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