Tag Archives: Tampa Bay Storm

AFL Announces All-Arena Defensive Team

Photos by Shawn Jonas

LAS VEGAS – Eighteen players earned 2015 First and Second Team All-Arena Defense honors, the AFL Office announced today.

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Headlining the First Team All-Arena squad at defensive end were Joe Sykes, who set new single-season AFL records with 18.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles as a member of the Jacksonville Sharks, and James Ruffin, who logged double-digit sacks (11) for the second consecutive year with the Spokane Shock. San Jose SaberCats nose guard Jason Stewart earned First Team recognition as well after leading all AFL middle men with 10 sacks on the season.

First Team All-Arena Mac linebacker honors went to Tyre Glasper of the Arizona Rattlers, who finished his 2015 campaign with a franchise record 11.5 sacks, while the First Team Jack linebacker was Alvin Ray Jackson of the Jacksonville Sharks, who led all Jacks with 11 takeaways on the year.

Jeremy Kellem of the Arizona Rattlers, James Romain of the Philadelphia Soul and Greg Reid of the Jacksonville Sharks were selected First Team All-Arena defensive backs. Kellem led the League with 14 interceptions, while Romain tallied a career-high 10 picks on the year. Reid led all AFL rookies with nine interceptions and 21 pass breakups. Portland Thunder wide receiver Duane Brooks also earned First Team All-Arena honors as a kick return specialist. Brooks led the League with 1,994 kickoff return yards and an AFL record eight kickoff return touchdowns in 2015.

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Nine more players earned Second Team honors, including: defensive ends Mike McAdoo of the Arizona Rattlers and Bryan Robinson of the Philadelphia Soul; Cleveland Gladiators nose guard Willie McGinnis; San Jose SaberCats Mac linebacker Francis Maka; Orlando Predators Jack linebacker Terence Moore; defensive backs Ken Fontenette of the San Jose SaberCats, James Harrell of the Tampa Bay Storm and Rayshaun Kizer of the LA KISS; and kick return specialist Brandon Thompkins of the Orlando Predators.

First Team All-Arena Defense
Second Team All-Arena Defense
DE Joe Sykes, Jacksonville
DE James Ruffin, Spokane
NG Jason Stewart, San Jose
MLB Tyre Glasper, Arizona
JLB Alvin Ray Jackson, Jacksonville
DB Jeremy Kellem, Arizona
DB James Romain, Philadelphia
DB Greg Reid, Jacksonville
KR Duane Brooks, Portland
DE Mike McAdoo, Arizona
DE Bryan Robinson, Philadelphia
NG Willie McGinnis, Cleveland
MLB Francis Maka, San Jose
JLB Terence Moore, Orlando
DB Ken Fontenette, San Jose
DB James Harrell, Tampa Bay
DB Rayshaun Kizer, LA
KR Brandon Thompkins, Orlando

Press Release Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

Game Preview: San Jose SaberCats at LA Kiss

Photos by Shawn Jonas

SAN JOSE – The San Jose SaberCats (16-1) will hit the road for the regular season finale in an interstate matchup against the LA KISS (4-13) on Saturday, August 8th at 7:00pm PDT. Fans can catch all of the action on ESPN3, the Watch ESPN APP and on radio 1220AM KDOW.

The SaberCats have been on a roll with a five game winning streak, though the only blemish on their record was due to the efforts of the KISS.

In a week 12 matchup back in June, the SaberCats trailed 42-35. San Jose scored on a touchdown pass from Meyer to Gray to tie the game as time expired in regulation. In overtime, the KISS stopped the SaberCats on fourth down, taking over on downs and winning the game on a 16-yard pass from Danny Southwick to DeMarco Sampson.

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Last week, San Jose held off the Arizona Rattlers in a convincing, 56-29 home victory on Fan Appreciation Night. One of the premiere passers in the league, quarterback Erik Meyer orchestrated the attack on offense, which outscored the Rattlers 27-3 in the second half. Meyer threw eight touchdown passes, including three each to receivers Reggie Gray and Maurice Purify.

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Meyer is ranked among the league leaders in passing yards (3,937), touchdowns (91) and has thrown the least amount of interceptions (six). Gray, leads the league with 44 receiving touchdowns (47 total), 158 receptions and is tied for fourth with 1,659 receiving yards.

The defensive unit for San Jose continues to flourish, ranking number one in the Arena Football League surrendering an average of 36.7 points per game. Against the Rattlers, the SaberCats forced two turnovers, totaled three sacks and held Arizona to a season-low 29 points.

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Defensive back Ken Fontenette has already set a franchise record for most tackles in a season and leads the AFL with 146.5 total tackles and is second with 12 interceptions. Roaming the secondary along with the legendary Clevan Thomas and standout rookie Fredrick Obi, the SaberCats have registered 31 interceptions and 80 pass breakups collectively.

In the trenches, San Jose has a league-high 43 sacks, with three players ranked in the top seven. Francis Maka is second in the AFL with 11 sacks, while defensive tackle Jason Stewart has 10 and defensive end Donte Paige-Moss has 9.5, including 1.5 last week against Arizona.

For the KISS, the defense has been a major contributor to the recent success over the past two months. With the addition of Rayshaun Kizer, who leads the team with 66 tackles, 14 pass breakups and five interceptions in nine games, LA has held three of its past four opponents under 40 points.

Attempting to keep its playoff hopes alive, the KISS dropped a heartbreaking loss last week on the road against the Tampa Bay Storm. Trailing 34-31 with 15 seconds remaining, Storm quarterback Jason Boltus connected with T.T. Toliver on a 15-yard touchdown, giving the Storm the edge.

With the win last week over Arizona, San Jose clinched the number one overall seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, including the ArenaBowl.

Game Preview Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats 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