Gladiators defeat SaberCats, 51-48
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Feb. 6, 2006) - Las Vegas offensive specialist Marcus Nash had four touchdown receptions, including three in the fourth quarter, to help the Gladiators post a home-opening 51-48 win over the San Jose SaberCats in Arena Football League action on Monday night.
Mark Grieb threw five touchdown passes for the SaberCats, but San Jose dropped to 0-2 on the season for the first time since 1998.
Gladiators quarterback Craig Whelihan tossed a 17-yard scoring pass to Nash with 4:28 left in the fourth to give his team a 44-41 lead.
Following a San Jose turnover on downs, Whelihan hit Nash on the first play of the ensuing possession to build the Gladiators lead to 51-41.
Grieb connected with newly acquired Kevin McKenzie on a 6-yard strike with 17.9 seconds remaining to close out the scoring.
The Gladiators recovered San Jose's onsides kick and ran out the clock for their first win of the season.
SaberCats defensive specialist Clevan Thomas intercepted Whelihan on the first offensive play of the game and Grieb hit Calvin Schexnayder on a 15-yard scoring play to give San Jose a quick 7-0 lead. Thomas had a pair of interceptions in the game to earn Defensive Player of the Game honors.
Despite the quick start, San Jose struggled offensively losing an interception and a fumble while turning the ball over twice on downs.
Schexnayder, who joined the team last week, started at OS for San Jose and had a pair of touchdown grabs before being knocked out of the game by a vicious hit from Las Vegas DB Dameon Porter late in the fourth quarter.
The SaberCats continue their franchise record five-game road trip and look for their first win of the season when they travel to Arizona to battle the 0-2 Rattlers on Sunday.
NOTES: Clevan Thomas set a new SaberCats record with his 4th career multi interception game...Brian Schmitz became the first San Jose kicker to make two field goals in a game since Dan Frantz connected twice at Los Angeles on March 26, 2004...Schmitz has started the season converting all 11 of his PAT attempts.
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