Category Archives: Central Valley Sports

Sacramento River Cats Took Game Two Of The Series Beat Isotopes 5-2; Duval Hits 10th Homer Adds 3 RBI’s

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The Sacramento River Cats took game two of the series against the Albuquerque Isotopes Sunday afternoon, 5-2. Adam Duvall led the way for the offense as Austin Fleet picked up his second win and second quality start of the season.

Duvall went 3-for-5 with two singles and his first home run in nine days. With the 3 hits and 3 RBIs, Duvall notched his 13th multi-hit game and eighth multi-RBI game of the season, both of which lead the River Cats. Duvall’s homer was his 10th of the season, and he now has 32 RBIs. Ehire Adrianza also had a good day at the plate, reaching base four times as he went 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored.

Austin Fleet pitched 6 solid innings, finishing his day having allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks with 4 strikeouts. Both runs came on solo home runs, one by Kyle Parker and another by Matt McBride. He threw 87 pitches, 54 for strikes.

The River Cats got on the board first with three consecutive singles, starting with leadoff hitter Brett Jackson. Duvall’s single drove home Jackson for a 1-0 River Cats lead. Albuquerque tied it up in the 2nd with a home run, but the River Cats answered back in the 5th. After Adrianza walked, he advanced to third on a Duvall single before Jarrett Parker knocked him in with a single of his own.

Albuquerque evened the score with a home run from Matt McBride in the 6th, but Duvall’s two-run homer gave Sacramento the 4-2 lead. The River Cats added another run in the 8th when Darren Ford, pinch-hitting for pitcher Clay Rapada, tripled, sending John Bowker home.

The bullpen pitched 3 shutout innings, combining for 1 walk and 3 strikeouts. Cory Gearrin and Rapada tag-teamed the 7th inning, and Juan Gutierrez pitched the 8th. Hunter Strickland closed out the game, picking up his fifth save of the season. He is now 5-for-5 in save opportunities.

Game three of the series is set for tomorrow at 5:35 p.m. PT. The River Cats will start LHP Ty Blach (3-3, 3.40), while Albuquerque will counter with LHP Tyler Matzek (0-1, 63.00). Blach has pitched at least 6 innings in his last four starts and has a 1.82 ERA over that time. The game can be heard live online and on ESPN 1320 following the Rise Guys.

Courtesy Sacramento RiverCats Media Relations

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The Sacramento River Cats are the Triple-A affiliate of the 2014 World Champion San Francisco Giants. The team plays at Raley Field in West Sacramento, consistently voted one of the top ballparks in America. River Cats Season Tickets, Mini-Plans, and Flex Plans can be purchased for the 2015 season by calling the River Cats Ticket Hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487). For more information about the River Cats, visit www.rivercats.com<http://sacramento.rivercats.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t105>. For information on other events at Raley Field, visit www.raleyfield.com<http://www.raleyfield.com/>.

 

Late Rally Not Enough As The Sacramento River Cats Lose 6-4 To The Albuquerque Isotopes In Series Opener

May 16, 2015 10:16 PM PT

Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media relations.

ALBUQUERQUE, N. M. – The Sacramento River Cats put up a late rally, but came up just short as they dropped game one of their four game set with the Albuquerque Isotopes 6-4. Kevin Correia had a strong outing, but his few mistakes on the evening were too much to overcome.

The River Cats got on the board first Saturday, as Brett Jackson led off the game with a double to right field. Two batters later Juan Perez drove him in with a single to left. The Isotopes countered quickly however, tying the game in the bottom half on an RBI groundout.

Correia started out strong, bringing a no hitter into the fourth. The Isotopes bats finally showed up in the inning, recording 3 runs on 4 hits, two of which went for extra bases. Correia would surrender another run in the 5th on a solo home run by Roger Bernadina, but that would be all Albuquerque would get on him before he settled down.

In the seventh inning, trailing 5-1, the River Cats began to rally and place themselves back in the game. With two out and a runner on second, Jackson doubled, driving in Trevor Brown. The next batter, Darren Ford, hit a two-run inside-the-park home run to trim the lead to just one.

The River Cats faced more danger in the eighth as Albuquerque put runners on first and second with nobody out, forcing Correia out of the game. Curtis Partch entered the game in relief and retired the first two batters he faced, but allowed one inherited runner to score via a throwing error from Carlos Triunfel.

Sacramento had other chances to trim the deficit. With two outs in the third, the River Cats had runners on the corners but Travis Ishikawa struck out to end the inning. In the ninth, early offense got runners on second and third with nobody out, but no one would score as the Isotopes retired the next three batters to end the game.

The top of the order played a key role in the Sacramento offense on Saturday, with the top two hitters Jackson and Ford combining to go 5-for-9 with 3 RBI. They also had 3 extra base hits, including Ford’s inside-the-park home run.

Correia (0-1, 4.38) settled down following the middle innings, retiring 9 of the last 12 men he faced. He finished the night pitching 7+ innings, allowing 6 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits, walking 2 and striking out 4. Correia entered the night looking for his first decision, having received a no decision in each of his first three starts. Left hander John Lannan (1-1, 4.70) earned the win pitching 7 innings, allowing 4 runs (1 earned) on 9 hits, striking out 2.

The River Cats will look to even the series tomorrow when it will be right hander Austin Fleet (2-3, 7.59) facing off against David Hale (0-2, 8.20) for the Isotopes. Fleet will be making his first career start against Albuquerque, as he was the lone Sacramento starter not to pitch against the ‘Topes earlier this month in Sacramento. First pitch is scheduled for 12:35 p.m. (PT).

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The Sacramento River Cats are the Triple-A affiliate of the 2014 World Champion San Francisco Giants. The team plays at Raley Field in West Sacramento, consistently voted one of the top ballparks in America. River Cats Season Tickets, Mini-Plans, and Flex Plans can be purchased for the 2015 season by calling the River Cats Ticket Hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487). For more information about the River Cats, visit www.rivercats.com. For information on other events at Raley Field, visit www.raleyfield.com.

The San Jose SaberCats Remain UnBeaten Blowout The Spokane Shock 83-28

May 16, 2015 9:57 PM PT

All Photos by Shawn Jonas from May 8, 2015 at the SAP Center vs. Las Vegas Outlaws

Courtesy Of The San Jose Saber Cats Media Relations  

By Mathew Dziak

Spokane, Wash. – The San Jose SaberCats (8-0, 2-0) defeated the Spokane Shock (2-5, 0-2), 83-28 at Spokane Veteran’s Memorial Arena on Saturday May 16th, to remain undefeated on the season.

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Getting his second consecutive start for San Jose, quarterback Nathan Stanley built on his success from last week’s performance against the Las Vegas Outlaws; completing 14-of -22 passes for 212 yards and set a career-high with eight touchdowns (nine total), leading San Jose’s offense to its highest point total of the season. San Jose’s 83 points was the highest point total this season scored by an Arena Football League team and the first to eclipse 80 points in a game.

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The SaberCats got on the board first, with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Stanley to Darius Reynolds. On the ensuing drive, defensive back Ken Fontenette grabbed an interception from Spokane quarterback Warren Smith. Fontenette finished with six tackles, a fumble recovery on special teams and now leads the Arena Football League with six interceptions this season, after adding three against Spokane. Rich Ranglin made it 14-0 in the first quarter, after hauling in a 17-yard touchdown, his third of the season.

Spokane cut the San Jose lead to 14-7, with a 7–yard touchdown from Smith to receiver Anthony Amos. Amos finished with a team high nine receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns. The SaberCats answered in the beginning of the second quarter, with a 3-yard touchdown from Reynolds to make it a 21-7 lead. Reynolds added a 37-yard touchdown reception off a screen play and finished with a team-high 85 yards on four receptions and four total touchdowns (three receiving).

The Shock’s leading receiver this season, Mike Washington added to his touchdown total, with a leaping 6-yard touchdown reception, crashing into the end zone boards to cut the SaberCats’ lead to 21-14, prior to the end of the first quarter. Washington finished with eight receptions for 74 yards and a pair of touchdowns and the 21-14 mark was the closest Spokane got within of San Jose.

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With a big hit from David Hyland on Shock receiver Rashaad Carter, Ken Fontenette grabbed the deflection and returned the interception for a touchdown to extend the SaberCats lead to 42-21 in the second quarter.

The SaberCats held a commanding, 49-21 lead at halftime, after Stanley scrambled right and ran in a 3-yard touchdown with under a minute left tin the half. Whether it was through the air, or on the ground, Stanley had a career night.

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After spending four seasons with the Shock, SaberCats’ receiver Adron Tennell returned to Spokane and had a tremendous impact. Tennell finished with six receptions for 74 yards and hauled in three touchdowns.

Also starting his second straight game, Spokane quarterback Warren Smith did not have the same success he had last week against the Los Angeles KISS. Smith threw for 206 yards and four touchdowns, but was picked off four times.

After trailing 76-28 with seven minutes remaining, the Shock turned to Chase Coffman at quarterback. Coffman was unable to rally Spokane against the dominant SaberCats’ defense, completing only 1-of-8 passes for five yards to end the game.

The SaberCats outscored the Shock 34-7 in the second half to sustain their lead and secure the win.

After the Philadelphia Soul lost to the Jacksonville Sharks, San Jose is the only unbeaten team in the AFL and will be back at home next week Saturday, May 23rd at 7:30PM PDT, to host the Cleveland Gladiators (5-3) for Military Appreciation Night at the SAP Center.

San Jose SaberCats Announce Radio Broadcast Of Games On KDOW 1220 AM

May 15, 2015 11:59 PM PT

San Jose, CA.- The San Jose SaberCats announced today that they have partnered with KDOW 1220AM radio to provide radio game coverage for the remainder of the season.

“We are thrilled to bring our fans another means to hear our games and keep up with the team this season,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet.

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Longtime sports anchor and broadcasting veteran will have the play-by-play call and former SaberCats’ two-time All-Arena wide receiver Steve Papin will handle color commentary duties.

Broadcasts begin with the game this Saturday, May 16th against the Spokane Shock, with kickoff set for 4:00PM PDT the broadcast will be tape delayed and will not begin until 6:00PM PDT.

KDOW has been broadcasting over Bay Area radio airways since 2008, with its original stationing, KIBE, dating back to 1949. Known as the “Bay Area’s Business Leader” KDOW primarily has focused on 24/7 business and financial news and talk shows and the SaberCats’ game broadcasts will be the first of its kind on the station.

Courtesy Of The San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Win 3-2 AT Home Over The Seattle Sounders FC2

May 9, 2015 11:52 PM PT

Match Recap: Sacramento Republic FC 3, Seattle Sounders FC 2 0

Sacramento Republic FC use a three-goal onslaught and a man advantage to secure three points in home victory over Seattle Sounders FC 2.

Republic FC started the scoring early in the 19th minute when midfielder Rodrigo Lopez sent a right-footed free kick into the box from just inside the left touchline. Defender Nemanja Vuković was left wide-open at the 6 yard box and calmly flicked a header past S2 keeper Charlie Lyon and into the back of the net for an early 1-0 lead that would hold until halftime.

Tensions between the two sides grew hotter in the 26th minute when Mickey Daly was called for a foul after a push on S2 forward Andy Craven just outside the box. Both teams engaged in a shouting match with a few jersey grabs mixed in before the referee intervened and gave a yellow card to Daly and S2 midfielder Giuliano Frano. Frano would later receive a second yellow card and an ejection for a slide tackle in the 65th minute.

Both goalkeepers were tested in a frantic five-minute span starting with Patrick McLain in the 50th minute. Craven sent a ball down the wing to Darwin Jones who took a curling shot on goal that McLain made a diving save on. McLain was called into action again in the 52nd minute when he had to make another diving save, this time to his right. S2 keeper Lyon then made a diving save of his own on a Lopez shot in the 54th minute.

Republic FC would add a second goal in the 63rd minute after a strong build-up from defender James Kiffe and midfielder Gilberto, who then sent a low cross to Lopez just outside the box. Lopez quickly sent a give-and-go ball to Max Alvarez who one-touched it back to Lopez in behind the defense. Lopez took one touch toward goal and promptly slotted a left-footed shot past Lyon and into the side netting for a 2-0 lead.

The home side added a third goal with the man advantage in the form of second-half substitute Adnan Gabeljic. After a clearance from a Seattle defender deflected right to him, Gabeljic controlled the ball and sent a bullet left-footed shot through a defender and past Lyon for a decisive 3-0 score line, which would hold for the final score.

“I thought the guys fought really hard and we made it really tough on their guys,” Lopez said after the match. “We were able to find some gaps and we did our job on the field. We can’t just play well against the top teams, we have to do this against every team.”

Republic FC will travel to Carson, Calif. to take on LA Galaxy II on Sunday, May 17. Kickoff is 4:15 p.m. PDT. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday.

Sacramento Republic FC 3:0 Seattle Sounders FC 2
USL Match
Bonney Field – Sacramento, CA
May 9, 2015 – Attendance: 11,242 (sellout)

Scoring Summary: SRFC – Nemanja Vuković (Rodrigo Lopez) 19, Rodrigo Lopez (Max Alvarez) 62, Adnan Gabeljic 78

Misconduct Summary: SRFC – Mickey Daly (caution) 26, SEA – Giuliano Frano (caution) 26, Damion Lowe (caution) 34, SRFC – Ivan Mirković (caution) 43, SEA – Duncan McCormick (caution) 58, SEA- Giuliano Frano (caution/ejection) 65

Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Charlie Lyon; Jimmy Ockford (Choong Sil Lim 72), Aaron Long, Damion Lowe, Nicholas Miele; Amadou Sanyang (Duncan McCormick 16), Giuliano Frano, Sam Garza (Victor Mansaray 78), Darwin Jones (Aaron Kovar 57), Pablo Rossi, Andy Craven

Subs Not Used: Saif Kerawala, Lorenzo Ramos, Qudus Lawal

Stats: Shots: 12, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 6, Fouls: 14, Corner Kicks: 5, Offside: 1.

Sacramento Republic FC – Patrick McLain; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly, Nemanja Vuković, Agustin Cazarez (James Kiffe 44); Gilberto, Ivan Mirković (Derek Foran 88), Max Alvarez (Adnan Gabeljic 64), Rodrigo Lopez; Justin Braun (Joaquin Rivas 88), David Estrada (Thomas Stewart 70).

Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Zev Taublieb.

Stats: Shots: 17, Shots on Goal: 11, Saves: 4, Fouls: 9, Corner Kicks: 4, Offside: 0.

The San Jose SaberCats Remain Undefeated With Blowout Win 61-28 Over The Las Vegas Outlaws

May 9, 2015 11:03 PM PT

San Jose, CA.- The San Jose SaberCats (7-0) remained undefeated, taking down the Las Vegas Outlaws (3-3) in convincing fashion, 61-28, Saturday Night, at the SAP Center.

The SaberCats’ offense did not miss a beat without their quarterback Erik Meyer, scoring 60 or more points for the third time this season.

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Photo By Shawn Jonas

Making his first start of the season, quarterback Nathan Stanley completed an astounding 90-percent of his passes, throwing for 242 yards and seven touchdowns, tying a career-high with the SaberCats.

“I have to give a lot of credit to the guys around me,” said Stanley. “I have some good targets to throw to and the guys up front did a great job.”

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Photo By Shawn Jonas

San Jose jumped out to an early lead when Stanley found Reggie Gray for a 28-yard touchdown reception on the first play of the game. Gray went down injured in the second quarter after scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter and finished with six receptions for 92 yards, all of which were team-highs.

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Photo By Shawn Jonas

“When (Reggie) gets the ball in his hands he can go the distance at any time,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet. “That’s why we call him big play.”

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Photo By Shawn Jonas

In the first half, San Jose scored six touchdowns and held a commanding 42-14 lead at halftime. Meanwhile, the Outlaws were only able to manage one touchdown in each of the quarters, stifled by the SaberCats defensive unit.

Las Vegas cut the SaberCats lead to 61-28 in the fourth quarter with a 33-yard touchdown reception by Clinton Solomon. Solomon bobbled the pass as he was falling in the back of the end zone, but was able to hang on for an amazing touchdown, earning himself Catch of the Game for the effort.

 

The vaunted SaberCats’ defense locked down in the red zone, forcing three turnovers in the first half, including a fourth down fumble by Raterink, resulting in a 30-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Rodney Fritz.

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Photo By Shawn Jonas

“Rodney’s over 270-pounds; he is extremely fast and strong,” said Arbet. “He understands how to pass rush, the skies the limit for him and I think he still has more to give.”

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Photo By Shawn Jonas

San Jose also had an interception by Ken Fontenette, his third of the season, as well as another forced fumble by Eric Crocker on a Las Vegas kick return, recovered by David Hyland. The SaberCats sacked Raterink four teams, with two each from Francis Maka and Donte Paige-Moss.

“The guys on defense executed to perfection,” said Arbet. “On fourth down they play with a lot more life and a lot more energy.”

Continuing to be a dual threat, Outlaw quarterback J.J. Raterink completed 25-of-42 passes, for 302 yards, three touchdowns through the air, with another on the ground, and one interception.
Leading the Outlaws’ offensive attack was receiver Jason Willis. A member of the SaberCats last season, Willis enjoyed playing in some familiar territory, finishing the contest with 10 receptions for 121 yards and a score.

In his best performance of the season, 2014 Second Team All-Arena receiver Darius Reynolds hauled in five receptions for 55 yards. He quickly stepped up for the injured Gray, grabbing touchdowns on back-to-back drives.

A teammate of Stanley’s at Southeastern Louisiana University, receiver Brandon Collins filled in nicely for the injured Reggie Gray and hauled in a 16-yard touchdown in the third quarter, his first career touchdown reception. He finished with two receptions for 47 yards.

“I’m really fortunate to have nothing bud studs surrounding me,” said Stanley. “I’m very thankful for that.”

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Photos by Shawn Jonas

The SaberCats will head north next week to take on the Spokane Shock on May 16th, in a Pacific Division matchup.

Game Recap Courtesy of San Jose Sabercats Media Relations

The Sacramento Republic FC Falls To Real Monarch SLC 1-0

4/29 8:58 PM PT 

Match Recap: Real Monarchs SLC 1, Sacramento Republic FC 0

Sacramento Republic FC loses 1-0 in tight match against Real Monarchs SLC. Republic FC drops back-to-back matches for just the second time in the history of the franchise.

Republic FC started the match as the aggressor getting their first strong look on goal in just the fourth minute. Defender Derek Foran played a ball up the right side of the field where Emrah Klimenta and David Estrada play the ball back and forth setting up a shot that was blocked away by a Monarchs defender.

The Monarchs would control the last 15 minutes of the half testing Republic FC goalkeeper Patrick McLain multiple times. The best chance of the half for the Monarchs was in the 35th minute when midfielder Fito Ovalle hit a strong through ball toward the feet of Max Rauhofer who had snuck behind the defense, but McLain was able to slide in a take the ball away. The half ended scoreless.

Republic FC looked strong again coming out of the locker room, getting their best chance on goal in the 53rd minute. Klimenta took the ball down the right side before sending a low cross into the box. The cross was meant for Estrada who was streaking toward the middle but Estrada and a defender collided allowing the ball to slide to a wide-open Rodrigo Lopez. Lopez struck a low shot toward the right corner of the goal but Real Monarchs goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez was able to save the shot.

The Monarchs would break the tie in the 67th minute. A long cross by John Stertzer was blocked away right to the waiting feet of Fito Ovalle, who took a strong shot toward the left side of the goal. Forward Max Rauhofer then deflected the shot into the goal putting Real Monarchs up 1-0.

Republic FC battled hard to get an equalizer but in the 87th minute the Monarchs looked like they might double their lead. Substitute forward Emery Welshman beat the defense down the pitch and got a one-on-one opportunity with McLain who again was up to the challenge. McLain deflected the shot into the air and then saved the ensuing rebound shot to keep Republic FC in the game.

Republic FC had their best chance at an equalizer in the 89th minute when defender Agustin Cazarez sent a cross to the back post. Klimenta got up over the defender at the back post and was able to nod the ball down toward goal but Fernandez was there to save the ball, keeping the score 1-0.

“I don’t know what it was, we were just flat tonight,” said Republic FC goalkeeper McLain following the match. “The next 10 days will be a good time for us to reflect on ourselves and figure things out as a team.”

Republic FC had to finish the match without starting defender Foran, who was subbed out in the 51st minute following a hard foul in the middle of the field. Midfielder Ivan Mirković also left the match early in the 66th minute following a collision with a Monarchs player. Until being subbed out Mirković had played every minute of Republic FC’s USL season.

This is the first and only time since April 2014 that Republic FC has lost back-to-back matches. Republic FC will have a chance to break this streak when they return home to face Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Saturday, May 9. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Bonney Field.

Real Monarchs SLC 1:0 Sacramento Republic FC
USL Match
Bonney Field – Sacramento, CA
April 29, 2015 – Attendance: 2,477

Scoring Summary: SLC – Max Rauhofer (Fito Ovalle) 67.

Misconduct Summary: SLC – Max Rauhofer (caution) 51; SRFC – Justin Braun (caution) 56, Max Alvarez (caution) 65.

Sacramento Republic FC – Patrick McLain; Emrah Klimenta, Nemanja Vuković, Derek Foran (Alfonso Motagalvan 51), Agustin Cazarez; Ivan Mirković (Zev Taublieb 66), Octavio Guzman (Gabe Gonzalez 81), Rodrigo Lopez, David Estrada (Joaquin Rivas 70); Justin Braun, Thomas Stewart (Max Alvarez 62).

Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Gilberto.

Stats: Shots: 6, Shots on Goal: 3, Saves: 5, Fouls: 10, Corner Kicks: 4, Offside: 3.

Real Monarchs SLC – Lalo Fernandez; Jordan Murrell, Phanuel Kavita, Emilio Orozco, Riley McGovern; Fito Ovalle, Ricardo Velazco (Lucas Baldin 78), Alec Sundly (John Stertzer 66); Maikon Orellana (Emery Welshman 72), Max Rauhofer (Coco Navarro 83), Eti Tavares (Darian Copeland 89).

Subs Not Used: Victor Rodriguez, Garrett Losee.

Stats: Shots: 15, Shots on Goal: 6, Saves: 3, Fouls: 14, Corner Kicks: 2, Offside: 3.

San Jose SaberCats Dominate Division Rival Portland Thunder 64-45 To Remain Undefeated (5-0,1-0)

April 25, 2015 11:23 PM PT

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIAThe San Jose SaberCats (5-0, 1-0) defeated the Portland Thunder (2-3, 1-1) 64-45, Saturday Night at the SAP Center, in front of 7,125 fans on “Feed the Community Night”.

The SaberCats went up early and poured it on often, but needed to hold off a late rally by the Thunder to remain unbeaten. With the defense continuing to be the backbone for San Jose, the offense was able to take advantage of great field position and blown coverage by Portland to jump out to a commanding 37-6 lead with three minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Quarterback Erik Meyer found receiver Darius Reynolds early in the first quarter, as Reynolds fought his way through a pass interference call, for a 20-yard touchdown catch. Meyer completed 20-of-30 passes for 283 yards and followed his eight touchdown passes last week with seven against the Thunder on Saturday.

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DSC05350Photos by Shawn Jonas

An immediate impact since joining the team two weeks ago against the Tampa Bay Storm, SaberCats receiver D.J. Stephens continued to shine. Stephens led the SaberCats with 10 receptions for 171 yards and three touchdowns, including deep routes for scores of 35 and 43 yards.

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Photo by Shawn Jonas

“Any one of our receivers can up 100-plus yards any week,” said receiver Reggie Gray. “We just go out there and play to the best of our abilities and take turns.”

With no regard for his safety, Thunder wide receiver Perez Ashford hauled in a 13-yard touchdown reception while flipping over the boards to cut the San Jose lead to 10, at 16-6 as the first quarter came to an end. Ashford was a bright spot for the Thunder, grabbing six receptions for 78 yards and the one touchdown.

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Photos by Shawn Jonas

Pacing the league-leading defense for San Jose was defensive back Ken Fontenette. Fontenette, the team’s leading tackler, added an interception off of an errant Kyle Rowley pass intended for Howard in the second quarter, leading to a nine-yard touchdown reception by Gray. Continuing their defensive prowess, David Hyland also had an interception in the fourth quarter, as the SaberCats defense prevented the Thunder offense from connecting on four of its five third down conversions.

“In order to be one of the best defensives in the league you have to play physical,” said Fontenette. “Rowley makes his reads really quick. We knew if we could anticipate the routes they run, he would throw it to a spot and we could make a play on the ball.”

In the second quarter, Thunder receiver Jamar Howard fell over the wall into the crowd injuring himself and was unable to return to action. The league leader in touchdown receptions (13), finished with two receptions for 25 yards.

Acquired earlier this week, Portland’s Jared Perry grabbed a 26-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone, his first of the season. His score made it 37-12. Perry, the 2012 AFL Rookie of the Year, finished with six receptions for 54 yards and the touchdown.

With less than a minute remaining in the first half, Quincy Butler intercepted a Meyer pass to give Portland great field position. The Thunder were able to benefit from the turnover, and scored on a one-yard touchdown run by John Martinez, bringing the SaberCats lead to 44-19 at halftime.

Portland came out strong in the third quarter, first on an eight yard touchdown reception by V’Keon Lacey, and again on the ensuing kickoff when Osagie Odiase, a rookie out of Sacramento State University, recovered the fumble in the end zone to bring Portland’s deficit to 51-32 at the end of the third quarter. Lacey hauled in eight receptions for 77 yards and led the Thunder with two touchdowns.

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Photos by Shawn Jonas

 For the second straight week, “Big Play” Reggie Gray ran back a kickoff for a touchdown, this time for 56-yards. He had his second receiving touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, an 11-yard strike from Meyer to put San Jose ahead, 58-32. Gray finished with 70 receiving yards and three total touchdowns.

“We all can be number one guys on team but we all come together on this team and make it a cohesive unit,” said Gray.

San Jose is off to its best start since starting 4-0 in 2002, when they won the first franchise ArenaBowl Championship. The SaberCats will travel to Arizona next Saturday May 2nd, in a National Conference showdown with the Rattlers.

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Photo By Shawn Jonas

Offensive Player of the Game- SJ WR D.J. Stephens
Defensive Player of the Game- SJ DB Ken Fontenette
J Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game- SJ WR D.J. Stephens
Cutters Catch of the Game- SJ WR D.J. Stephens 43-yard touchdown
AFL Highlight of the Game- SJ WR Reggie Gray kickoff return for a touchdown

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Photos by Shawn Jonas

Game Recap: Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats Media relations

ABOUT THE SAN JOSE SABERCATS

The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats finished their 19th season in the AFL with a Pacific Division Title after making their return in 2011. Fans and sponsors can go to sanjosesabercats.com or call 408-673-3400 to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the SaberCats, as well as to purchase 2015 season tickets. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on the team.
-THIS IS SABERCATS COUNTRY-

Sacramento Republic FC Falls 2-1 To Orange County Blues FC

April 24, 2015 10:15 PM PT

 Courtesy of Sacramento Republic FC Media Relation

Match Recap: Sacramento Republic FC 1, Orange County Blues FC 2

A relentless Republic FC attack could not equalize late despite Orange County Blues FC being down a man.

Sacramento Republic FC started quickly the scoring in the 7th minute. Defender James Kiffe beat his man down the left side of the pitch and then promptly sent the ball low and into the box where forward Justin Braun slid and sent a one-touch left-footed flick shot into the back of the net for the early 1-0 lead.

Orange County Blues FC would answer with a goal in the 43rd minute. Forward Denzel Slager got behind the defense with speed and got a one-on-one situation with Republic FC keeper Patrick McLain. Slager’s strong shot got the ball past McLain even with the keeper getting a hand to it, capitalizing on the counterattack opportunity. The match would remain tied 1-1 going into the half.

The Blues wasted no time and in the 46th minute took the lead. The Blues got the ball into the box and after a weak deflection just outside the box. Midfielder Didier Crettenand charged and sent a one-touch screamer past McLain for the 2-1 lead.

Sacramento Republic FC gained an advantage in the 60th minute when Blues midfielder Luka Petričević was sent off with a straight red card after a hard tackle. Republic FC would pressure The Blues for the final half hour of the match but, unfortunately would not be able to capitalize on a number of late chances including an unmarked shot from captain Justin Braun that sailed over the crossbar and out of play.

“It’s good to be back,” said Republic FC forward Thomas Stewart, playing in his first USL match in 2015 after offseason surgery. “It’s a feeling of relief, coming back quicker than I expected. Unfortunately, we lost that game.”

Republic FC will be back in action on Wednesday, April 29 when they take on Real Monarch SLC in Salt Lake City, Utah. The match will be streamed live on SacRepublicFC.com/matchday.

Sacramento Republic FC 1:2 Orange County Blues FC
USL Match
Bonney Field – Sacramento, CA
April 23, 2015 – Attendance: 11,242

Scoring Summary: SRFC – Justin Braun (James Kiffe) 7; OCB – Denzel Slager (Didier Crettenand) 38, Didier Crettenand 45

Misconduct Summary: OCB – Romeo Filipovic (caution) 41, Christopher Ramirez (caution) 53, Luka Petricevic (ejection) 60, Jacob Barron (caution) 83; SRFC – Justin Braun (caution) 88

Orange County Blues FC – Pepe Miranda; Josh Suggs, Romeo Filipovic, Brenton Griffiths, Jimmy Turner, Luka Petricevic, Didier Crettenand, Junior Burgos (Jacob Barron 55), Denzel Slager, Nikola Ilich, Christofer Ramirez (Amani Walker 84).

Subs Not Used: Billy Thompson, Alberto Navarro, Seung Ju Kim, Jiovanni Santana, Christopher Santana

Stats: Shots: 9, Shots on Goal: 3, Saves: 3, Fouls: 13, Corner Kicks: 1, Offside: 3.

Sacramento Republic FC – Patrick McLain; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly (Derek Foran 36), Nemanja Vuković, James Kiffe (Agustin Cazarez 45); Max Alvarez (Gilberto 45), Ivan Mirković, Octavio Guzman (Thomas Stewart 64), Rodrigo Lopez; David Estrada, Justin Braun.

Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Zev Taublieb, Joaquin Rivas.

Stats: Shots: 11, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 1, Fouls: 6, Corner Kicks: 5, Offside: 3.

Match Preview: Sacramento Republic FC vs Orange County Blues FC

Match Preview: Sacramento Republic FC vs Orange County Blues FC

Courtesy Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations.

April 24, 2015; 7:30 p.m. PST Kickoff

Sacramento Republic FC (4-2-0, 12 pts) host Orange County Blues FC (2-1-0, 6 pts) on Friday, April 24 at Bonney Field.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.  Gates open at 6:00 p.m. 

The match will be the first meeting this season between Republic FC and Orange County Blues FC. Republic FC is 3-1-0 all-time against The Blues.  Last season, the two sides met four times with the home team winning 2-1 in the first three matchups before Republic FC defeated The Blues 6-1 at Anteater Stadium in the final matchup of the 2014 season.  

Republic FC enter the match on a three-match winning streak.  During the streak, Republic FC has outscored opponents 8-1.  This continues their dominant play at Bonney Field where they have outscored opponents 29-9 in USL regular season matches since the field opened.  Republic FC is 11-1-1 all-time at Bonney Field in USL regular season matches and has outscored opponents 29-9 in the 13 matches, including seven shutouts.  

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Photo by Shawn Jonas

Republic FC midfielder Rodrigo Lopez has been in great form lately, scoring four goals in his last three matches. He has a league-leading five goals in USL play and  won USL Player of the Week after scoring three goals and recording an assist in two matches last week.   Lopez also pushed his Bonney Field goal total to 12, most of any single player and three more than opposing teams have scored, combined.

 

Republic FC goalkeeper Patrick McLain, who appeared in 15 matches for The Blues last season, has also been in good form lately.  McLain has recorded two straight shutouts while gathering eight saves in those two matches.  He has also allowed just one goal in the last three matches making his home GAA 0.33.

Midfielder Zev Taublieb scored his first professional goal against Portland Timbers 2 on April 18.  Taublieb has now recorded firsts in each of his first three appearances.  Taublieb made his first professional appearance against LA Galaxy II on April 11, his first professional start against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on April 15 and then scored his first professional goal against Portland Timbers 2 on April 18.

Orange County Blues FC come into the match on a two-match win streak.  The Blues shutout the previously unbeaten Arizona United SC, 3-0, in their last match on April 18.  The Blues only loss this season was a 2-1 loss to Arizona United SC on March 28, a match that ended controversially when it looked as if an Arizona player touched the ball in the box during stoppage time.

Forward Christofer Ramirez leads The Blues attack scoring two goals in three matches.  Ramirez is currently on loan to The Blues from C.D. Atlético Marte, an El Salvadorian Primera División, the highest division in El Salvador.  Midfielder Didier Crettenand has also been a strong part of The Blues attack, recording two of the club’s five assists.  

Orange County goalkeeper Pepe Miranda has also been a large part of the clubs early season success.  Miranda has started both the shutouts recorded by The Blues this season, making three saves in the process.  Miranda’s 0.00 GAA is the best in the USL.

Both sides enter the match on impressive defensive streaks.  Republic FC enters the match having not allowed a goal in 212 consecutive minutes, their third longest streak in franchise history.  The Blues are on a 247-minute shutout streak.  Both teams are in the top three for shutout streaks this season, with only the Richmond Kickers, currently on a 325-minute streak, having a longer streak.

The match will be live streamed at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday and updates will be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC or using #SACvOC.