SaberCats rally for overtime win over Rush

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SaberCats rally for overtime win over Rush

SAN JOSE, CALIF. After rallying to tie the game with ten seconds remaining in regulation, the San Jose SaberCats (8-3) won an overtime thriller, 84-77 over the Chicago Rush (6-4) in front over 9,036 fans at HP Pavilion in San Jose on Saturday night. Although they trailed until the games final seconds, the SaberCats came back to force overtime and were able to secure the victory on defensive back Vince Hills fourth interception of the season.Quarterback Mark Grieb completed 33-of-45 passes for 417 yards and nine touchdowns and wide receiver James Roe had seven catches for 108 yards and three touchdowns, moving him into sole possession of fourth-place all-time with 267 touchdowns in his illustrious career. Wide receiver Samora Goodson caught ten passes for 120 yards and fellow receiver Huey Whittaker hauled in five balls for 91 yards as each amassed three touchdowns apiece.The Rush jumped out to an early lead when quarterback Russ Michna found wide receiver Reggie Gray for a five-yard touchdown. On San Joses first drive, quarterback Mark Grieb put to rest any lingering concerns from last weeks tough performance, completing a pass to Whittaker who paused, spun around a Rush defender and scampered into the end zone for the 31-yard score. Michna delivered a 37-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jared Perry under pressure, and Grieb answered by teaming with wide receiver James Roe on an 11-yard touchdown to conclude the first quarter scoring, 14-14.Gray ran in for a score, and Chicagos subsequent kickoff took a tricky hop off the bar and eluded SaberCats kick returner Ruschard Dodd-Masters and his personal protector Hank Edwards, ending up in the arms of defensive back Semaj Moody for the touchdown. The Cats rebounded, as wide receiver Samora Goodson hauled in a reception and found the end zone from seven yards out, 28-21 Rush. The teams then traded scores, with Michna hitting Gray from 20 yards out and SaberCats running back Johnie Kirton rumbling in from 1-yard to close the gap, 35-28. Backup quarterback Luke Dron scored from two yards on a keeper, and Goodson converted a 15-yard touchdown, pulling the Cats to 42-35 in a first half offensive shootout. San Jose began the second half scoring in style, as Roe hauled in a 26-yard touchdown for the 266th of his career, moving him into sole possession of fourth place all-time. Kicker Nich Pertuits impressive streak of 41 consecutive extra points ended as the kick was blocked, 42-41 Rush. Wide receivers Perry and Roe exchanged touchdowns, and Rush offensive lineman TJ Watkins barreled in from 18 yards to stretch Chicagos lead to 56-48 at the end of three quarters. Kirton pushed his way in from three yards out to bring the SaberCats within a point at 56-55. Wide receiver Terrance Turner snagged a six-yard touchdown pass, Grieb hit Roe on a 13-yard scoring strike and Gray grabbed a 15-yarder to give Chicago a 70-62 lead with 1:46 remaining. Rush defensive back Brian Lainhart intercepted a deep pass in the end zone, but San Jose forced a Chicago fumble on fourth down, taking over on the visitors 11-yard line. Grieb immediately hit Goodson, who came down with the touchdown catch as he flipped over the wall. The tandem of Grieb and Roe struck again in the clutch, as the wide receiver caught the two-point conversion to tie the game at 70-70. Michna then hit Perry for a 47-yard touchdown with 20 seconds left, but Grieb responded yet again by hitting Whittaker in the corner of the end zone with two Rush defensive backs hot on his trail. Chicagos 54-yard game-winning field goal attempt fell short, and the game went into overtime at 77-77. The SaberCats pushed down field to start the extra period, with Kirton extending his arm across the goal line for a four-yard score, his third touchdown on the night. On Chicagos first play, Hill picked off Michnas pass in the end zone, sealing the SaberCats victory as HP Pavilion erupted.Michna finished 25-of-32 for 351 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception, Gray had nine catches for 131 and three scores and Perry caught eight balls for 137 yards and three touchdowns.With the win, the SaberCats improved to 7-0 this season when scoring 60 or more points and have not lost a home game since May 28, 2011.

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