Command Drop Hard-Fought Game to San Jose, 49-35April 22, 2012 - Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) Missouri Comets
The Command were down 42-35 after Huey Whitaker scored on a 2-yard touchdown run for San Jose. KC got two chances to tie the game but threw an interception and lost a fumble on back-to-back possessions. That allowed San Jose to open up a two-score lead with 7:46 remaining for the first time in the game, a 49-35 edge that would ultimately be the final.
The Command's final drive lasted 11 plays and 6:33 but ended on fourth-and-goal at the 4-yard-line with an incomplete pass intended for Bradly Chavez.
Kansas City got the ball to start the game and after a good kick return by Rashad Barksdale set the offense up near midfield, quarterback Matt Gutierrez needed just one play to find receiver Bret Smith for a 26-yard score. It was the first of three times they would connect for a touchdown on the night as Smith earned Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game honors. Kicker James Wilhoit, making his Command debut, missed the extra point for a 6-0 lead.
SaberCats quarterback Mark Grieb, named earlier this week the third-best AFL QB of all time by the Silver Anniversary Committee, found Samora Goodson for an answering 18-yard score and a 7-6 San Jose lead.
The teams traded touchdowns before San Jose's defense got the first stop of the game, forcing the Command to settle for a 20-yard Wilhoit field goal and a 16-14 lead. However, the KC defense also came up with a stop as Tommy Chavis recovered a Goodson fumble after a completion.
The Command offense netted just one yard in eight plays and a 38-yard field goal attempt was blocked. San Jose needed just one play to retake the lead 21-16 as Grieb found Mark Lewis for a 17-yard score.
Bradly Chavez caught a six-yard touchdown pass to put the Command back in front, but the SaberCats scored last in the half to take a 28-22 lead at the break.
San Jose had the ball first to start the second half and appeared poised to go up by two scores when Gilliam picked off a Grieb pass intended for Goodson and returned it 51-yards for a touchdown and a 29-28 Command lead.
Gilliam got his second pick on the next San Jose drive and for the second time KC had a chance to extend a lead but a Gutierrez interception ended the opportunity. The teams traded scores with Ben Nelson snagging a 36-yard touchdown for San Jose and Bret Smith getting his third TD reception of the night for the Command, tying the game at 35.
"San Jose won the game, they did what they needed to do," coach Danton Barto said afterwards. "I think we got maybe five stops, and our offense is struggling, but sometimes that's what happens with a rookie quarterback. I thought our defense played real well tonight, and have been very good this season in four out of the five games. We will go and watch film and get ready for Tampa."
Gutierrez finished the night 23 of 44 for 247 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Smith finished with seven catches for 110 yards, his best night of the season so far.
"It felt good and hopefully we can continue to build on it for next week and come out and get a win," Smith said of his performance. "I think I played well, but I could have been better. I was out there playing for my team, so I wish I could have done a little bit better and we could have gotten the win."
Grieb threw just one incompletion in the first half and, despite the two second-half picks, had a strong night. He completed 24 of 29 passes for 315 yards and six TDs. Five different receivers caught touchdowns for San Jose, led by Goodson's two on six grabs.
The Command will next play Monday, April 30 at Tampa Bay at 7pm. The game will air live on NFL Network in the Command's only scheduled national TV appearance in 2012. Sports Radio 810 WHB will also air the game live. The Storm are 3-3 after falling Friday night to Philadelphia. Their starting quarterback is Stephen Wasil who spent the 2011
The Command's next home game will be Saturday, May 5 at 7pm against the San Antonio Talons at Sprint Center.
Major Indoor Soccer League Stories from April 22, 2012
- Command Drop Hard-Fought Game to San Jose, 49-35 - Missouri Comets
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.