SAN JOSE –The San Jose SaberCats (11-4) knocked off the Los Angeles KISS (3-12) 75-34 at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Sunday night in front of 10,677 fans. With the win, the SaberCats took home the Pacific Division Title and the #2 seed in the National Conference Playoff Race. Quarterback Nathan Stanley led the way with six touchdown passes, three each to wide receiver Dominique Curry and Reggie Gray. Defensive back David Hyland, playing his first game since Week 4, intercepted two passes in his return to the lineup, including a 34-yard pick-six.
The KISS would get on the board early, as kicker Kenny Spencer knocked through a 27-yard field goal on the opening possession to give LA an early 3-0 lead. After recovering a KISS onside kick attempt, Curry went up and over the LA defense for the 9-yard score to give the SaberCats their first lead of the night at 7-3. The KISS would take the lead right back, as quarterback Kenny Guiton found wide receiver Brandon Thompkins for a 14-yard touchdown. After another failed onside kick attempt, the San Jose offense would turn it over as Stanley was stripped and defensive lineman Nekos Brown came up with the fumble recovery.
To open the second quarter, the SaberCats defense stepped up and forced the turnover on downs. On the very next play, Stanley spotted a wide open Reggie Gray for the 15-yard touchdown and 14-10 lead. On the ensuing possession, defensive back David Hyland, playing his first game since Week 4, picked off Guiton and took it 34-yards to the house, giving San Jose the 21-10 advantage. Looking to answer, the KISS offense would go nowhere, as four straight incompletions gave the ball back to the SaberCats offense. Making quick work of the short field, Stanley found Gray once again for a ten-yard touchdown connection to extend the San Jose lead to 27-10. On the next play, Guiton was once again intercepted by David Hyland, and he took the ball down inside the LA five-yard line. Again making good on the short field, Stanley threw a quick out pass to Curry for the two-yard score and 34-10 lead. After a failed San Jose onside, quarterback JJ Raterink entered the game and found wide receiver Donovan Morgan on his first pass for a four-yard touchdown, but a failed two-point attempt kept the SaberCats lead at 34-16. Looking for one final score before the break, Stanley connected with Gray from 19-yards out with one second remaining to give the San Jose a 41-16 halftime lead.
Starting off the second half, the SaberCats offense kept the football on the pedal, as Stanley drove the field in three plays, ending with a Curry nine-yard touchdown and a 48-16 lead. On the ensuing drive, Raterink connected with wide out Samora Goodson for 34-yards on fourth down, but a failed two-point conversion kept the deficit at 26 points. After a failed onside kick attempt, fullback Odie Armstrong found pay dirt from two yards out to put the SaberCats back up by 33. On the next possession, Raterink found a streaking Morgan for a 47-yard touchdown pass to cut the San Jose lead to 55-28.
With a fourth and inches to start the fourth quarter, Stanley snuck in for another SaberCats touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, defensive back Simeon Castille recovered a fumble in the end zone for another San Jose score, extending the lead to 69-28. Raterink would find the end zone on the next drive, this time on a one-yard quarterback keeper. Backup quarterback Dennis Havrilla would check in for San Jose, and find offensive lineman Rich Ranglin for one last 16-yard touchdown, and the SaberCats would take home the 75-34 win.
The SaberCats (11-4) return to the SAP Center next Friday at 7:30 pm for the final regular season home game against the Tampa Bay Storm.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
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San Jose SaberCats 7 34 14 20 75
Los Angeles KISS 10 6 12 6 34
Courtesy of SaberCats media relations.