Programming Note: Watch the SaberCats host the Chicgao Rush Saturday at 7:30pm on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
After a disappointing road showing last week in San Antonio, the SaberCats return to the friendly confines of "Cats Lair" Saturday to face the Chicago Rush. Both teams are looking to get back in the win column after disappointing performances on the road. The SaberCats were outplayed by a San Antonio team that was bent on revenge. Having to deal with the losses of Rich Ranglin and Tanner Varner before the game and Hank Edwards during the first half -- on top of already losing Ben Nelson and Tommy Taggert to injuries the previous week -- was too much to overcome. The Chicago Rush -- the 2006 Arena Football League's 2006 champions -- come to San Jose looking to get back on track after a 77-43 drubbing to Arizona two weeks ago.
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Here is what to watch for this week
Back to even strength
The Chicago Rush will have QB Rush Michna back this week after missing the previous game against Arizona to reportedly attend a wedding. Luke Drone started in his place and after a great first half leading them to 31 points, the Rush spiraled out of control and by the fourth quarter they were down 33 points. Michna is third in the AFL with a 122.9 pass efficiency rating, which is helped by the fact he has only thrown seven interceptions. Having Michna back behind center gives Chicago a better chance at victory. Last season he led Chicago within one victory of the Arena Bowl and he knows a victory in San Jose will not only get his team one step closer to redemption, but silence the critics who thought he shouldnt have missed the game two weeks ago.
San Jose will play five of its remaining eight games at home. This season the SaberCats are 4-0 this season, and 87-29 all time, in San Jose. Seventy-three of those wins have come under the leadership of Darren Arbet. In a tight division race, the SaberCats want to keep that home record intact. Chicago is 1-3 on the road this season, and has the sixth-ranked offense in the AFL at 58 points a game.
The SaberCats are keeping the league on notice, as they are top five in at least seven categories. The two that are most noticeable are a league-leading 24 sacks, along with a ranking of third in scoring -- averaging 64.9 points a game. That one-two punch that has made San Jose a dangerous team as this marathon season heads to the finish line.
Nick Laino is a tape playback operator with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and the HP Arena public address announcer for the San Jose SaberCats.
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
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