Tag Archives: Darius Reynolds

San Jose SaberCats Advance to Arena Bowl XXVII With 70-67 Win Over The Arizona Rattlers

All Photo by Shawn Jonas

STOCKTON, CA. – The no.1 seed San Jose SaberCats advanced to their fifth Arena Bowl in team history by defeating the number two seed Arizona Ratters, 70-67 at the Stockton Arena in the National Conference Championship Game.

20150822_1440Sjonas

20150822_1443Sjonas

Trailing 60-55 with less than two minutes remaining, the SaberCats scored on a nine-yard pass from Quarterback Erik Meyer to Rich Ranglin; converting the two-point conversion, to give the SaberCats a 63-60 lead. Arizona recovered the ensuing onside kick and regained the lead, 67-63 on an eight-yard pass from Nick Davila to Kerry Reed.

20150822_1212Sjonas

20150822_1017Sjonas_1

20150822_1415Sjonas

With 20 seconds remaining, the SaberCats took over for one final possession with a spot in Arena Bowl XXVIII on the line. Reggie Gray, the Arena Football League leader in touchdowns and receptions this season, hauled in a six-yard pass from Meyer and reached out to break into the end zone.

20150822_1539Sjonas_1

Gray’s second touchdown of the game gave the SaberCats a 67-70 lead with just eight seconds left. Arizona attempted a last second field goal but the kick from Alex Zendajas fell short, as Gray grabbed the kick in front of the nets, securing the win.

20150822_1003Sjonas

“In a game like this they never wavered and continued to fight and they got it done,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet, who celebrated the win in his hometown.

The past three seasons have ended for the SaberCats with a playoff loss to the Rattlers; however, the 2015 SaberCats debunked that streak, reaching the Arena Bowl for the first time since 2008 and sweeping the three-game series with the Rattlers this season.

20150822_0611Sjonas

 

20150822_0610Sjonas

 

In a back-and-forth duel, the top two seeds in the National Conference traded scoring drives on each of their first six possessions. On their opening drive, The Rattlers got on the
board with a 14-yard touchdown from Davila to Rod Windsor.

20150822_0425Sjonas

Answering in true championship fashion, the SaberCats evened the score at 7-7, when receiver Darius Reynolds got behind the defense and Meyer found him for the 42-yard touchdown bomb. Meyer completed touchdown passes to three different receivers in the first half, including two with Reynolds, who finished with three receptions for 104 yards and three touchdowns.

20150822_0676Sjonas

“Darius is very athletic and he was healthy this week so we played him, said Arbet. “He has speed, size and can jump too.”

20150822_0496Sjonas

20150822_0492Sjonas

Ranglin grabbed two touchdown receptions fourth quarter; while Meyer threw for 351 yards and nine touchdowns to five different receivers.Against his former team, Maurice Purify led all SaberCats with nine receptions for 150 yards, adding a 24-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

Leading the Rattlers with 39 touchdowns receptions in the regular season, Windsor hauled in four touchdowns in the first half, finishing with eight receptions for 104 yards and four touchdowns.

Opening the second half, San Jose took its first lead of the game at 41-35, when Reynolds added a 41-yard touchdown as he broke a tackle, got a block downfield and pulled away for the score. The SaberCats would miss the ensuing PAT. The Rattlers equalized with a fourth down touchdown reception by Chase Deadder, his first of the game. On the PAT, Donte Paige-Moss blocked Alex Zendejas kick, keeping the score even at 41-41.

20150822_1152Sjonas

20150822_0826Sjonas

After trading touchdown drives in the beginning of the fourth quarter, the SaberCats number one ranked scoring defense forced a fourth down turnover with 8:30 remaining in the game. Taking over on offense, The SaberCats would be stopped with an interception by Arkieth Brown, leading to a 20-yard touchdown pass from Davila to Deadder, giving Arizona a 54-48 lead after a missed PAT. Davila completed 22-of-37 passes for 260 yards and eight touchdowns.

The SaberCats will host the winner of the American Conference Championship between the Jacksonville Sharks and Philadelphia Soul in Arena Bowl XXVIII on Saturday, August 29th at 4pm PDT on ESPN and 1220AM KDOW.

Offensive Player of the Game: Erik Meyer
Defensive Player of the Game: Jeremy Kellem
J Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: Rod Windsor
AFL Highlight of the Game: Darius Reynolds 41-yard TD 3rd QT
Cutters Catch of the Game: Darius Reynolds 21-yard TD 2nd QT

Game Recap Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

San Jose SaberCats Hold On in OT, 55-49 Over Portland Thunder

All photos by Shawn Jonas

SAN JOSE – The San Jose SaberCats (15-1, 5-0) grinded out a, 55-49 overtime thriller over the Portland Thunder (4-11, 1-4) on a record setting night Saturday.

DSC07232

DSC07216

The SaberCats came back from a 20-point first half deficit, outscoring the Thunder 34-15 in the second half and overtime to remain undefeated in the Pacific Division. Trailing 49-41 halfway through the fourth quarter, Portland scored on a six-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Rowley to V’Keon Lacey and successfully completed the two-point conversion on a two-yard pass from Rowley to Duane Brooks, tying the game at 49-49.

With 3:04 remaining, San Jose took over for its final drive, as quarterback Erik Meyer orchestrated an eight-play drive, setting up a potential game-winning field goal. Lined up 27-yards away with just one second remaining, SaberCats’ kicker Nich Pertuit had his kick blocked by Frank Trotter, forcing overtime.

In their second home overtime outing of the season, the SaberCats received the ball first. On the drive, Meyer completed six passes to three different receivers; with Ben Nelson hauling in the four-yard go ahead touchdown, giving San Jose a 55-49 lead, despite missing the point after try. With a chance to equalize, the Thunder moved the ball down to the SaberCats’ five yard line, but was stopped on fourth down with an incomplete pass from Rowley, intended for Lacey and sealed the win for San Jose.

DSC07326

“The guys kept their composure, they continued to fight and they got the win,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet.

Portland opened the game with an 11-yard touchdown reception by Jared Perry to jump out to an early 6-0 lead. On the ensuing drive, Thunder defensive back De’Mon Glanton would strip Darius Reynolds and recover the fumble, setting up Rowley for a 13-yard touchdown pass to Lacey, making it a 13-0 lead with 8:51 remaining in the first quarter. Portland would regain possession after forcing a San Jose turnover on downs, leading to a 4-yard touchdown by Lacey, giving the Thunder a 20-0 lead after the first quarter. Lacey led the Thunder with four touchdowns, adding seven receptions and 63 yards receiving.

DSC07866

With a routine 9-yard reception in the first quarter, Reggie Gray broke Rodney White’s all-time franchise record of 134 receptions in a season. Gray had a team-high 14 receptions 130 yards four touchdowns.

After the slow first quarter, The SaberCats would awaken in the second frame, getting on the board with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Erik Meyer to Gray in the corner of the end zone, taking a big hit but hanging on; cutting the lead to 20-7. The SaberCats would force a turnover on downs of their own, eventually scoring on a six yard touchdown pass from Meyer to veteran receiver Ben Nelson, making it a 20-14 score with 6:37 remaining in the first half. Meyer completed 34-of-50 passes for 284 yards for eight touchdowns.

In the final minute of the half, Jared Perry would add a 24-yard touchdown reception and Lacey would grab a 10-yard touchdown reception, extending the Thunder lead back to 20 at 34-14. Perry finished with a game-high 13 receptions for 156 yards, adding two touchdowns.

The roller-coaster of momentum swung back the SaberCats way when Gray returned the kickoff 48-yards, down to the eight-yard line with 12 seconds remaining. Gray would finish the drive with a 4-yard touchdown reception as the SaberCats trailed at halftime for only the second time this season at, 34-21.

DSC05019

Coming out of the break, the SaberCats would march down the field from the three yard line, scoring on a 19-yard touchdown reception by Darius Reynolds. On the ensuing drive, Fontenette would intercept Rowley for the second time in the game, providing the San Jose offense with possession inside the red zone. The SaberCats top ranked scoring offense capitalized on the great field position, with Gray hauling in a 2-yard touchdown reception, giving the SaberCats their first lead at, 35-34 in the third quarter.

With his fourth touchdown of the game, Gray broke a SaberCats franchise record for most receiving touchdowns in a season with 41 and gave San Jose a 42-41 lead. “Big Play” Reggie Gray finished with a team-high 14 receptions for 130 yards and four touchdowns.

After Nelson grabbed his second touchdown of the game, Portland answered with a 6-yard pass from Rowley to Lacey, also successfully completing the two-point conversion to tie the game at 49-49, the mark that would stand until overtime.

2015 San Jose SaberKitten Reunion – Photo by ShawnJonas

DSC02848

DSC03092

The SaberCats enter their bye week before hosting the Arizona Rattlers on Friday, July 31st, in a National Conference showdown on CBS Sports Network and 1220AM KDOW.

Game Recap Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

San Jose SaberCats Cruise Past New Orleans Voodoo 56-35

All photos by Shawn Jonas

SAN JOSE – With a record breaking performance, the San Jose SaberCats (14-1) cruised past the New Orleans VooDoo (2-12) 56-35 at the SAP Center on Friday night.

In the third quarter, defensive back Ken Fontenette broke current SaberCats’ Assistant Head Coach Omarr Smith’s franchise record of 114 total tackles in a season, set in 2008. Fontenette also set a season-high with 17.5 tackles in a single game.

DSC05874

“It’s a great honor, anytime you do anything to get your name in the record books for this franchise,” said Fontenette. “It’s all about the win and about the team and everyone has just set their individual goals aside.”

DSC05112

On the opening drive, the VooDoo drove down into the SaberCats’ territory before veteran defensive back Clevan Thomas halted the drive by making a one-handed interception in the end zone. Taking advantage of the turnover, the SaberCats got on the board first when Reggie Gray hauled in a 13- yard touchdown pass from quarterback Erik Meyer.

DSC05011

On the ensuing drive, VooDoo quarterback Adam Kennedy threw his second pick, this time by a diving effort from Fredrick Obi, his fourth interception in four games this season. San Jose capitalized on its fortune with a 10-yard touchdown reception by Darius Reynolds, extending its lead to 14-0. Reynolds finished with seven receptions for 73 yards and the one touchdown.

DSC02358

The VooDoo would answer, as Chris Duvalt, the leading receiver for New Orleans, grabbed an 11- yard touchdown, cutting the San Jose lead to14-7 with 4:35 remaining in the second quarter. Duvalt finished with a game-high 15 receptions for 165 yards and added three touchdowns.

After trading touchdowns, San Jose extended its lead when Meyer scrambled in from the one-yard line for the score as time expired in the first half, giving the SaberCats a 28-14 halftime lead. Meyer finished with 229 passing yards, completing 76.7-percent of his passes, throwing for seven touchdowns, adding another on the ground.

Late in the third quarter, San Jose forced a New Orleans turnover on downs, scoring immediately as Meyer lofted a beautiful touch pass for Ben Nelson, who made an over the shoulder catch in the end zone before crashing into the boards, extending the SaberCats lead to 42-14.

DSC07326

“They played with a lot of energy,” said Arbet. “That was the thing that we talked about coming out of the bye and I thought that they did that tonight.”

The VooDoo would answer on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Kennedy to Johnny Lester, cutting the SaberCats lead to 42-21. However, the SaberCats remained in control, as Meyer would connect with Gray for two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Gray finished with a team-high nine receptions for 92 yards and four touchdowns and is now two receptions away from breaking Rodney White’s franchise record of 134 receptions in a season, also set in 2008.

DSC05133

“We work very hard as a receiving core to be where we need to be when we need to be there,” said Gray. “Just getting that chemistry to where Erik can trust us and we get into the game and try to execute.”

Leading the league with 40 sacks on the season, the SaberCats added three, led by defensive lineman Jason Stewart, who had two. Stewart brought his season sack total to 10, joining teammate Francis Maka (10.5) as the two lone SaberCats with double-digit sacks on the season.

“They are as good as there is right now,” Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet said about his defensive front. “It’s tough for quarterbacks to sit there and try to throw the ball downfield with those guys barreling down on you.”

Rich Ranglin, the 2014 AFL Offensive Lineman of the Year, added a 13-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, bringing his total to six touchdowns on the season, doubling his total of three a year ago.

“Rich is a versatile tight end, which he self-proclaims,” said Gray about his teammate. “He is one of the best blockers in the league and his ability to come out of the backfield and catch the ball it allows teams not to key in on the receivers we have.”

DSC04818

Next week, the SaberCats will host Pacific Division foe the Portland Thunder on Saturday, July 18th in the third and final regular season games between the two teams.

Game Recap Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

Game Preview: San Jose SaberCats vs. Spokane Shock

ALL photos by Shawn Jonas

SAN JOSE, CALIF.The National Conference leading San Jose SaberCats (12-1) will play on the road for the second straight week to take on the Spokane Shock (4-8) on Friday, June 26, with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m. PDT.

DSC06173

The Pacific Division rivals have squared off twice this season, with San Jose outscoring Spokane by a combined score of 138-54. The third time around will feature quarterback Erik Meyer’s first game at Spokane Veteran’s Memorial Arena as a SaberCat. Meyer, who spent the first five seasons of his career with the Shock, winning the 2013 Arena Football League Most Valuable Player award, has thrown for 61 touchdowns and ranks in the top-five of nearly every passing category this season.

DSC07355

While San Jose possesses a former league MVP, the starting receivers have been the catalyst for the offense. Setting the pace is Reggie Gray, whose 110 receptions, 1,195 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns leads the SaberCats and is also among the top-five in the league.

DSC00089

Additionally, Adron Tennell has been critical to the success of the offensive attack. Tennell, who won the 2013 AFL Receiver of the Year as a member of the Shock, is second on the team with 18 touchdowns and has added 586 receiving yards, providing the ability to move the chains as well as be a threat in the red zone.

DSC05704

A versatile playmaker, Darius Reynolds has excelled as a receiver, on special teams and occasionally, filling in defensively. Reynolds has totaled 13 touchdowns, hauling in nine touchdown receptions adding four on the ground, while notching 12 tackles this season. Averaging 59.4 points per game, the SaberCats’ potent offense remains the best in the league.

Offensively, Spokane has turned to Carson Coffman as the starter under center. Coffman led the Shock to a 69-54 victory over the Portland Thunder, completing 20-of-32 passes for 328 yards and a season-high nine touchdowns.

Last month, Spokane added receiver Jabin Sambrano to go along with Anthony Amos and Nick Truesdell. Sambrano, who has spent the past three seasons in the National Football League, most recently with the Atlanta Falcons, led the Shock last week with eight receptions and 125 yards, adding two touchdowns.

Similarly, Truesdell is coming off his best performance of the season last week against the Thunder. Entering the matchup, Truesdell (6’7” 240) had 12 touchdowns through nine games, but in a breakout performance, he added five touchdowns on seven receptions and 124 yards. Meanwhile, Amos currently leads the team among active players with 70 receptions for 758 yards.

Defensively, the SaberCats are led statistically, by Ken Fontenette, Jason Stewart and Francis Maka. Fontenette has had a nose for seeking out the football, leading the league with 98.5 tackles and is second in the league with 10 interceptions. Meanwhile, Maka ranks third in the AFL with 8 sacks, two safeties and has added 17 tackles his season. The 2014 Defensive Player of the Year, Jason Stewart has been a menace in the middle of the SaberCats’ pass rush. Stewart is right behind Maka with 7.5 sacks and has 17.5 tackles with eight going for a loss. The crushing San Jose defense has allowed just 37.2 points per game, to lead the AFL, though they will be tested against a Shock offense that is coming off a 69 point outing last week.

San Jose’s defense has a league-high 24 interceptions and has only surrendered 48 passing touchdowns, the fewest in the Arena Football League by a margin of 11.

The Pacific Division matchup can be seen live on ESPN3, the Watch ESPN app or on radio 1220AM KDOW.

Game Preview Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

San Jose SaberCats Ride Second Half Surge to Beat Las Vegas Outlaws 63-31

All photos by Shawn Jonas

LAS VEGAS, NEV. – The San Jose SaberCats (12-1) scored 35 unanswered points in the second half to pull away from the Las Vegas Outlaws (4-8), securing a 63-31 road victory on Father’s Day.

The Outlaw’s got out to an early lead, scoring on a three-yard touchdown pass from J.J. Raterink to Will Wright. After the SaberCats evened the score at 7-7 on an Erik Meyer 10-yard touchdown pass to Adron Tennell, Gerald Young returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, as Las Vegas found itself up 14-7 in the first quarter.

DSC06173

As they have done the entire season, the resilient SaberCats’ defense forced the necessary stops to provide the offense with opportunities. San Jose took its first lead of the game at 21-14, with a 15- yard touchdown pass from Erik Meyer to Darius Reynolds in the second quarter. The Outlaws added a 35- yard field goal at the end of the first half, cutting the SaberCats’ lead, 21-17. Meyer completed 20-of- 28 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns, adding another on the ground.

DSC07355

Receiving the opening kickoff of the second half, San Jose relied on Tennell and Reggie Gray to matriculate down the field, setting up Meyer for the one-yard quarterback sneak, finding pay dirt as the lead swelled to 28-17. Gray, the leading receiver for the SaberCats this season, hauled in a team- high eight receptions for 67 yards; while Tennell added five receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Making his second appearance of the season, rookie defensive back Fred Obi intercepted a Raterink pass in the third quarter, returning it down to the two yard line. The turnover set up Reynolds for a two-yard rush, spinning off the pile and running in the touchdown, extending the SaberCats lead to 35-17. Darius Reynolds finished with four receptions for 56 yards and three total touchdowns (two rushing).

DSC05704

One of the premier pass rushers in the league and a San Jose native, Francis Maka found himself unabated to Raterink on several instances, finishing with two sacks. The ability to get pressure on the quarterback, while the secondary tightens its coverage is referred to by the SaberCats team as “pressure picks, coverage sacks”. This combination of effective defense has kept San Jose among the leader in the Arena Football League in defensive scoring.

DSC09227

Odie Armstrong had 3 Touchdowns for the SaberCats

Jumping the receiver’s route, Obi grabbed his second interception of the game, returning this one for a 20-yard touchdown to give San Jose a commanding 56-17 lead at the 9:02 mark in the fourth quarter. Obi finished with a team-high eight total tackles and had the first two interceptions of his AFL career.

Entering the game in relief of Raterink, who threw three interceptions, Dennis Havrilla rushed for 30 yards on his first possession, capping off the fourth quarter drive with a seven yard touchdown run, cutting into the SaberCats 56-24 lead. Additionally, Young also led the team in receiving with six receptions for 95 yards and added a one yard touchdown run in the final minute.

Offensive Player of the Game: SJ WR Darius Reynolds

Defensive Player of the Game: SJ DB Fred Obi
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: LV WR Gerald Young
Cutters Catch of the Game: SJ WR Darius Reynolds 15 yard touchdown reception 2nd Quarter Highlight of the Game: SJ DB Fred Obi Interception for a touchdown 4th Quarte

The SaberCats have a quick turnaround, as they will travel to take on Pacific Division rival the Spokane Shock Friday, June 26th with a 7:00 p.m. PDT kickoff. The game can be seen live on ESPN3 or the Watch ESPN app or can be heard on the radio on 1220AM KDOW.

Game Recap Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

San Jose SaberCats Ground Spokane Shock 55-26;11th Straight Win, Remain Undefeated

All photos by Shawn Jonas

SAN JOSE, Calif.– The San Jose SaberCats (11-0) remain unbeaten, as they defeated visiting Pacific Division foe, the Spokane Shock (3-7), 55-26 on Friday night.

“The game tonight was a hard fought game,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet. “They hung in there, continued to grind and got it done.”

DSC02461

DSC02516

The SaberCats got off to a quick start, taking two plays to score with quarterback Erik Meyer running into the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown to give San Jose an early 7-0 lead. Meyer completed 27-of-39 passes for 260 yards and five touchdowns, while adding two more scores on the ground. With great field position set up by a 39-yard kickoff return from Anthony Amos, the Shock capped its opening drive off with a quarterback run of its own, as Warren Smith snuck in for the 1-yard touchdown. Meyer completed 27-of-39 passes for 260 yards and five touchdowns, while adding two more scores on the ground.

“If the coverage tightens up a little bit, (Erik) is able to move around and then we go through the scrambling drill,” said receiver Reggie Gray. “It goes back to pop warner, once the quarterback is moving around; forget what is going on, just get open.”

DSC03352

Striking again, San Jose answered with a 13-yard pass from Meyer to Gray, as the SaberCats held a 14-6 edge in the first quarter. Gray, the AFL Week 9 Most Valuable Player, finished with 10 receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns to lead the SaberCats.

DSC03843

Late in the first half, Jeremy Kelley hauled in a 7-yard touchdown reception from Meyer, the first of his AFL career, giving San Jose a 28-13 advantage. Kelley added a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, finishing with three receptions for 17 yards and two touchdowns.

Driving down to the seven yard line, Spokane had an opportunity to score on the last play of the first half, but Ken Fontenette broke up a pass from Smith and the 28-13 mark would stand at halftime. Fontenette, the AFL Week 10 MVP, led all defenders with 15 tackles and is currently leading the AFL in total tackles.

“(Ken) is smart, he’s competitive every day and every down,” said Arbet. “He is just a competitive guy and it carries over to the football field and he’s playing really well right now.”

Spokane was without its leading pass rusher, James Ruffin, on its defensive front; however, it was the secondary for the Shock that was able to play great coverage on the SaberCats’ receivers.
Still, the resilient SaberCats leaned on their ferocious defense to hold an advantage throughout the game. Relying on its depth, San Jose at one point even used receiver Darius Reynolds at the linebacker spot for a brief stint.

“The defense played well,” said Arbet. “We played a lot of different guys on defense and when they got in there, they stepped up and did what they had to do.”

DSC02973

Leading the way for the Shock was receiver Anthony Amos, who hauled in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Smith in the second quarter, finishing with a team-high 11 receptions for 121 yards and the score. In his second start against the SaberCats’ top-ranked defense, Smith completed 23-of-41 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns through the air (one on the ground).

Falling over the boards in the corner of the end zone, Spokane receiver Nick Truesdell used his entire six-foot-seven-inch frame to haul in a 4-yard touchdown reception, as Spokane minimized the San Jose lead to 35-20 with 13:41 remaining in the fourth quarter. Coming off a four touchdown performance against the Arizona Rattlers last week, Truesdell was limited against San Jose’s prolific secondary, grabbing just five receptions for 32 yards and one touchdown.

“Anytime you can hold a team under 40 points in arena football, it’s almost unheard of,” said Fontenette. “For us to continue to do that really shows where we are going.”

DSC03629

The SaberCats answered, with an 18-yard pass from Meyer to Gray, setting up Odie Armstrong for a 2-yard touchdown run, as San Jose pulled ahead 42-20. After trading touchdowns, the Shock held possession, trailing 49-26 with four minutes remaining, but the drive was halted when Mike Williams intercepted a Smith pass in the end zone, ultimately sealing the victory for the SaberCats.

DSC00388

Mike Williams started in the box, then at defensive back and at the end, he got an interception to close the game out,” said Arbet.

DSC09844

DSC02205

DSC09756

For San Jose, its next game will be at home in the SAP Center, against the Los Angeles Kiss on Saturday, June 13th at 7:30PM PDT.

Offensive Player of the Game: WR Reggie Gray
Defensive Player of the Game: DB Ken Fontenette
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: WR Reggie Gray
Cutters Catch of the Game: SPO WR Jabin Sambrano 4th QT TD
Highlight of the Game: FB Odie Armstrong catch and hurdle defender.

Game Recap Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats

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.

DSC08711

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.

DSC09506

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.

DSC09312

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.

DSC08704

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 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.

DSC05334

DSC04789

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.

DSC05479

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.

DSC05112

 

DSC05130

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.

DSC05474

DSC05477

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.

DSC05140

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

DSC07578

DSC07641

DSC05408

DSC04908

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-