Franchise-worst loss for SaberCats in Cleveland

June 26, 2011, 3:17 am
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CLEVELAND, OH -- The SaberCats suffered their seventh consecutive loss at the hands of the Cleveland Gladiators, 82-21. The Gladiators took over following a stretch that saw Cleveland score three touchdowns in the final minute of the first half, putting them up 41-7 heading into halftime, which proved too difficult to overcome for San Jose in front of 5,619 at Quicken Loans Arena.The Gladiators scored the first 20 points of the game as QB Andrico Hines found WR Troy Bergeron for the first score of the contest, making it 6-0. LB Chris Vedder fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, but the SaberCats were able to stop the Gladiators inside their own five-yard line. The Gladiators came up with a goal line stand of their own, allowing Bergeron to score his second receiving touchdown of the game for a 12-0 lead following another missed extra point. The Gladiator defense then came up with another stop as San Jose turned it over on downs. Following a missed field goal, QB Mark Grieb fumbled on a sack, giving Cleveland possession before QB Kurt Rocco entered the game for an injured Andrico Hines, as he connected with WR Robert Redd for a 12-yard touchdown to make it 20-0 after a successful two-point conversion.San Jose found the endzone for the first time when Grieb, who threw for 203 yards on 20-of-34 passing, connected with WR Marco Thomas on a four-yard strike. K Juan Gamboa recovered his own onside kick, as the SaberCat offense drove into the Gladiator red zone but were unable to score when DB Levy Brown returned a Grieb pass 51 yards for a score. The Gladiators recovered their onside kick before Rocco found Bergeron once again for the 13-yard touchdown. Cleveland DL Conor Reilly recovered the ensuing kickoff in the endzone after the ball took an awkward bounce off of a field goal post, putting the Gladiators up 41-7 heading into the half, registering all three scores in the final twenty seconds. San Jose opened the second half with interceptions on consecutive drives which Cleveland capitalized on with touchdowns on each possession. QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson entered the game in the third quarter and the Gladiators registered one of their nine takeaways of the contest after DB Joe Phinisee returned his pass seven yards for a touchdown, putting Cleveland up 61-7. On the following SaberCats possessions, Bethel-Thompson found wide receivers Ben Nelson, who led the team with eight receptions for 101 yards with a receiving score, and Victor James for touchdowns, but the Gladiators continued to pour it on as they scored three more times, defeating the SaberCats 82-21. San Jose (5-9) returns home for the first time since May 28, to take on the Jacksonville Sharks (13-1) for the first time in franchise history as the SaberCats look to move to 6-9 on the year. The game will take place on Friday, July 1 starting at 7:30 PDT and will be broadcast on KLIV-1590.
Courtesy San Jose SaberCats media services

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