Sacramento Republic FC Dominates In Their USL Home-Opener Beat The LA Galaxy II 3-1

 April 11, 10:26 PM PT

The Sacramento Republic FC wins their USL regular season home-opener 3-1 over LA Galaxy II, behind a balanced scoring attack from Lopez, Klimenta, and Estrada.

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Photo by Shawn Jonas

Rodrigo Lopez picked up right where he left off against LA Galaxy II. After scoring the 90th minute match winner in the previous USL contest with LA, Lopez started the scoring in the 22nd minute after a strong passing buildup led by defender Emrah Klimenta, After receiving the ball from Klimenta in the middle of the box, Lopez used a shot fake to evade a sliding defender leaving just LA Galaxy II keeper Clement Diop to beat. Diop dove to his right and Lopez sent his shot into the open net for an early one-goal lead. The goal was the second of the USL season for Lopez and his fifth goal in his last 3 matches against LA.

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Photos by Shawn Jonas

Republic FC defender Emrah Klimenta would add to Republic FC’s lead in the 27th minute. Klimenta received a well-timed through ball from forward David Estrada up the right wing. Klimenta found himself in a one-on-one situation with Diop and calmly slotted the ball past the keeper into the far-post side netting for an early 2-0 lead.

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Republic FC would steal another goal right before halftime. After Lopez’s corner was punched back out to him by Diop, he sent the ball back into the box with a right-footed in-swinging cross that found the head of David Estrada. The Republic FC forward sent the ball past Diop and into the back of the net to secure a 3-0 halftime lead for Republic FC.

LA Galaxy II would get a goal back in the 58th minute. Midfielder Raul Mendiola found space on the right wing behind the defense as he attacked Republic FC keeper Patrick McLain. Recognizing McLain had to come off his line to defend him, Mendiola slid the ball back across the face of goal to find second-half substitute Ariel Lassiter who sent a one-touch right-footed shot into the vacated net to make the score 3-1.

Despite some late chances on goal for Republic FC, including a near miss from Joaquin Rivas, the match would end in a 3-1 victory for the home side. The win was Republic FC’s second of the USL season, both of them coming against LA Galaxy II.

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Photo by Shawn Jonas

“They are a good team”, said Republic FC Head Coach Preki after the victory. “We were comfortable in the first half and I warned our guys at halftime that we can’t let them back in. These have been good games and at the moment things are going our way.”

Sacramento Republic FC will be back in action Wednesday, April 15 when they take on Vancouver Whitecaps II at Bonney Field. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

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Photo by Shawn Jonas

Sacramento Republic FC 3:1 LA Galaxy II
USL Match
Bonney Field – Sacramento, CA
April 11, 2015 – Attendance: 10,906

Scoring Summary: SRFC – Rodrigo Lopez (Emrah Klimenta) 22, Emrah Klimenta (David Estrada) 27, David Estrada (Rodrigo Lopez) 45; LA – Ari Lassiter (Raul Mendiola) 58

Misconduct Summary: LA – Jack McBean (caution) 19, Jaime Villarreal (caution) 32; SRFC – Mickey Daly (caution) 77

LA Galaxy II – Clement Diop; Joe Franco (Lee Nishanian 89), Daniel Steres, David Romney, Jason Bli (Oscar Sorto 35); Alejandro Covarrubias (Kainoa Bailey 76), Jaime Villareal (Ryo Fuji 68), Elijah Martin, Raul Mendiola; Jack McBean, Bradford Jamieson IV (Ari Lassiter 57)

Subs Not Used: Nicholas Shackleford

Stats: Shots: 7, Shots on Goal: 3, Saves: 1, Fouls: 14, Corner Kicks: 3, Offside: 1.

Sacramento Republic FC – Patrick McLain; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly, Derek Foran, James Kiffe (Nemenja Vuković 65); Joaquin Rivas, Ivan Mirković, Octavio Guzman (Zev Taublieb 65), Rodrigo Lopez; David Estrada (Cameron Iwasa 70), Justin Braun (Max Alvarez 76).

Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Adnan Gabeljic, Gabe Gonzalez

Stats: Shots: 9, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 2, Fouls: 13, Corner Kicks: 3, Offside: 2.

Match Recap Courtesy of Sacramento Republic Media Relations

San Jose SaberCats Early Lead Is Enough To Beat Tampa Bay Storm 36-27

April 10, 2015 7:34 PM PT

TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA — The San Jose Sabercats had a 26-7 lead at half-time. They were tested in the 4th quarter by a 20-point rally by the Tampa Bay Storm . The SaberCats held on for the 36-27 victory and improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2004.  It is the SaberCats second road victory in the three games played this season. They did so in front of 8,588 fans at AMALIE Arena on Friday night.

History was made when Storm wide receiver T.T. Toliver became only the fourth player in Arena Football League history to record 1,000 career receptions when he gathered in a nine-yard pass from Jason Boltus with 4:21 remaining in the second quarter. Toliver joins current Storm head coach Lawrence Samuels, as the one of only two players in franchise history to achieve the plateau. The 38-year-old Toliver now needs five catches to surpass former AFL receiver Chris Jackson and move into 15th place on the all-time receptions list in professional football history.

On the opening drive, SaberCats’ newly acquired wide receiver D.J. Stephens thought he had his first touchdown reception as a SaberCat but the play was nullified by a holding penalty on the offensive line. On the ensuing play Darius Reynolds made a one-handed catch in the back of the end zone on fourth down but he was unable to get his feet in-bounds and San Jose turned the ball over on downs.

On the ensuing drive, the SaberCats top-ranked defense proved its worth, as they forced a Storm fourth down from the seven yard line. On fourth down, defensive end Rodney Fritz stripped Storm quarterback Jason Boltus as Jason Stewart grabbed the ball in the air for an interception, the first on the season for the 2014 AFL Defensive Player of the Year. Stewart continued to be effective, as he forced a safety to end the first half as well.

Leading the defensive front, Fritz had a forced fumble and two sacks, tied for the game-high for San Jose. Defensive end Donte Paige-Moss also had two sacks and forced a fumble that was recovered by David Hyland, his second of the year.

Acquired early this week, Stephens got on the board in the 2nd quarter with a 16-yard touchdown reception as he hauled in the pass while flying over the boards to give San Jose a 14-0 lead. Stephens made a miraculous 31-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, caressing the ball against his leg while falling down to pull in the catch. Stephens led the SaberCats with six receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns.

Getting on the board, Tampa Bay cut the SaberCat lead to 14-7 with a 19-yard touchdown reception by Kendrick Ings. Ings also hauled in a nine-yard reception in the fourth quarter to cut the San Jose lead to 36-13. Ings finished with a game-high eight receptions for 100 yards and three touchdowns.

After a Reynolds 16-yard reception brought the SaberCats down to the two yard line, Meyer was able to take in the quarterback sneak for a touchdown to extend the San Jose lead to 21-7 in the second quarter. While Reggie Gray continues to lead San Jose in receiving, Reynolds proved why he was an All-Arena selection last season with the Iowa Barnstormers. Reynolds finished with six receptions for 64 yards.

San Jose quarterback Erik Meyer did just enough on offense to pull out the third straight victory for the SaberCats. Meyer finished with 179 yards passing two touchdowns on 17-of-32 completions.

Toliver finished with six receptions for 84 yards and hauled in a touchdown reception in the final minute of regulation.

San Jose held a 24-7 halftime lead after a 16-yard Nich Pertuit field goal. The seven points surrendered was the lowest total in a half for the SaberCats this season.

For the third consecutive game, defensive back Vigil Gray grabbed an interception; on this instance he took away a Storm touchdown in the end zone. Gray finished with five tackles, an interception and his impact has been vital for San Jose’s ferocious defensive attack.
Leading San Jose in tackles last season, defensive back Ken Fontenette was all over the field against Tampa Bay. Fontenette finished with a team-high eight tackles, flying around the field for the top-ranked SaberCats’ secondary.

On a 2nd and goal from the 17-yard line late in the third quarter, Boltus was rolled up on by his center and Stewart in an ugly looking play. Boltus was able to recover, finishing with 21-of-39 passes completed for 260 yards and four touchdowns.

With the win, the SaberCats become the first AFL team in 2015 to start 3-0 and will head to Jacksonville to take on the Sharks on April 17th.

MEDIA AWARDS

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: QB Erik Meyer, San Jose
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: DE Rodney Fritz, San Jose
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: WR T.T. Toliver, Tampa Bay
Cutters Catch of the Game: WR T.T. Toliver, Tampa Bay (1,000th career reception)
AFL Highlight of the Game: T.T. Toliver, Tampa Bay (1,000th career reception)

Courtesy of San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

Raiders Announce Preseason Opponents

April 9, 2015 1:01 PM PT

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders’ preseason schedule will feature home games against the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals, and road contests at the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks, the National Football League released Thursday.

Date(s)                                       Opponent             Time (PT)        TV
Aug. 13-17                     ST. LOUIS RAMS          TBA         KTVU/KICU
Aug. 20-24   at             Minnesota Vikings     TBA         KTVU/KICU
Sun., Aug. 30      ARIZONA CARDINALS     5:00 p.m.     NBC
Thurs., Sept. 3 at Seattle Seahawks              TBA          KTVU/KICU

The Raiders will open their preseason slate at O.co Coliseum against the St. Louis Rams, marking the first time since 2007 that Oakland will play St. Louis in the preseason. Oakland will travel to Minnesota for the second consecutive season, playing at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota’s campus in Week 2.

The Silver and Black’s third preseason game will be on national television, as they face the Arizona Cardinals on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. It will mark Oakland’s first preseason meeting with Arizona since 2012. The Raiders round out their preseason slate with a road contest at the defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. The game will mark the 10th straight season that the Raiders have concluded their preseason against the Seahawks, with eight of those 10 games coming in Seattle.

Non-nationally televised preseason games in 2015 will again be produced in-house by the Emmy-Award-winning Silver and Black Productions, and will air locally on KTVU FOX Channel 2/KICU Action 36. Raiders.com provides additional program listings and carries exclusive year-round coverage of the organization.

Preseason times and specific dates will be announced at a later date.

Photo By Shawn Jonas

Oakland Raiders Announce Free Agent Signings

April 8, 2015 2:52 PM PT

Photo By Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA– The Oakland Raiders have re-signed the following 10 free agents, the club announced Tuesday.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

Player                         Pos.    Ht.    Wt.     Exp.      College

Asante, Larry            S       6-0    210       4        Nebraska
Holmes, Andre      WR    6-4    210       4        Hillsdale
King, Marquette     P       6-0    190       4        Fort Valley State
Ross, Brandian         S       6-1    190       4        Youngstown State
Streater, Rod          WR    6-3    195       4        Temple

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

Player                            Pos.    Ht.    Wt.     Exp.     College

Autry, Denico            DE     6-5    275       2       Mississippi State
Leonhardt, Brian     TE      6-5    255       2       Bemidji State
McCants, Matt           T        6-6   310       3       Alabama-Birmingham
Olawale, Jamize  FB/RB  6-1   235       3       North Texas
Thorpe, Neiko          CB       6-1   200       3       Auburn

Streater: Enters his fourth season with the Raiders after making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2012…Missed the last 13 games of 2014 after being placed on the reserve/injured list with a foot injury…Posted 84 yards on nine receptions and one TD prior to the injury…Career totals include 35 games played with 19 starts, 108 receptions for 1,556 yards (14.4 avg.) and eight TDs…Led the team in receptions (60) and receiving yards (888) in 2013, setting career highs.

Asante: Enters second season with Oakland after playing in six games, starting two, in 2014 before suffering a season-ending injury…Career totals include 23 games played, two starts, 34 tackles (28 solo), one INT, one pass defensed and two forced fumbles…Tallied 23 tackles (18 solo) and one forced fumble last season…Appeared in five games with the Indianapolis Colts in 2013…Debuted with Tampa Bay in 2010, playing in 12 games for the Buccaneers over his first two NFL seasons…Originally drafted in the fifth round (160th overall) by the Cleveland Browns in 2010.

Autry: Returns for his second season after making the squad as an undrafted free agent in 2014…Spent six weeks on the practice squad before appearing in 10 games last season, totaling 13 tackles (eight solo)…Also notched two special teams tackles and one blocked punt…Blocked a punt against Seattle (11/2/14), resulting in the Raiders’ only special teams TD of the season.
Holmes: Enters third season with the Raiders after leading the team in receiving yards in 2014, posting career highs with 47 receptions for 693 yards (14.7 avg.) and four TDs…Career totals include 33 games played with 17 starts, 74 receptions for 1,135 yards (15.3 avg.) and five TDs…In 2013, appeared in 10 games, starting four, and caught 25 passes for 431 yards (17.2 avg.) with one TD…Played in seven games with the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie in 2012, catching two passes for 11 yards…Originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings in 2011.

King: Begins his third season as Oakland’s punter after signing with the Silver and Black as an undrafted free agent in 2012…Has appeared in 32 games with 193 punts for 9,037 yards (46.8 avg.), placing 54 punts placed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line and only 14 touchbacks…Set franchise records in 2014 with 109 punts and 4,930 yards…In 2013, became third punter in franchise history to lead the NFL in punting with a 48.9 average…Missed the 2012 campaign due to a foot injury.

Leonhardt: Enters his second year with the Silver and Black after making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2013…After spending his entire rookie campaign on the practice squad, played in 12 games, starting three, for the Raiders last season…Recorded six receptions for 35 yards (5.8 avg.) with one TD…Season cut short due to a concussion, landing him on the reserve/injured list for the 2014 season finale…Also contributed significantly on special teams, notching four tackles and one forced fumble.

McCants: Has appeared in 24 games, starting three, for the Raiders since joining the team’s practice squad prior to the beginning of the 2013 season…Originally selected by the New York Giants in the sixth round (201st overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft…Contributed primarily on special teams and as an extra offensive lineman in 2014, seeing action in 11 games…Made 13 appearances and started three games at right tackle in 2013…Spent majority of his rookie season on the Giants’ practice squad after being waived at the end of training camp.

Olawale: Rejoins Oakland for his fourth season with the club, contributing on offense and special teams…Career totals include 35 games played with one start, five carries for six yards (1.2 avg.), and 12 receptions for 81 yards (6.8 avg.) and two touchdowns…Appeared in all 16 games for the Raiders in 2014, posting five receptions for 18 yards (3.6 avg.) and his first two career touchdowns…Also finished second on the team with seven special teams stops…Originally entered the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys in 2012.

Ross: Returns for his fourth season with the Raiders…Has played in 43 games with 24 starts for Oakland over the last three seasons…Career totals include 183 tackles (119 solo), two INTs, two sacks, 14 passes defensed and two forced fumbles…Appeared in one game with the Miami Dolphins in 2014 after being waived by Oakland following training camp…Re-joined the Raiders prior to Week 4…Finished 2014 with 68 tackles (47), two INTs, eight passes defensed and one forced fumble in 13 games…Originally joined the Raiders after being signed off the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad in September 2012.

Thorpe: Re-joins the Raiders for his second season with the team…Played a key role on the team’s special teams unit in 2014…Posted two tackles (one solo) and three passes defensed on defense and six special teams stops…Career totals include 23 games played, six tackles (five solo) and three passes defensed…Joined the Raiders as a reserve/future signing in 2014…Played for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012 after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent.

The San Jose SaberCats Blow Past The Los Angeles Kiss 54-28

April 5, 2015 11:00PM PT

(San Jose, Calif.)– The San Jose SaberCats started fast and finished strong in their 2015 home opener.  The SaberCats fullback Odie Armstrong bulldozed his way into the end zone on the first possession and San Jose never took their foot off the gas.  The SaberCats blow past the Los Angeles Kiss 54-28, in front of 10,175 fans on Saturday night.

DSC04632Photo By Shawn Jonas

The Kiss struggled to move the ball on the SaberCats defense most of the evening. Despite a good kick return by Marcus Trice which gave the Kiss excellent field position on the five yard-line.  The Kiss could not move the ball on the SaberCats vaunted defense. Two sacks and five penalties later, Los Angeles turned the ball over on downs.

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Photo By Shawn Jonas

The SaberCats jumped out to a 20-0 in the first quarter after wide reciever Reggie Gray scored on a 10-yard touchdown reception, and 6’3″ 315 pound Offensive Lineman Rich Ranglin took a screen pass in for a 14-yard touchdown.

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Gray lead the SaberCats in week one and continued on that same path within  San Jose’s aerial attack. He  finished with 10 receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

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Donovan Morgon got Los Angeles on the score board in the second quarter with a 33-yard touchdown reception from Adrian McPherson, cutting the San Jose lead to 20-7. The leading receiver for the Kiss was not done, as Morgan scored on a 42-yad reception to cut the SaberCats lead to 47-21. Morgan had five receptions for 141 yards and finished with three touchdown receptions for the second straight game.

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Photo by Shawn Jonas

Quarterback Erik Meyer played  another great game against the Kiss. He completed 20-of-31 passes for 222 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception. Meyer has completed at least one touchdown passes to four different receivers in the first two games.

“(Meyer) goes through his progressions and in our mind somebody is always going be open,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet.

The 27-7 lead was followed by a six-yard interception returned for a touchdown by David Hyland. Drawing from the ironman days of the past in the AFL, Hyland stepped in at wide receiver after Ben Nelson went down with an injury and scored on the other side of the ball as well. In his first appearance on offense since 2012, Hyland hauled in two receptions for 33 yards and a score to earn him J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game honors.

“The next man up is how we prepare every week; you have to know more than one position in this league,” said Hyland. “It’s kind of the old iron man game playing both offense and defense.”

The pass rush of San Jose overwhelmed Los Angeles’ offensive line, as McPherson was sacked six times and eventually was replaced by Brian Zbydniewski in the second half. With the game out of reach, Zbydniewski threw a pair of touchdowns to Morgan, completing 4-of-9 passes for 73 yards.

Virgil Gray took notice of the change, as he picked off Zbydniewski and returned it for a 27-yard touchdown. The off-season acquisition of Gray has been tremendous for the SaberCats secondary, as the playmaker has tallied an interception in both games this season.
Starting at defensive end for the second straight game, Luis Vasquez continued to dominate off of the edge. Vasquez totaled two-and-a-half sacks on the night, constantly disrupting the timing of the Kiss offense. Despite the team adding Donte Paige-
Moss and Rodney Fritz this off-season, the Arizona State Sun Devil is proving his worth in this top ranked defensive unit.

“This year is unfinished business,” said Vasquez. “Coming into this season it’s about what have you done for me lately and what can you do for us to win this game.”

With an aggressive unit that plays physical until the whistle blows, and the team still meshing with the newly acquired players, penalties have been a concern. San Jose committed 15 penalties that resulted in a loss of 92 yards.

“We are still making a lot of mistakes,” said coach Arbet. “It’s still early in the season, but that’s not the standard we want to be playing at.”

Sitting atop the Pacific Division, the SaberCats improved to 2-0 on the season and will travel to Tampa Bay for a showdown with the Storm (1-1) on Friday, April 10th.

DSC04415The San Jose Saber Kittens Pre-Game .  Photo By Shawn Jonas

 

 

Sacramento Republic FC Loses A HeartBreaker 2-1 To The Portland Timbers 2

April, 2, 2015 9:53PM

Courtesy of Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations,

Photo Courtesy:Portland Timbers 2

Former Republic FC loan player Steven Evans scored late goal to propel Timbers 2 to the 2-1 win.

The match started with both teams trying to maintain possession and control the midfield. Both sides had some good chances early but were unable to convert in the first half.

In the 41st minute Republic FC got their best look on goal in the first half when defender Emrah Klimenta sent a ball to midfielder Rodrigo Lopez in the middle of the field. Lopez trapped the ball and took two dribbles forward to the top of the box before sending a left-footed strike towards goal, but the ball sailed just over the crossbar.

Four minutes later, T2 got their best opportunity of the first half. In the 44th minute a poor clearance by Republic FC left T2 forward Schillo Tshuma open and behind the defense. Tshuma tried to chip the onrushing Patrick McLain but sent the ball just wide left of the goal, keeping the match at 0-0 going into the break.

Republic FC started the second half quickly, winning three corners in the first three minutes of the half. In the 48th minute forward Cameron Iwasa made a move to get behind the defense and had a one-on-one with T2 keeper and former Republic FC loan player Jake Gleeson but was unable to get the ball past the onrushing Gleeson.

In the 61st minute Republic FC was able to find a goal. Second half substitute Joaquin Rivas received the ball at the top of the box, behind the defense, settled the ball and sent a pass back to Iwasa who was running on the right side of Rivas. Iwasa was able to shoot the ball into an open net since Gleeson had rushed forward to block a possible shot from Rivas.

T2 took no time in finding an equalizer just a minute later, made the score 1-1. Defender Taylor Peay ran the ball up the right side of the field and sent a low cross to forward Kharlton Belmar who was behind the defense. Belmar then poked the ball past McLain who was not able to react in time to save the ball.

In the 87th minute Republic FC cleared a weak shot by T2, but the clear went right to the feet of Steven Evans at the top of the box. Evans ran onto the ball and with his first touch sent a rocket into the top right corner of the box and put T2 ahead 2-1.

“It felt good to get the first one out of the way and see the ball go in the net,” said Iwasa of his first professional goal. “Overall the result was definitely disappointing especially giving up the lead and then giving up the late winner as well. We had our chances and could have put the game away but didn’t take advantage of them.”

Republic FC will return home to take on LA Galaxy II at their Bonney Field Opening Night on Saturday, April 11. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. The match is sold out, but fans may purchase tickets to the next Republic FC match, on April 15, at Ticketmaster.com.

Portland Timbers 2 2:1 Sacramento Republic FC
USL Match
Merlo Field – Portland, OR
April 2, 2015 – Attendance: 2,501

Scoring Summary: SRFC – Cameron Iwasa (Joaquin Rivas) 61, POR – Kharlton Belmar (Taylor Peay) 62, Steven Evans 87.

Misconduct Summary: SRFC – Derek Foran (caution) 35, Mickey Daly (caution) 59; POR – Taylor Peay (caution) 69.

Sacramento Republic FC – Patrick McLain; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly, Derek Foran, James Kiffe; Octavio Guzman, Ivan Mirković, Gabe Gonzalez (Joaquin Rivas 59), Rodrigo Lopez; Cameron Iwasa (Adnan Gabeljic 77), David Estrada.

Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Agustin Cazarez, Gabe Gissie, Alfonso Motagalvan.

Stats: Shots: 11, Shots on Goal: 5, Saves: 2, Fouls: 9, Corner Kicks: 8, Offside: 5.

Portland Timbers 2 – Jake Gleeson; Taylor Peay, Harrison Delbridge, Rennico Clarke, Andy Thoma; Tim Payne, Blair Gavin (Matt Rose 85), Nick Besler; Rundell Winchester (Steven Evans 77), Kharlton Belmar (Fatawu Safiu 71), Schillo Tshuma

Subs Not Used:

Stats: Shots: 7, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 4, Fouls: 18, Corner Kicks: 4, Offside: 3.

The Oakland Raiders Sign Veteran Tackle J’Marcus Webb

April 2, 2015 11:07 AM

Courtesy of The Oakland Raiders Media PR

ALAMEDA, California – The Oakland Raiders have signed free agent T J’Marcus Webb, the club announced Thursday.

Webb joins the Raiders following stints with the Chicago Bears (2010-12) and Minnesota Vikings (2013-14). His career totals include 55 games played with 45 starts, and two postseason starts. As a rookie, he started 12 games at right tackle before switching to left tackle in his second season, where he started all 32 games for the Bears from 2011-12.

In two seasons with Minnesota, including the 2013 campaign under Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave when he served in the same role with the Vikings, the 6-foot-7, 333-pounder appeared in nine games with one start. Following the 2013 season, Webb signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an unrestricted free agent. He was released by the Chiefs following their 2014 training camp, later rejoining the Vikings in November of last year and playing in one game for Minnesota last season.

The Fort Worth, Texas, native was originally drafted by Chicago in the seventh round (218th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. Webb’s collegiate career included stints at three different schools, beginning at the University of Texas in 2006, where he helped the Longhorns to a 10-3 record and an Alamo Bowl victory. Webb then spent one season at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, before transferring to West Texas A&M, where he started 24-of-25 games at left tackle from 2008-09.

The Oakland Raiders Release Veteran Defensive Tackle Antonio Smith

March 31, 2015 1:00PM

Photo by Shawn Jonas

Alameda, California –The Oakland Raiders announce have they released veteran defensive tackle Antonio Smith Tuesday afternoon.

The Raiders 33-year-old had 20 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble in 16 games in 2014. Smith has missed just one game since the 2005 season.

The Raiders save $4 million against the salary cap without any dead money associated with the transaction. Smith was set to enter the latter half of a two-year $9 million contract with $4 million in guaranteed money paid last season.

The Raiders added free agent Dan Williams to the interior defensive line, already manned by second-year pro Justin Ellis. Both players are known as run stuffers on the inside.

Smith would have complimented Ellis and Williams at the three technique.

C.J. Wilson was re-signed last week, he has the ability to play all four positions on the defensive line. He played defensive end last year. Wilson is expected to mover around under new head coach Jack Del Rio and defensive coordinator Ken Norton.

The Raiders should add another player in this group possibly through the 2015 NFL draft. USC’s Leonard Williams would be a great addition, although he isn’t expected to still be there when the Raiders draft at the #4 .

Photo Credit By Shawn Jonas

Antonio Smith giving thanks and enjoys a moment after breaking the longest losing streak by a single player. 2013 Houston Texans 14 games, and 2014 Oakland Raiders 10 games for a total of 24 straight losses. NFL record.

The San Jose SaberCats Take Down The Expansion Las Vegas Outlaws In Season Opener 59-41

March 30, 11:15 PM

Courtesy Of The San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

Las Vegas, Nevada – The San Jose SaberCats (1-0) rode a colossal first half to defeat the Las Vegas Outlaws (0-1) 59-41 at the Thomas & Mack Center Monday night.

Taking the ball under center, SaberCats’ quarterback Erik Meyer looked across the middle of the field and found the always reliable Ben Nelson for a 14-yard first down, his first completed pass as a SaberCat. The SaberCats shook off the season opener jitters en route to a 21-0 first quarter lead. The SaberCats got on the board first, when Odie Armstrong took the handoff in for a two yard touchdown. Meyer followed that with 32-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Gray, after an offside penalty on Outlaws’ defensive end Terrance Carter allowed for a free play.

On the Outlaw’s opening drive, SaberCats defensive backs Virgil Gray and Eric Crocker were both flagged for defensive holding in the secondary. The ball hawking Gray found his redemption though, picking off Outlaws’ quarterback J.J. Raterink in the end zone two plays later. On the ensuing two Outlaw possessions, Gray and the rest of the SaberCats’ defense forced a turnover-on-downs, including a goal-line run stop.

On the contrary, Meyer led the San Jose offense on six straight first half scoring drives. The former Spokane Shock duo of Meyer and wide receiver Adron Tennell were officially reacquainted, as Tennell hauled in a one-handed reception, as he crashed over the boards for a 29-yard touchdown, giving the SaberCats a 21-0 first quarter lead. Tennell hauled in five receptions for 84 yards in his SaberCats debut.
In his debut with San Jose, the 2013 AFL Most Valuable Player distributed the ball around, throwing for 294 yards on 18-of-29 passes and six touchdowns, while tossing at least one touchdown pass to each of his four receivers. Gray led all SaberCat receivers with seven receptions for 89 yards.

The ageless wonder, SaberCats’ wide receiver Ben Nelson got into the fray as well, catching two first half touchdowns from Meyer, to bring his AFL career total to 172 touchdown receptions. Nelson totaled four receptions for 60 yards.

Scoring the first points for the Outlaws’ franchise, Raterink was able to run in two touchdowns to cut the SaberCats lead to 42-13 at halftime. The Outlaws’ maneuvered the ball into the redzone on five separate occasions in the first half, but only capitalized twice.

On the opening drive of the second half, the Outlaws marched down the field and scored when Las Vegas native, Tysson Poots, caught a four yard touchdown reception from Raterink, his first of three touchdowns on the night. Poots finished with seven receptions and 123 yards to lead all receivers. After the SaberCats offense surrendered their first turnover on downs, the defense answered the call. After defensive end Luis Vasquez stripped Raterink, David Hyland scooped up the ball and was tripped up at the five yard line. The SaberCats would extend their lead to 49-20 after Meyer found Tennell for the second time in the end zone. There was a bit of a scare for the SaberCats after the pass, when Meyer was taken down by a host of Outlaw defenders and was seen icing his hand between possessions.

Similar to the 2014 season, where he took over for starting quarterback Russ Michna, Nathan Stanley assumed the role from Meyer but was unable to find the same immediate success. Coming off of the edge, Terrance Carter sacked Stanley on fourth down to force a turnover. Taking over on downs, Raterink connected with rookie wide receiver LaDon Hudson on a seven yard touchdown pass, to bring the Outlaws to their closest mark at 49-34.

After the SaberCats recovered an onside kick and scored on Armstrong’s second rushing touchdown, the Outlaw’s answered when Poots climbed the ladder, snagged a one-handed reception, broke a tackle and raced into the end zone. The score cut the SaberCats lead to 56-41 midway through the fourth quarter. After Meyer returned to the lineup, the SaberCats extended their lead to 59-41 on the leg of 2014 AFL Kicker of the Year Nich Pertuit, who connected on a 25-yard field goal.

Despite being outscored 17-28 in the second half, San Jose held on thanks in large part to the arm of Erik Meyer and their havoc creating, opportunistic defense. .

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 thesanjosesabercats.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.
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The Oakland Raiders Officially Announce Re-Signing of Defensive Lineman C. J. Wilson

March 30 1:49 PM

Courtesy of The Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Photo By Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have re-signed DL C.J. Wilson, the club announced Monday.

Wilson returns to the Raiders after spending the 2014 campaign with the Silver and Black. In tying a career high with 16 appearances, he started seven games and totaled 34 tackles (22 solo), two sacks and one forced fumble. His career totals include 66 games played with 18 starts, 137 tackles (76 solo), 5.5 sacks, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed.

DSC09640Photo By Shawn Jonas 

The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder joined the Raiders last offseason after spending the previous four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, playing in 50 games for the team. Wilson played a key role on Green Bay’s defensive line during their Super Bowl run in 2010, playing in all four games – including starting Super Bowl XLV – and totaling six tackles (five solo) and one sack.

The Pinetown, N.C., native was originally selected by the Packers in the seventh round (230th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft out of East Carolina. He finished his four-year career with 192 tackles and 27 sacks and was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009, his junior and senior seasons.