TAMPA, Florida -- The SaberCats (7-11) suffered another late loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Storm (7-11), 57-44, after WR Hank Edwards caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from QB Matt Grothe with eight seconds remaining in front of 10,738 at the St. Pete Times Forum.OwnerHead Coach Darren Arbet was disappointed with the difficult loss that ended the SaberCats season. Its always tough anytime you lose. A loss is a loss whether you lose in the last second or they're beating you the whole game. Were going to have to put our heads together and correct things.The SaberCats opened the game with the ball, but turned it over on a muffed snap that Storm DB Michael Hawthorne returned 34 yards for a touchdown, giving Tampa Bay an early 6-0 advantage. San Jose responded quickly as QB Mark Grieb put together a four-play 41 yard drive that saw San Jose score on a 10-yard pass to WR James Roe. Three plays later, Storm QB Matt Grothe connected with WR Amarri Jackson for the 35-yard touchdown, who finished the game with 112 receiving yards on eight receptions and four touchdowns. Chad Cook would tack on his 30th rushing touchdown of the year, as San Jose took a 14-13 lead into the second quarter.It was a big second quarter for WR James Roe, who on his third catch of the game became the 11th player in AFL history to surpass 10,000 career receiving yards. Grieb would later find WR Ben Nelson for an eight-yard touchdown, making it 21-16 in San Joses favor. WR Amarri Jackson posted the Storms next two scores, but WR James Roe would notch his second touchdown reception in between Jacksons touchdowns. On the touchdown pass, Grieb became the AFL single-season record holder for passing yards. The record was originally set by former Milwaukee Iron QB Chris Greisen who threw for 5,146 yards in 2010. He finished the contest with 315 passing yards, pushing his season total to 5,312. Tampa Bay took a 29-28 lead into the second half.The Storm came out hot in the second half as WR Amarri Jackson caught his fourth touchdown of the game on a 39-yard pass from QB Matt Grothe. The connection of Grieb to Roe proved successful again, cutting the Storm lead to 36-35. The San Jose defense forced Tampa Bay to turn the ball over on downs and on 4th-and-15 of the ensuing drive, Grieb found WR Marco Thomas for a 25-yard touchdown. Storm QB Matt Grothe proved tough, rushing the ball in from three yards out, putting Tampa Bay up 43-41. K Juan Gamboa missed on a 26-yard attempt before the Storm drove deep into San Jose territory where DB Eddie Moten came up with a big play, intercepting the ball with 3:26 remaining. With just :36 left in the contest, Gamboa connected on a 27-yard field goal, but Tampa Bay moved quickly with no timeouts remaining where WR Hank Edwards found paydirt to seal the victory. WR James Roe finished the game with eight receptions for 98 yards and four touchdowns, with his career totals now standing at 818 receptions for 10,057 yards and 248 touchdowns. Grieb now sits at 42,128 yards and 810 touchdown passes. WR Ben Nelson surpasses 1,000 yards for the season, doing so in only 11 games. It marked the fifth consecutive season he has reached 1,000, finishing 2011 with 1,019.National Guard MVP of the Game: San Jose WR James RoeRussell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Tampa Bay WR Amarri JacksonRiddell Defensive Player of the Game: Tampa Bay DB Michael HawthorneJLS Ironman: San Jose WR Marco ThomasNiFTy Playmaker of the Game: San Jose Mark GriebCutter Catch of the Game: San Jose WR James Roes catch, putting him over 10,000 career receiving yardsSpalding Highlight of the Game: Tampa Bay DB Michael Hawthornes 36-yard fumble return for a touchdownABOUT THE SAN JOSE SABERCATSThe ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats (7-11) opened the 2011 season against the defending ArenaBowl champion Spokane Shock on March 11 with a victory as they returned to the Arena Football League for their 15th season in 2011. The SaberCats began play in 1995, playing their home games at HP Pavilion. Fans and sponsors can go to www.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 2012 season tickets tickets. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on the team.
Sabercats drop finale to Tampa Bay 57-44
July 24, 2011, 5:12 am