SaberCats hold off Rush 75-61

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SaberCats hold off Rush 75-61

CHICAGO The San Jose SaberCats (10-6) defeated the Chicago Rush (9-6) 75-61, in front of 6,581 fans at Allstate Arena on Saturday night in arguably the most important game of San Joses season to date. Quarterback Mark Grieb completed 29-36 passes for 360 yards and seven total touchdowns (one rushing). Wide receiver Fred Williams had the best game of his young career, posting 11 catches for 164 yards and five total touchdowns.

The SaberCats opened the scoring, as Williams scored the first rushing touchdown of his career, getting in from two yards out to give San Jose the early 7-0 advantage. Chicago answered back immediately, as quarterback Russ Michna connected with wide receiver Jared Perry for a 30-yard scoring strike to tie things at 7. San Jose responded with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Grieb to wide receiver James Roe and after recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Grieb found Williams for a nine yard score to push the lead to 21-7.

Chicago scored to trim the lead to 21-13 after Perrys second touchdown of the night, but San Jose scored on two consecutive possessions to stretch their lead to 35-13. Grieb hit wide receiver Samora Goodson for a 29-yard score and a net recovery on the ensuing kickoff set up a one yard touchdown run by Tommy Taggart, playing in his first game since being injured on May 5 in Arizona. The teams then traded scores, as the Cats led 42-20 and Grieb eclipsed the 5,000 yard passing yardage milestone for just the second time in his illustrious career, the last time being in 2011. The Rush pulled within 15 again, as Perry scored on a two-yard run, bringing the score to 42-27. San Jose converted a fourth down play as the first half expired, as offensive lineman Jasper Harvey brought in a deflected pass to put the SaberCats on top 48-27 at the break.

The Rush came out of the locker room firing, as Michna picked out Gray for a 26-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, cutting the lead to 14 points at 48-34 early in the third quarter. Taggart found paydirt again as he walked into the end zone untouched to stretch the SaberCats lead back to 21 at 55-34. Chicago came up with a 14-point run, sandwiched around a key goal line stand and Perry found the end zone twice, bringing the Rush within one score. Grieb then connected with Williams again on a 27-yard touchdown to push the lead to 62-47.

Chicago cut the deficit to seven on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Michna to Gray coupled with a two point conversion, 62-55 early in the fourth quarter. Williams exploded for a 57-yard kickoff return on the ensuing kick, capping his evening, putting San Jose on top 68-55. San Joses defense then made a massive play, as defensive lineman Gabe Nyenhuis forced a fumble that was recovered by Joe Sykes with nine minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Grieb then pushed the lead back to 75-55, as he scampered in from four yards out. San Jose held off Chicago and pulled out their tenth win of 2012, 75-61.

Courtesy San Jose SaberCats media services

AFL announces SaberCats ownership pulling out of league

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AFL announces SaberCats ownership pulling out of league

LAS VEGAS -– Arena Football League Commissioner Scott Butera announced today that, for reasons unrelated to League operations, the owners of the San Jose Sabercats have notified him that they will no longer continue as members of the AFL.

Butera said that the League is working to secure a new long-term owner for the storied franchise, which played its first Arena game in 1995. He also extended the AFL’s deep appreciation to the SaberCats ownership group for all the contributions they have made to Arena Football.

“We have a remarkably loyal fan base in the San Jose area and we are working aggressively to secure new ownership for the franchise as soon as possible,” Butera said. “In the process of rebuilding, there is an evolution that brings change and growth. In the coming months, we will reveal a strategic growth plan for the AFL, including completion of agreements with a number of expansion opportunities.”

AFL media services 

SaberCats return 2012 leading receiver Samora Goodson

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SaberCats return 2012 leading receiver Samora Goodson

SAN JOSE -- The SaberCats announced today that they have been assigned 2012s leading wide receiver Samora Goodson on a two-year contract. Goodson had a breakout season last year, his third in San Jose. The Arena Football Leagues free agency period for exclusive negotiations with players from a teams 2012 roster opened on Monday, Oct. 15 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 4.

"Bringing our leading receiver back from a year ago certainly bolsters our receiving corps," OwnerHead Coach Darren Arbet stated regarding the addition. "Samora is a very talented, proven receiver who has exhibited big-play ability at this level.

Goodson (6-3, 205, SE Missouri State) appeared in all 18 games for the SaberCats in 2012, where he led the team in all receiving statistical categories but touchdowns. He caught a career-high 114 passes for 1,471 yards and 27 scores as he paced a deep stable of SaberCats receivers on the way to a 12-6 season and playoff berth. Goodson also proved his worth on special teams, as he recorded 12 total tackles (ten solo) on kickoff coverage.

The Hayward, Calif. native appeared in seven games for San Jose in 2011, after his season was cut short due to injury. He posted 46 receptions for 630 yards and 12 touchdowns in the teams first season back since 2008. Goodson was a member of the SaberCats practice squad in the 2008 regular season and made the postseason roster in a year that saw San Jose fall in ArenaBowl XXII to the Philadelphia Soul. In between these two stints, Goodson played for the San Jose Wolves of the AIFA (Arena Football Indoor Association) in 2010.

Prior to his professional career the Californian played two seasons at Southeast Missouri State, where he tallied 37 receptions for 439 yards and four touchdowns in 22 appearances for the Redhawks. He transferred to Southeast Missouri State from Citrus Community College (Glendora, Calif.), where he earned All-Western State Conference and all-state honors.

Transaction: SaberCats are assigned WR Samora Goodson on a two-year contract.

Courtesy San Jose SaberCats media services