SaberCats clobber VooDoo 55-31

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SaberCats clobber VooDoo 55-31

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose SaberCats (11-6) defeated the New Orleans VooDoo (8-8) 55-31, in front of 9,251 fans at HP Pavilion on Saturday night. Quarterback Mark Grieb finished his night completing 22-30 passes for 242 yards and six touchdowns, giving him 105 on the season which is a new career-high for the future Hall-of-Famer. Wide receiver Samora Goodson hauled in nine passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns, wide receiver Fred Williams caught six passes for 77 yards and three touchdowns and defensive back Andre Jones added two key interceptions.

San Jose can now clinch a playoff berth tomorrow if both the Chicago Rush (9-6) and Spokane Shock (8-7) lose. The Rush host the San Antonio Talons (12-3), while the Shock travel to the city of Brotherly Love to take on the Philadelphia Soul (13-3).

New Orleans kicked off the scoring with a 42-yard field goal and Grieb hit wide receiver James Roe from 14 yards for the quarterbacks 100th touchdown pass of the season, tying a career-high. On the ensuing drive, Jones jumped a VooDoo receivers route, sprawled out for the interception and returned the pick 19-yards to extend San Joses lead, 14-3. Grieb then connected with Goodson for a 14-yard score and the SaberCats took a 20-3 lead into the second quarter.

VooDoo fullback Joe Alajajian showed off his athleticism, leaping over a SaberCats defender en route to a 28-yard touchdown reception to start the second quarter. San Jose answered back behind Williams seven-yard score and another big play by Jones. With five minutes left in the half, VooDoo quarterback Kurt Roccos pass sailed long, hit the bar in the end zone and bounced back into play where it was corralled by Jones who returned the interception 30 yards. San Jose was unable to capitalize, however, and New Orleans converted a 31-yard scoring strike, narrowing their deficit to 27-17 with 1:56 remaining in the half. Williams added an 18-yard touchdown and VooDoo wide receiver L.J. Castile pulled down a 14-yarder to bring things to 34-24 SaberCats at halftime.

San Jose continued their strong defensive effort in the third quarter. Defensive lineman Gabe Nyenhuis broke through his defender and blocked an attempted field goal while fellow defensive lineman Joe Sykes scooped up the bouncing ball and dashed three yards for the score. On the subsequent VooDoo drive, Nyenhuis forced a goal-line fumble that bounced out the back of the end zone and the SaberCats led 41-24 heading into the final period.

The SaberCats once again stepped up the pressure defensively after the teams traded touchdowns to begin the fourth quarter. Defense back Tanner Varner notched an interception of his own, the SaberCats third of the night and the offensive capitalized on the opportunity as Williams nabbed a nine-yard touchdown toss to conclude the games scoring.

New Orleans 31 points were the fewest allowed by San Jose this season and the three SaberCats interceptions marked a season-high as well.

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