as the Rattlers rank second in scoring defense, giving up an average of 45.7 points per game.

With two games left in the regular season, San Jose is on the verge of matching the 2014 Cleveland Gladiator’s record mark of 17-1 and clinching the top seed with a win over the three-time defending ArenaBowl Champions.

ABOUT THE SAN JOSE SABERCATS
The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats finished their 19th season in the AFL with a Pacific Division Title after making their return in 2011. Fans and sponsors can go to sanjosesabercats.com or call 408-673-3400 to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the SaberCats, as well as to purchase 2015 season tickets. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news on the team.
-THIS IS SABERCATS COUNTRY-

SaberCats Add Defensive Lineman Chris McAllister

(SAN JOSE)-The San Jose SaberCats announced that they have been assigned defensive lineman Chris McAllister.

McAlliser (6’2 255) joins the SaberCats in his first year in the Arena Football League. A standout at Baylor University, McAllister earned All-Big 12 First Team honors after registering 6.5 sacks in 2013. As a junior in 2012, McAllister totaled six sacks and was named Defensive Most Valuable Player in the Holiday bowl. His 15 career sacks are tied for the all-time school record at Baylor.

(Photo by: Matthew Emmons USA Today)

(Photo by: Matthew Emmons USA Today)

“Chris had an impressive collegiate career and having a player of his caliber will add depth to our defense,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet.

In 2014, McAllister signed with the Houston Texans of the National Football league as an undrafted free agent.

ABOUT THE SAN JOSE SABERCATS

The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats finished their 19th season in the AFL with a Pacific Division Title after making their return in 2011. Fans and sponsors can go to sanjosesabercats.com or call 408-673-3400 to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the SaberCats, as well as to purchase 2015 season tickets. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news on the team.
-THIS IS SABERCATS COUNTRY-

SaberCats Assigned OL Cornelius Dixon and WR Mike Willie

(SAN JOSE)– The San Jose SaberCats announced today that they have been assigned offensive lineman Cornelius Dixon and wide receiver Mike Willie.

#77 OL Cornelius Dixon (left) played 12 games for the New Orleans VooDoo earlier this season

#77 OL Cornelius Dixon (left) played 12 games for the New Orleans VooDoo earlier this season

Dixon (6’6 345), is currently in his fifth year in the Arena Football League, appearing in 12 games for the New Orleans VooDoo earlier this season. Over the past two seasons, Dixon has started 30 games for the Arizona Rattlers, winning two ArenaBowl Championships. For his career, he has caught eight receptions for 102 yards as a tight end in the AFL. Dixon played collegiality at Missouri Valley College, earning the Vikings Most Valuable Blocker and First Team All-Conference honors in 2009.

“Cornelius will add experience and a championship pedigree to our team and we are excited to add a versatile offensive lineman like him to our roster,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet.

Willie (6’3 230), joins the SaberCats in his first year in the AFL. In 2014, Willie spent time in the National Football League with the Baltimore Ravens, while being a member of the San Diego Chargers practice squad in 2012. A two year player at Arizona State University, Willie totaled 72 receptions for 897 yards and nine touchdowns in his career as a Sun Devil.

“Willie is a young and talented receiver who brings NFL experience to our team,” said Arbet. “Depth at the receiver position is important to being successful in this league and Willie has a bright future.”

ABOUT THE SAN JOSE SABERCATS
The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats finished their 19th season in the AFL with a Pacific Division Title after making their return in 2011. Fans and sponsors can go to thesanjosesabercats.com or call 408-673-3400 to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the SaberCats, as well as to purchase 2015 season tickets. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on the team.
-THIS IS SABERCATS COUNTRY-

Tickets on Sale NOW for 1st Round Playoff Game on August 14th

(SAN JOSE) – The San Jose SaberCats announced today that tickets for the 1st Round of the 2015 Arena Football League Playoffs are now available for purchase. The SaberCats will host either the #3 or #4 seed of the National Conference on Friday, August 14th kickoff is set for 7:30pm PDT.

Tickets are available by calling 408-673-3400, visiting www.sanjosesabercats.com or through Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.com/san-jose-sabercats-playoff-home-san-jose-california-08-14-2015/event/1C004CFFEA176FFD?artistid=806712&majorcatid=10004&minorcatid=8&tm_link=artist_msg-0_1C004CFFEA176FFD
IMG_0043

ABOUT THE SAN JOSE SABERCATS

The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats finished their 19th season in the AFL with a Pacific Division Title after making their return in 2011. Fans and sponsors can go to thesanjosesabercats.com or call 408-673-3400 to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the SaberCats, as well as to purchase 2015 season tickets. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on the team.
#THISISSABERCATSCOUNTRY

SaberCats to Host AFL Hall of Fame Ceremony on July 30th

(SAN JOSE) – The San Jose SaberCats will host the Arena Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Thursday, July 30th 6:00pm at the Glass House in Downtown San Jose. The ceremony will honor San Jose’s Assistant Head Coach Omarr Smith as well as the other 2014 AFL Hall of Fame honorees: Andre Bowden, Damian Harrell and Kyle Moore-Brown.

The Glass House is located on 84 West Santa Clara St. San Jose, CA 95113.

AFL Regular Season 2015 Week 12
Only 50 tickets are available to the public for the dinner, which will include hors d’oeuvres, two drink tickets, a t-shirt and a seat to witness the official ceremony. The Hall of Fame game between the San Jose SaberCats and Arizona Rattlers will be played the following night, Friday, July 31st at the SAP Center, with kickoff set for 7:30pm. We will be having a ceremony at halftime of the game to honor the Hall of Fame inductees. Tickets to the game are available by calling 408-673-3400.

Order your tickets now at: http://thesanjosesabercats.com/hof-ceremony/

ABOUT THE SAN JOSE SABERCATS
The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats finished their 19th season in the AFL with a Pacific Division Title after making their return in 2011. Fans and sponsors can go to thesanjosesabercats.com or call 408-673-3400 to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the SaberCats, as well as to purchase 2015 season tickets. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook and Twitterfor all the latest news on the team.
-THIS IS SABERCATS COUNTRY-

SaberCats hold off Thunder for 55-49 OT Win

(SAN JOSE) – The San Jose SaberCats (15-1, 6-0) grinded out a, 55-49 overtime thriller over the Portland Thunder (4-11, 1-4) on a record setting night Saturday at the SAP Center.

The SaberCats came back from a 20-point first half deficit, outscoring the Thunder 34-15 in the second half and overtime to remain undefeated in the Pacific Division. Trailing 49-41 halfway through the fourth quarter, Portland scored on a six-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Rowley to V’Keon Lacey and successfully completed the two-point conversion on a two-yard pass from Rowley to Duane Brooks, tying the game at 49-49.

(Photo by Tim Cattera)

(Photo by Tim Cattera)

With 3:04 remaining, San Jose took over for its final drive, as quarterback Erik Meyer orchestrated an eight-play drive, setting up a potential game-winning field goal. Lined up 27-yards away with just one second remaining, SaberCats’ kicker Nich Pertuit had his kick blocked by Frank Trotter, forcing overtime.

In their second home overtime outing of the season, the SaberCats received the ball first. On the drive, Meyer completed six passes to three different receivers; with Ben Nelson hauling in the four-yard go ahead touchdown, giving San Jose a 55-49 lead, despite missing the point after try. With a chance to equalize, the Thunder moved the ball down to the SaberCats’ five yard line, but was stopped on fourth down with an incomplete pass from Rowley, intended for Lacey and sealed the win for San Jose.

“The guys kept their composure, they continued to fight and they got the win,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet.”

Portland opened the game with an 11-yard touchdown reception by Jared Perry to jump out to an early 6-0 lead. On the ensuing drive, Thunder defensive back De’Mon Glanton would strip Darius Reynolds and recover the fumble, setting up Rowley for a 13-yard touchdown pass to Lacey, making it a 13-0 lead with 8:51 remaining in the first quarter. Portland would regain possession after forcing a San Jose turnover on downs, leading to a 4-yard touchdown by Lacey, giving the Thunder a 20-0 lead after the first quarter. Lacey led the Thunder with four touchdowns, adding seven receptions and 63 yards receiving.

With a routine 9-yard reception in the first quarter, Reggie Gray broke Rodney White’s all-time franchise record of 134 receptions in a season. Gray had a team-high 14 receptions 130 yards four touchdowns.

After the slow first quarter, The SaberCats would awaken in the second frame, getting on the board with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Erik Meyer to Gray in the corner of the end zone, taking a big hit but hanging on; cutting the lead to 20-7. The SaberCats would force a turnover on downs of their own, eventually scoring on a six yard touchdown pass from Meyer to the veteran Nelson, making it a 20-14 score with 6:37 remaining in the first half. Meyer completed 34-of-50 passes for 284 yards for eight touchdowns.

In the final minute of the half, Jared Perry would add a 24-yard touchdown reception and Lacey would grab a 10-yard touchdown reception, extending the Thunder lead back to 20 at 34-14. Perry finished with a game-high 13 receptions for 156 yards, adding two touchdowns.

The roller-coaster of momentum swung back the SaberCats way when Gray returned the kickoff 48-yards, down to the eight-yard line with 12 seconds remaining. Gray would finish the drive with a 4-yard touchdown reception as the SaberCats trailed at halftime for only the second time this season at, 34-21.

Coming out of the break, the SaberCats would march down the field from the three yard line, scoring on a 19-yard touchdown reception by Darius Reynolds. On the ensuing drive, Fontenette would intercept Rowley for the second time in the game, providing the San Jose offense with possession inside the red zone. The SaberCats top ranked scoring offense capitalized on the great field position, with Gray hauling in a 2-yard touchdown reception, giving the SaberCats their first lead at, 35-34 in the third quarter.

With his fourth touchdown of the game, Gray broke a SaberCats franchise record for most receiving touchdowns in a season with 41 and gave San Jose a 42-41 lead. “Big Play” Reggie Gray finished with a team-high 14 receptions for 130 yards and four touchdowns.

After Nelson grabbed his second touchdown of the game, Portland answered with a 6-yard pass from Rowley to Lacey, also successfully completing the two-point conversion to tie the game at 49-49, the mark that would stand until overtime.

The SaberCats enter their bye week before hosting the Arizona Rattlers on Friday, July 31st, in a National Conference showdown on CBS Sports Network and 1220AM KDOW.

Players of the Game:

Offensive Player of the Game: WR Reggie Gray
Defensive Player of the Game: DB Ken Fontenette
Playmaker of the Game: WR Reggie Gray
Catch of the Game: WR V’Keon Lacey 4th QT over the boards
Highlight of the Game: WR Reggie Gray’s franchise record breaking 4th QT TD