Tag Archives: Las Vegas Outlaws

Game Preview: San Jose SaberCats (13-1) vs New Orleans Voodoo (2-11)

July 8, 2015 – 11:59am

SAN JOSE, CALIF. – The San Jose SaberCats (13-1) will host the New Orleans VooDoo (2-11) at the SAP Center on Friday, July 10th. The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN2 as well as 1220AM KDOW.

Playing the past two games on the road against the Las Vegas Outlaws and Spokane Shock, the SaberCats have outscored their opponents 125-58. On the season, San Jose has outscored its competition 834-511, resulting in a 23.1 average margin of victory, the best in the Arena Football League.

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In his first game at Spokane’s Veterans Memorial Arena as a member of the SaberCats, quarterback Erik Meyer completed 76.5-percent of his passes, resulting in 277 yards and seven touchdowns, also adding another score on the ground. The 2013 AFL Most Valuable Player has thrown for 68 touchdowns, completed 65.3-percent of his passes and has only thrown six interceptions on 398 passing attempts. Meyer has thrown a touchdown pass to ten different receivers this season, with Reggie Gray leading the way.

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Ranking second in the league with 33 touchdown receptions, Gray is tied with Philadelphia Soul receiver Marco Thomas for first in the AFL with 124 receptions and is fourth with 1,349 yards. “Big Play” Reggie Gray has also returned three kickoffs for a touchdown and his 216 points scored is the most in the league. With Meyer and Gray pacing the offense, San Jose leads the AFL, scoring an averaging of 59.6 points per game.

Meanwhile, the VooDoo offense is led by second year quarterback Adam Kennedy. Making nine appearances this season, Kennedy has completed 60.8-percent of his passes for 28 touchdowns, while also leading New Orleans in rushing. Chris Duvalt has been the number one weapon for the Voodoo, totaling 17 touchdowns on 951 receiving yards.

After a stellar career with the Alabama Hammers of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL), receiver Charles McClain has made an immediate impact for New Orleans. In only three games, McClain is averaging 87.7 receiving yards per game and has five touchdowns, emerging as one of Kennedy’s favorite targets.

In order to stop the VooDoo’s attack, the SaberCats will need to rely on their defensive front to create havoc. Earning Second Team All-Arena honors last season, Francis Maka leads the team with 10.5 tackles for a loss and has already tied his sack total from last year (9.5) in four fewer games played and is ranked second in the league. Right behind Maka is defensive tackle Jason Stewart with 8.0 sacks on the season, tying him for fourth in the AFL. Donte Paige-Moss (7.5) and Luis Vasquez (6.0) also rank in the top ten in sacks, with San Jose amassing a league-high 37 sacks.

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While the defensive front has been a disruptive force, it has been the SaberCats’ secondary that has stifled their opponents passing attacks. Defensive back Ken Fontenette has put together one of the best seasons statistically in his career. Fontenette leads the AFL with 104.0 total tackles and 23 pass breakups, adding ten interceptions.

Leading the secondary with Fontenette is veteran Clevan Thomas. Ranking second in the league all- time in interceptions, Thomas has added four interceptions and is ranked fourth on the team with 34.5 tackles. At the linebacker position, David Hyland is second on the team with 76.5 total tackles, nine pass breakups and has capitalized on loose balls, totaling five fumble recoveries. The SaberCats’ defense has been dominant, surrendering a league-low 36.5 points per game.

The last matchup between these two squads was in 2013, where the SaberCats defeated the VooDoo 57-38 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

Game Preview Courtesy to 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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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

Game Preview: San Jose SaberCats vs Las Vegas Outlaws

Photos by Shawn Jonas

SAN JOSE, CALIF. – The San Jose SaberCats (11-1) head to Sin City, to take on the Las Vegas Outlaws (4-7) for a National Conference game on Father’s Day Sunday, June 21 at 2PM PDT.

Already clinching the Pacific Division championship, San Jose will be battling down the stretch for the best record in the AFL for the potential opportunity to host the ArenaBowl. Currently, the SaberCats have a full game lead over the Philadelphia Soul (10-2) for the top mark.

“There are a lot of things to correct from last week,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet. “We’ll go back, look at the film and find ways to improve.”

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Leading the SaberCats offense, receiver Reggie Gray reached triple-digit receptions with 102 for the fourth time in his career, going for 1,128 yards and “Big Play’s” 29 touchdown receptions leads all in the AFL. Gray will likely draw the attention of Las Vegas’ defensive backs, Tanner Varner or Eddie Moten. Varner is a versatile athlete and a veteran leader on the defense, ranking at the top in total tackles with 69 on the season.

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Quarterback Erik Meyer ranks among the AFL best, completing 63.7-percent of his passes and is averaging 240.5 yards per game. Meyer has been able to spread the ball around to his teammates, already throwing for 59 touchdowns to 10 different receivers this season. After putting up a season-high 49 rushing yards last week, Meyer also became the team’s leading rusher with 106, eclipsing the 100-yard mark along with fullback Odie Armstrong (101).

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Paired with Varner, Moten, is coming off his best performance of the season last week against the Spokane Shock. Moten, a nine year veteran and former SaberCat, had two interceptions, returning one for a 12-yard touchdown in the 62-56 victory over the Shock. A starting defensive lineman for San Jose last year, Terrance Carter has relished in the same role in Las Vegas. Carter is tied with Mike Lewis for a team high five sacks this season, with both registering one last week.

The leading man offensively for Las Vegas has been receiver Jomo Wilson. This season, Wilson has 795 receiving yards and 19 of his 63 receptions have gone for touchdowns. In last week’s win, Wilson grabbed five receptions for 85 yards and two touchdowns, pacing the offense. Wilson and teammate Tysson Poots have both had recent success making plays for the Las Vegas offense, but they will be running into a SaberCats’ defense led by the AFL leader in tackles and interceptions, Ken Fontenette.

The SaberCats’ defense has allowed just 37.8 points per game this season, ranking them first in the AFL. San Jose also leads the league in interceptions (21) and sacks (30) but most notably, the SaberCats’ defense is holding teams to a 24-percent fourth down conversion rate. While the offense is converting on 48-percent of its fourth downs, the ability for San Jose to force turnover on downs by its defense, specifically in the red zone, has assisted in the team’s success thus far.

The previous matchup between these two teams was a 61-28 victory by the SaberCats at home in May, while the last meeting in Sin City was the season opener back in March. In that game, from the Thomas and Mack Center, San Jose jumped out to an early 28-0 lead and eventually went on to win 59-41, in the Outlaw’s AFL debut. This will be the third and final installment for the regular season between the SaberCats and Outlaws.

Game Preview Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

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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