Grieb, SaberCats pound Predators, 60-40

July 10, 2011, 6:14 am
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SAN JOSE San Jose registered their second consecutive win in front of a crowd of 10,302 on fan appreciation night at HP Pavilon, defeating the Orlando Predators (9-7) by a score of 60-40. The SaberCats played a great team game in all three facets of the contest in the victory.

OwnerHead Coach Darren Arbet was excited about the progress his team has made in the past two games.

The guys are playing hard and were finally getting healthy. Weve had the same group now for about three weeks in a row and were getting better and better every week. We just want to continue to take one play at a time, believe in each other, and play hard.

San Jose started strong when QB Mark Grieb found WR James Roe for a nine-yard touchdown on the second play of the game. Orlando answered with a 40 yard drive to cut the lead to one at 7-6 midway through the quarter. The SaberCats next drive was thwarted by a Travis Coleman interception and Orlando took advantage of the turnover when QB Collin Drafts ran for a three-yard touchdown. On the ensuing drive San Jose drove the length of the field to tie the game at 13 on Roes second touchdown reception of the game.

The teams traded touchdowns before the Predators jumped ahead by six, 26-20, on a 35-yard touchdown reception by WR T.T. Toliver. San Jose FBLB Chad Cook responded with a rushing touchdown to give the SaberCats a one point lead with 4:48 remaining in the half. On Orlandos next drive San Jose defensive lineman Francis Maka tackled Drafts on fourth-and-goal to give the SaberCats the ball back. Chad Cook concluded the scoring with his second rushing touchdown of the season to take a 33-26 lead into halftime.

Orlando began the third quarter with a third touchdown strike from Drafts to Tolliver to tie the game at 33. The SaberCats answered when Ben Nelson hauled in a 16-yard touchdown reception from Grieb giving San Jose the lead going into the final quarter, 39-33.

The SaberCats defense forced another turnover on down on an Orlando drive that lasted 8:13 to regain possession at the beginning of the fourth quarter. After finding OL Mark Lewis for a long gain, WR Victor James found the end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the game to give San Jose their biggest lead of the game, 46-33. Orlando cut the lead to five with a 40-yard scoring strike from Drafts to WR Robert Quiroga with 8:21 remaining in regulation. The SaberCats responded with a 34 yard drive culminating in a touchdown pass from Grieb to Lewis to extend the lead to 13 at 53-40. The San Jose defense then collected its third turnover on downs and Grieb found WR Ben Nelson in the end zone for the final score of the game.

National Guard MVP Mark Grieb threw for 295 yards and five touchdowns and Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game Ben Nelson caught seven passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns. JLS Ironman of the Game WR Marco Thomas accumulated 251 all-purpose yards to giving the SaberCats good field position all night. Nelson caught seven passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns and Cook and James each had a pair of rushing touchdowns. WR James Roe also hauled in two scores and was encouraged by the momentum the team is building.

To turn it around, its time to believe, said Roe. Were starting to get a little bit of a momentum swing and guys are starting to believe. Coach is staying on us about being focused and taking it one play at a time, one game at a time, and just enjoying it.

Roe finished the game with six receptions for 69 yards receiving, putting him two receptions and 173 yards away from passing 800 receptions and 10,000 receiving yards for his career. Grieb now sits two touchdowns away from passing 800 passing scores for his career after his effort.

The victory keeps San Jose one game behind the Spokane Shock (8-8) for the final playoff spot in the National Conference. They currently are in a three-team tie with the Utah Blaze (7-9) and the Tulsa Talons (7-9). They travel to Spokane to face the Shock next Saturday at 7:30 PDT, for the second game between the two this season.

Courtesy San Jose SaberCats media services

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