SaberCats Dominate VooDoo 55-31 on Saturday
|SaberCats (11-6) Dominate VooDoo (8-8) 55-31 on Saturday
SaberCats Media Relations
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose SaberCats (11-6) defeated the New Orleans (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 the Chicago Rush (9-6) lose to the San Antonio Talons (12-3), whom they host at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.
“The goal is not just to make the playoffs, but to get to the tournament and have a chance at the big prize, so we still have a lot of work ahead of us,” said SaberCats Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet. “The guys understand that we are taking it one play at a time, not one game at a time, just one play at a time. That is all we are concerned about right now, getting better every day.”
New Orleans kicked off the scoring with a 42-yard field goal and Grieb hit wide receiver James Roe from 14 yards for the quarterback’s 100th touchdown pass of the season, tying a career-high. On the ensuing drive, Jones jumped a VooDoo receiver’s route, sprawled out for the interception and returned the pick 19-yards to extend San Jose’s 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 Rocco’s 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 game’s 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.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
NO VooDoo .. 3 21 0 7 31
San Jose SaberCats ..20 14 7 14 55
National Guard MVP of the Game: SJ – WR Fred Williams
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: SJ – WR Fred Williams
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: SJ – DB Andre Jones
JLS Ironman: None
AFL Playmaker of the Game: SJ – DB Andre Jones
Cutters Catch of the Game: SJ – WR Fred Williams’ touchdown catch over the boards in the fourth quarter.
Spalding Highlight of the Game: SJ - WR Fred Williams’ touchdown catch over the boards in the fourth quarter.
ABOUT THE SAN JOSE SABERCATS
The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats, are in their 16th season in the Arena Football League. Fans and sponsors can go to thesanjosesabercats.com or call 408-673-3400 to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the SaberCats. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on the team.