Aaron Garcia throws five interceptions in SaberCats loss

Aaron Garcia throws five interceptions in SaberCats loss
April 20, 2013, 12:30 pm
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SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose SaberCats (2-2) fell to the visiting Spokane Shock (5-0) 69-47 in front of 10,123 strong at HP Pavilion on Friday night. The Shock handled a divisional foe for the second straight week behind Paul Stephen’s record-setting five-interception performance and quarterback Erik Meyer’s eight-touchdown night. Key penalties and costly interceptions along with Meyer’s aerial attack led to San Jose’s demise, as they lost their second straight game and their first at home since they lost to the Shock last season 90-63 in June. Meyer ended the night completing 26-of-37 for 242 yards and threw his 40th touchdown pass on the season. Aaron Garcia completed 28-of-45 passes for 309 yards and six touchdowns, but also threw the five interceptions.

Garcia struggled on the first drive, throwing his ninth interception on the year to Paul Stephens, his first of the season. Spokane capitalized on the turnover with a one-handed touchdown catch from 19 yards out by Adron Tennell, his 15th on the year. San Jose was able to answer back with a touchdown of their own, a 28-yard pass from Garcia to Jamarko Simmons. Meyer and Tennell would find paydirt one more time, and Garcia found Samora Goodson in the end zone to once again tie it at 14 as the first quarter came to an end.
Meyer opened the second quarter with his 35th touchdown on the young season, this time finding Kamar Jorden. The SaberCats marched down the field in an attempt to tie things up once again, however an unfortunate bounce off the crossbar resulted in Stephens’ second interception on the night. Meyer took advantage of the costly turnover and found Jorden again, this time with an 18-yard score. Garcia was able to shake off that last ill-fated drive to find his partner in crime Jason Willis in the corner of the end zone to cut the Shock lead to six. This was Garcia’s third score on the night and his 78th career touchdown pass to Willis. After Meyer led the Shock down the field for seven more, the turnover bug bit the ‘Cats once again with Stephen’s third interception of the half. Meyer’s first half performance proved why he leads the league in most passing categories, by completing 16-of-22 passes for 159 yards and five scores.

The SaberCats would start the third quarter down 34-21 and saw their deficit increase to 27 points after Meyer found Jorden for the third time in the end zone and Stephens brought back an interception 27-yards to the house; his fourth on the night. The resilient Garcia once again found Willis for a 41-yard score to make it 48-27 halfway through the third quarter. Shock receiver Jackie Chambers joined the party with a ten-yard touchdown of his own to raise the Shock lead to 28 points.

San Jose would not go down just yet as a Garcia found Willis again from four yards out to narrow the deficit to 21. The ‘Cats immediately got the ball back after defensive back JC Neal forced a fumble, which set up a three-yard Brian Folkerts rushing touchdown. The momentum seemed to take a sudden shift San Jose’s way after the turnover; however masterful Meyer threw his 40th touchdown on the year with a six-yard reception to Tennell. Recently acquired offensive lineman Rich Ranglin reeled in his first career touchdown on a nine-yard screen pass from Garcia to answer for the SaberCats but Tennell added another touchdown, this time on the ground from two-yards out, to end all hopes of a comeback. The game ended just like it started as Stephens picked off Garcia for the fifth time (an AFL single-game record) in the game with 39 seconds left in regulation to seal the 69-47 victory for the Shock.

With this win, the Shock get their fourth road victory for the season and they travel back to Spokane next week to host the Tampa Bay Storm. The SaberCats hope to avoid two losses in a row when they visit the Big Easy to face the New Orleans VooDoo next week. The game can be seen on Comcast SportsNet Plus and heard live on KNBR 1050.

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