SaberCats-Iowa: What to watch for

684392.jpg

SaberCats-Iowa: What to watch for

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Watch the SaberCats host the Iowa Barnstormers Saturday night at 7:30 on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area Plus 2

The 2012 regular season comes to a close Saturday night when the Iowa Barnstormers come to Cats Lair. San Jose back in April demolished Iowa 76-33, holding the Barnstormers scoreless for the final 30 minutes and 45 seconds of the game.

San Joses win last week against New Orleans coupled with a loss by the Chicago Rush, punched their ticket to the Arena Bowl Playoffs for the first time since 2008. Now seeding is on the line Saturday, as they are a game behind Utah for the third playoff spot and two behind Arizona for the division lead.

Here is what to watch for Saturday...

Playoff Scenarios
If Utah and Arizona lose their remaining two games, while San Jose wins Saturday, the SaberCats are nine time West Division Champions and will host a playoff game. If Arizona loses both games, and Utah beats Philadelphia in week 20, San Jose is the third seed and will travel to Utah for a playoff game. If Arizona wins one of its last two games and Utah loses one, San Jose will clinch the third seed. If all three teams finish with identical 12-6 records, San Jose wins the division if Utahs loss in the last two weeks is to Philadelphia, as this is a common opponent that would be used for tiebreakers. San Jose lost to Philadelphia earlier this season. A SaberCats win puts all these scenarios in motion, a loss and San Jose is the fourth seed and will be on the road for the Arena Bowl Playoffs.

Record Breaker
Joe Sykes was credited with a half sack after last weeks win against New Orleans to give him 16 sacks on the season and became the new single season AFL sack king. Mark Grieb threw six touchdowns to set a new career season high with 105 scores. With seven net offensive yards Saturday, the SaberCats will break their 2011 AFL record of 5,786 total yards. And with 25 first downs, San Jose will break its AFL record of 427 also set last season. A win Saturday will give San Jose its 12th of the season for the fifth time in franchise history and will secure the best home record in the AFL at 8-1.

Is this heaven? No its Iowa
There have been a few bright spots this season for the Iowa Barnstormers. Jesse Schmidt, the Barnstormers number one target, leads the league in receptions (158), receiving yards (2,034), receiving touchdowns (52), total touchdowns (53) and points scored (320). Their number two target is former SaberCat Marco Thomas, who has 126 catches for 1,370 yards and 17 TDs. Thomas played the end of 2011 with San Jose appearing in six games while catching 45 passes for 398 yards and five touchdowns. Iowa has thrown the fewest interceptions in the league (11), with their starter J.J. Raternik throwing only nine. In their last meeting against San Jose, Raternik had 303 passing yards and five touchdowns. But was sacked seven times, fumbled twice and threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

Legends return
Saturday night will be a special night for two former SaberCats who were inducted to the Arena Football Hall Of Fame this season. Barry Wagner and Sam Hernandez will become the first players in team history to have their numbers retired. Barrys 2 and Sams 55 will be hung alongside the teams championship banners in a halftime ceremony. Wagner is the AFLs only six time Ironman of the Year winner and was a key member in two of the three SaberCats Arena Bowl Championships. While Hernandez is the AFLs all-time sack leader and was named as the ninth greatest player in AFL history during this 25th season while also winning two rings with San Jose.

AFL announces SaberCats ownership pulling out of league

sabercats-coming-out-of-tunnel-dramatic-shot.jpg

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

930303.jpg

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