SAN JOSE -- The San Jose SaberCats (12-5) fell to the Philadelphia Soul (12-5) 65-43 in front of 9,163 fans at the newly renamed SAP Center on Saturday night. San Jose quarterback Russ Michna completed 15-of-37 passes for 206 yards and five touchdowns with one interception and Soul quarterback and Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game Dan Raudabaugh completed 20-of-33 passes for 181 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions. San Jose wide receiver James Roe proved he hadn’t lost a step in his first game of 2013, reeling in three touchdowns on six catches for 70 yards, giving him 280 receiving touchdowns in his career.
“We just didn’t get in rhythm tonight and any time that happens, you’re not going to win very many football games,” said SaberCats Owner/Head Coach Darren Arbet. “We are going to have to take a look at the film and get things corrected.”
The Soul started the evening with a big defensive stand that forced the SaberCats to turn the ball over on downs, which then set up the Soul offense to march down the field and score first on an eight-yard pass from Raudabaugh to receiver Andrae Thurman in the corner of the end zone. The San Jose offense failed to move the chains once again, which resulted in another turnover on downs and another touchdown by Philadelphia; a one-yard rushing score by fullback Derrick Ross, his 34th on the ground this year, to put the Soul up 14-0. It was déjà vu for both teams as the first quarter came to an end with the SaberCats failing to convert on fourth down once more and gave the ball to the Soul in the red zone. Philadelphia put seven more on the board on a two-yard Raudabaugh to Anthony Jones connection, extending their lead to 21-0.
San Jose carried their first quarter offensive struggles into the second, as the SaberCats turned the ball over to the Soul on downs for the fourth time in the game. Raudabaugh continued to keep the Soul momentum going with his third touchdown pass of the night and second to Jones to make the score 27-0.The SaberCats finally got on the board with Roe reeling in his first touchdown of the season on his first reception of 2013 to cut the Soul lead to 20. The ‘Cats defense got into the action on the next drive by pressuring Raudabaugh and were able force the Soul to turn the ball over on fourth down, and the San Jose offense capitalized as Michna connected with Roe from 27 yards out to make it 27-14. After a successful onside kick by Nich Pertuit, that was recovered by Clevan Thomas, San Jose kept their rhythm going as Michna led San Jose down the field 43 yards and found Roe for the third time of the game for the touchdown on the Cutters Catch of the Game, which was Roe’s 280th receiving touchdown of his historic career and also narrowed the deficit to 27-21. The Soul would add three more on a 47-yard field goal by Martinez as time expired to send the Soul into the locker room up 30-21.
Raudabaugh connected with receiver Larry Brackins midway through the third quarter for his 90th touchdown pass of the season to start the second half’s scoring, which extended the Soul lead to 37-21. On the ensuing San Jose possession, Michna’s pass attempt to Jason Willis would be tracked down by the Soul’s Rayshaun Kizer, his ninth interception of the year, which then set up a six-yard Thurman rushing touchdown making it 44-21 in favor of the Soul.
Jason Willis reeled in his first touchdown of the game (33rd of the season) on a 12-yard pass from Michna to begin the fourth quarter, which cut the Soul lead to 44-27 after a failed two-point conversion attempt. Philadelphia would find pay dirt once again on a six-yard Raudabaugh to Jones pass to make it 51-27 with just under nine minutes left in regulation. Two subsequent fumbles, one on the following kickoff and another on the ensuing offensive possession would set up two more Soul touchdowns; with the J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game LaRico Stevenson recovering the fumble for the score and Ross getting another rushing touchdown. San Jose would find the end zone twice more as Whittaker’s 31-yard touchdown reception and pick-six would bring the score to 65-43, which would be the final at the SAP Center.
San Jose hosts the final game of the regular season next week when they take on the Chicago Rush (10-7) on Saturday, July 27 at the SAP Center in Week 19. The game will be broadcast live on KNBR 1050 at 7:30 p.m. PT.
Courtesy San Jose SaberCats Media Services