KISS-SaberCats: What to watch for

KISS-SaberCats: What to watch for
April 26, 2014, 6:15 pm
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Through six games, wide receiver Rod Harper has 47 catches for 546 yards and six TDs. (PHOTO COURTESY SABERCATS)

Nick Laino

Programming Note: Watch the SaberCats take on the LA Kiss Saturday night at 7:00 on CSN Bay Area

The SaberCats returned to their winning ways last Friday night with a hard fought 38-32 victory over the Portland Thunder. Now the San Jose must travel to SoCal and for the first time face the LA Kiss. Los Angeles is an expansion team in name only as they have a roster filed with AFL veterans and coached by former Sabercat Bob McMilen

Here are some things to watch for Saturday night

Finding a way to win
The SaberCats have had to battle through adversity in this young season. Not only are they besieged with injuries on both side of the ball, but they have had to overcome adversity on the field. Last week San Jose coughed up the ball a franchise tying six times. But when needed San Jose’s defense have come up with big plays including two in the final drive for Portland that secured a victory. It will be put to the test once again as LA has a stingy defense of their own limiting opponents to 42.4 points a game which 5th best in the AFL

The LA KISS experience
The newly born LA KISS has stormed into the league with all the glitz and glamour one would expect from a team with not only Hollywood as their backdrop, but owners known for spectacular rock and roll concerts. The team on the field has had its share of growing pains. They are one of the best at limiting opponents from scoring, but unfortunately the offense which boasts AFL veteran signal caller J.J. Raternik has not been as explosive. They rank second to last in scoring offense, putting up an average of 38.0 points per game. In addition, they sit dead last in total offense, accounting for just 231.2 yards a contest. Defensively they are led by linebacker Beau Bell who leads the AFL with six while the entire defense is 2nd in AFL with 14 sacks.

Old friends, new Rivals
San Jose Quarterback Russ Michna and LA KISS Quarterback J.J. Raternik were once teammates on the now defunct Chicago Rush back in 2010. Michna was the starter, while Raternik was the backup. When Russ sustained an injury, J.J. stepped in and started his role to being a starting quarterback in the AFL. J.J. credits Russ for helping him learn how to play cool under the pressure of the arena game. While Russ knows his team is in for a fight against his former pupil and is eager to get on the field and get a win in a hostile environment.

Quotables
“Huge challenge, leading the league in sacks one of the best in the league, and anytime you get a chance to play the best you have to stand up and take the challenge head on.” SaberCats Head Coach Darren Arbet on LA KISS LB Beau Bell

“As a defense we want to be on the field 24/7.” SaberCats DL Jason Stewart on being on the field longer when the offense is struggling

Nick Laino is a Operations Technician for Comcast Sportnet Bay Area and the PA Announcer for the San Jose SaberCats

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