San Jose SaberCats game notes
THE QUICK FACTS:
Game: Los Angeles Avengers (8-5) at SaberCats (8-5).
Date: Saturday, May 7, 2005.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. (PDT).
Site: HP Pavilion at San Jose (14,041).
Officials: Pat Garvey (Referee); Paul King (Umpire); Bill Ward (Head Linesman); Wayne Mackie (Line Judge); David Cutaia (Back Judge).
Television: FOX Sports Net will air the game tape delayed in the Bay Area on Sunday, May 8, at 3:30 p.m. Randy Hahn (play-by-play), Mike Pawlawski (color) and F.P. Santangelo (sideline) call the action.
Radio: San Joses flagship radio station KNBR-1050 and KNBR-680 will air the game live in the Bay Area with Joe Castellano (play-by-play) and Keena Turner (color). Tim Liotta and George Atkinson host an extended pregame show live from HP Pavilion starting at 5:00 p.m.
Internet: Log on to www.KNBR.com to hear a live webcast of Sundays game.
Series Record: SaberCats lead 8-3.
Last Meeting: Los Angeles 71, SaberCats 69 on Feb. 20, 2005 in Los Angeles.
Series Streaks: Los Angeles Won 1.
Coaches: San Jose, Darren Arbet (7th season; 72-29 regular season, 81-32 overall). Los Angeles, Ed Hodgkiss (4th season; 36-23 regular season; 36-26 overall).
OVERVIEW: San Jose lost at home for the first time this season dropping a 57-55 decision to the Nashville Kats on April 29 and will host division rival Los Angeles on Saturday, May 7, in a game that has playoff implications. With a win over the Avengers and a Las Vegas loss to Dallas, the SaberCats will clinch a playoff berth for the sixth consecutive season and give them sole possession of first place in the Western Division. FSN Bay Area will show the game tape delayed on Sunday, May 8 at 3:30 p.m. Nashville QB Leon Murray tossed 8 TD passes and the Kats posted their highest point total of the year in their win. Former SaberCat Fred Coleman led the Kats with 6 catches and 3 TDs. The SaberCats had a chance to tie the score after a 3-yard TD run by Steve Warren pulled them within two points with 14 seconds left in the game. But Mark Griebs pass attempt on the 2-point conversion slipped through the hands of Rashied Davis in the corner of the endzone and Nashville recovered the onside kick to run out the clock Los Angeles defeated San Jose earlier this year, 71-69, on Feb. 20 at STAPLES Center, but the SaberCats are 5-0 all-time against the Avengers at HP Pavilion. The teams have combined for three of the top nine scoring games in SaberCats history.
2005 San Jose SaberCats (8-5)
Date Opponent Result Score
Jan. 30 @Tampa Bay Lost 33-63 (0-1)
Feb. 5 LAS VEGAS Won 66-31 (1-1)
Feb. 13 @New Orleans Lost 61-62 (1-2)
Feb. 20 @Los Angeles Lost 69-71 (1-3)
Mar. 6 @Orlando Won 57-38 (2-3)
Mar. 11 PHILADELPHIA Won 52-26 (3-3)
Mar. 18 GRAND RAPIDS Won 72-48 (4-3)
Mar. 28 @Las Vegas Won 81-75 (5-3)
Apr. 3 ARIZONA Won 48-27 (6-3)
Apr. 10 @Chicago Lost 39-55 (6-4)
Apr. 15 DALLAS Won 83-71 (7-4)
Apr. 22 @Colorado Won 89-41 (8-4)
Apr. 29 NASHVILLE Lost 55-57 (8-5)
Date Opponent Time (PT) Radio/TV
May 7 LOS ANGELES 7:30 pm 1050-680/FSN
May 14 @Arizona 7:00 pm 1050/WB
May 21 GEORGIA 7:30 pm 1050/FSN
2005 Los Angeles Avengers (8-5)
Game Opponent Result Score
Jan. 30 @Las Vegas Lost 37-46 (0-1)
Feb. 4 GEORGIA Won 46-41 (1-1)
Feb. 11 @Austin Won 64-51 (2-1)
Feb. 20 SAN JOSE Won 71-69 (3-1)
Feb. 27 @Colorado Lost 40-58 (3-2)
Mar. 6 @Arizona Won 33-39 (4-2)
Mar. 18 DALLAS Lost 50-72 (4-3)
Mar. 26 TAMPA BAY Won 59-28 (5-3)
Apr. 3 @Orlando Lost (ot) 54-55 (5-4)
Apr. 10 NEW YORK Won 66-35 (6-4)
Apr. 17 @Nashville Lost 48-51 (6-5)
Apr. 23 CHICAGO Won 52-49 (7-5)
Apr. 30 ARIZONA Won 59-56 (8-5)
Game Opponent Time (PT) TV
May 7 @San Jose 7:30 pm FSN
May 14 LAS VEGAS 7:30 pm FSN
May 21 @Grand Rapids 4:30 pm FSN
THE SERIES: The SaberCats lead the all-time series 8-3 and are undefeated (5-0) in games played in San Jose The Avengers posted a 71-69 win in this years earlier meeting on Feb. 20 in L.A. Each of the last six series games have been decided by six or fewer points with San Jose holding a 3-2 edge in those games Los Angeles three wins have been by a combined total of six points while the SaberCats have won their 8 games by an average of 18 points Four of San Joses 23 games with 70-or-more points have come against the Avengers San Jose won the last two games at HP Pavilion by a combined seven point after winning the first three games by 109 points.
SERIES NOTABLES: San Jose is 5-0 against Los Angeles at home and 8-3 overall against the Avengers The three losses on the road have been by a combined total of 6 points, including a 69-71 loss on Feb. 20 The SaberCats margin of victory in their eight wins is 18 points San Joses point total in its 72-73 loss at Los Angeles on Feb. 2, 2003 is the highest ever in a defeat The SaberCats point total in their 69-71 loss earlier this season on Feb. 20, is the second highest ever in a defeat San Jose has scored an average of 62.1 points per game against Los Angeles San Jose has four of the six 70-point regular season games allowed by the Avengers: 78 points twice (5/27/00 and 5/11/02), 75 points (7/8/00) and 72 points (2/9/03) Since they met in Wk 4, San Jose has gone 7-2 while Los Angeles has posted a 5-4 record San Jose scored a team record 29 first quarter points vs. L.A. (5/27/00) and allowed a team record 35 fourth quarter points to L.A. (2/9/03) The SaberCats 53-point win (78-25) over the Avengers on May 27, 2000 is the worst loss in Los Angeles history San Jose also handed L.A. its third-worst loss with a 34-point win (78-44) on May 11, 2002 Avengers kicker Remy Hamilton had 17 points (3-of-4 on FGs and 8-of-9 on PATs) vs. San Jose on Feb. 20, 2005, which was tied for second on San Joses all-time list for most points in a game by an opposing kicker Avengers WR/LB Greg Hopkins 3-yard INT return for a TD on Feb. 20, 2005 is the only one allowed by the SaberCats this season San Jose scored 20 points in the final minute of play in their loss to the Avengers on Feb. 20, 2005.
LAST SERIES MEETING: Los Angeles 71, SABERCATS 69 Sunday, February 20, 2005 STAPLES Center Los Angeles quarterback John Kaleo threw seven touchdown passes and the Avengers withstood a furious fourth quarter comeback by the San Jose SaberCats to post a 71-69 win at STAPLES Center. Kaleo tossed four scoring passes in the second quarter and WR/LB Greg Hopkins returned an interception three yards for a touchdown helping Los Angeles erase a 14-3 first quarter deficit by outscoring San Jose 34-7 in the second stanza. The Avengers were aided in the second quarter by four consecutive San Jose turnovers, including two interceptions by Hopkins from his linebacker position. He (Hopkins) plays it (linebacker) as well as anybody," said SaberCats quarterback Mark Grieb. "He does a nice job of stepping up and thats it. I just have to be able to see that better and not give it up to him." Kaleos seventh scoring pass of the game, a 25-yard strike to Jerome Riley with 2:05 left in the fourth quarter, gave Los Angeles its biggest lead of the game at 68-49 and set the stage for a frantic last minute of play. Following the one-minute warning San Jose scored twice in eight seconds to draw close. Grieb threw a 41-yard TD pass to James Roe and following an onside kick recovery by lineman Albrey Battle, Grieb teamed with Rashied Davis on a 38-yard scoring play to get San Jose within 68-62 with 52 seconds left. Remy Hamilton upped the Avengers lead to 71-62 by connecting on a 19-yard field goal with 34 seconds left. Barry Wagner caught a 13-yard pass on San Joses next possession to become the AFLs career leader in receptions with 950. He passed former Albany/Indiana Firebird Eddie Brown, who amassed 949 catches in his career. Wagner ended the drive by catching a 9-yard scoring pass with 18 seconds left. Its great, said Wagner of his record, but it doesnt mean anything right now. Dan Frantz onside kick attempt sailed out of bounds and the Avengers ran out the clock to break a 3-game losing streak to the SaberCats. Grieb tied a team record and career-high with 31 completions for 399 yards, the third-highest game total in franchise history, and seven TDs on 46 attempts. James Roe was his favorite target hauling in a game-high 10 passes for 147 yards and three scores. San Joses 1-3 record matches the 1996 club for the worst four-game start in franchise history.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
SaberCats 14 7 14 34 69
Avengers 3 34 14 20 71
LAA FG Hamilton 41
SAN Davis 55 kickoff return (Frantz kick)
SAN Schexnayder 6 pass from Grieb (Frantz kick)
LAA Locke 21 pass from Kaleo (kick failed)
LAA Hopkins 3 interception return (Hamilton kick)
LAA Locke 4 pass from Kaleo (Hamilton kick)
LAA Riley 43 pass from Kaleo (Hamilton kick)
SAN Kinsinger 5 run (Frantz kick)
LAA Locke 23 pass from Kaleo (Hamilton kick)
SAN Roe 13 pass from Grieb (Frantz kick)
LAA Ingram 25 pass from Kaleo (Hamilton kick)
SAN Roe 4 run (Frantz kick)
LAA Riley 28 pass from Kaleo (Hamilton kick)
SAN Davis 3 pass from Grieb (Frantz kick)
LAA Ford 36 run (Hamilton kick)
SAN Roe 6 pass from Grieb (Frantz kick)
LAA FG Hamilton 20
LAA Riley 25 pass from Kaleo (Hamilton kick)
SAN Roe 41 pass from Grieb (rush failed)
SAN Davis 38 pass from Grieb (Frantz kick)
LAA FG Hamilton 19
SAN Wagner 9 pass from Grieb (Frantz kick)
Passing: SAN Grieb 31-46-3-399. LAA Kaleo 22-38-1-327.
Rushing: SAN Grieb 1-6; Kinsinger 1-5; Roe 3-0. LAA Ford 4-42; Jeffries 1-4; Hopkins 1-0.
Receiving: SAN Roe 10-147; Davis 8-117; Wagner 7-69; Schexnayder 6-66. LAA Locke 7-118; Riley 5-105; Hopkins 5-49; Sump 3-21; Ingram 2-34.
Kick Returns: SAN Davis 8-216. LAA Ingram 3-55; Sump 1-17; Rachal 1-0.
ALL-TIME SERIES SCORES
Feb. 20, 2005 @Los Angeles 71, San Jose 69
Mar. 26, 2004 @San Jose 55, Los Angeles 52
Feb. 22, 2004 San Jose 61, @Los Angeles 55
May 17, 2003 @San Jose 47, Los Angeles 43
Feb. 9, 2003 @Los Angeles 73, San Jose 72
June 8, 2002 San Jose 52, @Los Angeles 33
May 11, 2002 @San Jose 78, Los Angeles 44
June 2, 2001 @Los Angeles 47, San Jose 44
Apr. 14, 2001 @San Jose 52, Los Angeles 30
July 8, 2000 San Jose 75, @Los Angeles 72
May 27, 2000 @San Jose 78, Los Angeles 25
THE IFS :
If the SaberCats defeat Los Angees it would
*Give San Jose a 9-5 season record.
*Break their 1-game losing streak.
*Be their 6th straight home win over the Avengers.
*Give San Jose a 57-21 all-time regular season home record.
*Give San Jose a 111-60 all-time record.
*Give San Jose a 41-22 all-time record against Western Division opponents.
*Give San Jose a 26-9 all-time home record against Western Division opponents.
San Jose Darren Arbet, 7th season
72-29 (.713) reg. season; 81-32 (.717) overall
8-3 (.727) career vs. Los Angeles
Now in his seventh season at the helm of the SaberCats, two-time Coach of the Year Darren Arbet became the 7th head coach in AFL history with 80 career victories when San Jose defeated Dallas on Apr. 15, 2005 and surpassed Michael Trigg for 6th place with San Joses win at Colorado on Apr. 22. His overall winning percentage of .717 (81-32) ranks as one of the best in AFL history. Last season Arbet led his club to its second league title in three years and the SaberCats tied a league record by winning 10 or more regular season games for the fifth consecutive season. Since the start of the 2000 season his teams have compiled a 66-20 (.767) regular season record and have set league records for most regular season wins (13 2002), most wins in a season (16- 2002), most consecutive wins in a regular season (12 2002), most wins to end a season (11 2000) and the longest regular season win streak (15 2000-01).
Los Angeles Ed Hodgkiss, 4th season
36-23 (.610) reg. season; 36-26 (.581) overall
2-5 (.285) career vs. San Jose
Entering his fourth season as the head coach of the Avengers, Hodgkiss has compiled a regular season record of 36-23 and advanced to the AFL Playoffs each year. In his first two seasons at the helm, he directed the Avengers to a 19-11 record. No head coach in league history has won more games in his first two seasons than Hodgkiss. Last season, the Avengers went 9-7 and led the AFL in scoring, averaging 56.5 points per game. In 2003, the Avengers won a franchise-best 11 games and earned a first-round playoffs bye. Hodgkiss, who was the runner-up for the 2003 AFL Coach of the Year award, oversaw the leagues most efficient offense, which scored 122 touchdowns (most in the AFL) on only 619 total plays (least in the AFL). Hodgkiss became the head coach of the Avengers on Oct. 5, 2001, and signed a five-year contract extension shortly after a 2002 season that saw him adroitly pilot the team to an 8-6 mark and into the postseason for the first time in franchise history. Prior to joining the Avengers, Hodgkiss was the Indiana Firebirds offensive coordinator for three seasons (1999-2001).
RECENT RESULTS: Nashville 57, SABERCATS 55 Nashville QB Leon Murray threw eight touchdown passes to four different receivers as the visiting Kats handed San Jose its first home loss of the season, 57-55, in front of a crowd of 13,345 fans at HP Pavilion on Friday night. The Kats (5-7-1) entered the contest unbeaten in their last four games (3-0-1) and put up their highest point total of the season. Murray, the Offensive Player of the Game, completed 18-of-36 passes for 235 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. Former SaberCat Fred Coleman led the Kats in receiving, catching six passes for 75 yards and three TDs. T.T. Toliver and Darryl Hammond also figured in the scoring, each hauling in a pair of TDs. San Jose QB Mark Grieb started the game by completing his first eight passes, extending his streak to 28 consecutive completions dating back to Apr. 15 vs. Dallas. However, his streak came to an end as his ninth pass attempt was intercepted by Defensive Player of the Game Kahlil Carter, who had two picks on the night. Grieb finished the night completing 26-of-35 passes for 331 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. Rodney Wright earned his third consecutive Ironman of the Game award after catching a game-high 10 passes for 134 yards and a TD. San Jose (8-5) scored with 14 seconds remaining in the game on a 3-yard run by Steve Warren, moving the SaberCats to within two points, 57-55. But Griebs pass on the two-point conversion attempt slipped through the fingers of Rashied Davis in the end zone. San Joses last-ditch attempt failed as the ensuing onside kick attempt was recovered by Nashville, who ran out the clock. San Jose lost for the first time after leading at the half and saw its record fall to 8-5 on the season. NOTES: San Jose had seven consecutive wins at home before Friday nights loss Albrey Battles blocked FG attempt in the second quarter was San Joses first since May 5, 2001 Grieb threw for 300+ yards for the fifth time this season, he is 1-4 in those games Nashville improved their record to 5-2 against San Jose Inactives for the game were Yardon Brantley, Wendell Davis and Devin Wyman Rashied Davis has scored 17 touchdowns in his last four games.
RECENT ROSTER MOVES
Mar. 11 Re-signed OL/DL Devin Wyman.
Mar. 15 Signed WR/LB Kenneth Solomon to practice squad.
Mar. 26 Activated OL/DL Rex Richards and OL/DL Jeff Ruffin from IR. Placed OL/DL Sebastian Barrie and WR/LB Yardon Brantley on IR.
Mar. 29 Waived WR/LB George Williams from practice squad.
Apr. 2 Activated FB/LB Kevin Buck and WR/DB Erin Damond from IR. Placed OL/DL Tony Plantin and OL/DL Chuck Reed on IR.
Apr. 7 Signed WR/DB DeVon Banks to the practice squad.
Apr. 9 Activated OL/DL Sebastian Barrie from IR. Placed WR/DB Ryan Fernandez on IR.
Apr. 13 Signed DS Niccolo Concellieri to international PS.
Apr. 14 Signed DS Wendell Davis from PS. Activated WR/LB Yardon Brantley and OL/DL Chuck Reed from IR. Placed DS Tremain Mack, OL/DL Rex Richards and FB/LB Steve Warren on IR.
Apr. 16 Signed FB/LB Joey Dozier.
Apr. 21 Placed OL/DL Sebastian Barrie on IR.
Apr. 28 Activated FB/LB Steve Warren from IR. Placed FB/LB Kevin Buck on IR.
*Rashied Davis (36) needs 2 TDs tie Steve Papin (38) for most in a season needs one 100-yard receiving game to break the team season record of 7 needs 168 receiving yards for 2,000 and 9 receptions for 150 in his career needs 295 yards receiving yards to tie James Hundons record of (1,464) set in 2002.
*Mark Grieb (72) needs 3 TD passes to tie his team season record of 75 set last season and 114 pass yards to tie his 2004 season record needs 48 pass attempts to match his own team record of 476 set in 2003 needs 35 completions to tie a team record set last season.
*Rodney Wright (1) needs one more MFG return for a TD to establish a new team record in a season.
*Calvin Schexnayder needs 4 receptions for 600 career.
*James Roe needs 205 receiving yards to match his career-high of 1,440 set in 2003 and 7 receptions for 400 career.
*Barry Wagner needs 172 all-purpose yards to become AFLs all-time leader needs 3 rush yards for 250 in his San Jose career needs 2 rush TDs for 125 in his AFL career.
*Matt Kinsinger needs 8 rush yards for 400 career.
*San Jose needs one more 80-point performance to set the league record for most 80-point games in a season. They are currently tied with the now defunct Albany Firebirds with three.
2005 LEAGUE TEAM RANKINGS
Category SaberCats Avengers
Scoring Offense (Rank) 61.9 (1) 52.2 (6)
Scoring Defense 51.2 (T-11) 49.2 (8)
Total Offense 322.6 (1) 270.2 (13)
Total Defense 284.8 (10) 304.5 (15)
Pass Offense 306.6 (1) 251.0 (11)
Pass Defense 267.2 (10) 291.5 (16)
Rushing Offense 16.0 (12) 19.2 (8)
Rushing Defense 17.6 (5) 13.0 (2)
Touchdowns 115 (1) 80 (15)
Pass Rating 126.8 (1) 111.6 (7)
Pass Defense Rating 106.1 (7) 108.2 (9)
Interceptions 16 (T-4) 19 (2)
Kickoff Return Avg. 20.8 (2) 16.0 (16)
Field Goal Return Avg. 32.3 (1) 13.0 (10)
Turnover Margin +3 (8) +18 (1)
3rd Down Conversions 46.2% (11) 49.0% (6)
4th Down Conversions 68.8% (1) 50.0% (5)
Sacks By 9 (T-14) 17 (T-3)
Sacks Against 12 (T-8) 21 (T-13)
2005 SABERCATS AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS
Player Category No. Rank
Mark Grieb Total Offense
Mark Grieb Completion Pct. 70.1 1
Mark Grieb Pass TDs 72 4
Mark Grieb Passer Rating 128.3 1
Mark Grieb Passing Yards 3,997 1
Mark Grieb Pass Completions 300 4
Mark Grieb Pass Avg/Game 307.5 1
James Roe Receptions 89 T-8
James Roe Receiving Yards 1,155 7
James Roe TD Receptions 25 T-8
Rashied Davis Touchdowns 36 2
Rashied Davis All-purpose Yards 2,012 7
Rashied Davis KO Return Avg. 24.2 3
Rashied Davis TD Receptions 25 T-8
Rashied Davis KO Return TDs 4 T-1
Rashied Davis Receving Yards 1,169 6
Rashied Davis Scoring 216 2
Dan Frantz Kick Scoring 99 T-11
Dan Frantz PAT Attempts 112 1
Dan Frantz PATs Made 93 1
Joe Jacobs Forced Fumbles 3 T-5
Matt Kinsinger Rush TDs 9 T-6
Clevan Thomas Interceptions 6 T-2
HOME SWEET HOME San Jose suffered its first home loss of the year and lost for the first time in its last seven home games when bowing to Nashville, 57-55, on Apr. 29. Including postseason, the SaberCats still have a distinct home field advantage, however, winning 14 of their last 16 games, 18 out of their last 21 and 36 of their last 40 at home. Since the start of the 2000 season the SaberCats are 38-5 (.884) in regular season home games and 46-7 (.868) overall at HP Pavilion. The team has not lost consecutive home games since dropping the final two contests of the 1999 season.
CLOSE CALLS Each of the last five series games between the teams have been decided by six points or less with San Jose holding a 3-2 edge in those games. The Avengers won the first meeting this year, 71-69, on Feb. 20, their largest winning margin in the last five games. San Joses 61-55 win on Feb. 22, 2004 in Los Angeles is the biggest win in the last 5 series meetings.
HEADS OR TAILS The SaberCats have lost the coin toss in each of the last four games and in seven of their last 8 contests. For the season San Jose is 6-4 when losing the coin toss and 2-1 when winning the toss.
THAT 70s SHOW The SaberCats have scored 70-or-more points in a game 23 times in franchise history and they have done it four times in 11 meetings against the Avengers.
SCORING FIRST The SaberCats scored on the games opening possession in their loss to Nashville on Apr. 29 and have scored the first points in each of their last six games. The loss to the Kats broke a 2-game winning streak when San Jose scores first and the team is 7-3 on the year when putting up the first points in a game.
FOURTH AND The SaberCats converted their only fourth down opportunity against Nashville on Apr. 29 and have been successful on their last seven fourth down chances. San Jose leads the AFL with a 68.8 percent (11-of-16) fourth down success rate.
CELEBRITY SCENE For only the second time in team history, the SaberCats lost to a team owned by a celebrity, bringing their record to 5-2. The Nashville Kats, partially owned by country music star Tim McGraw, handed the SaberCats their first home loss of the season 57-55 on Apr. 29. Last week, the SaberCats traveled to Denver and routed Hall-of-Fame QB John Elways Crush 89-41. On Apr. 10, former NFL head coach Mike Ditkas Chicago Rush defeated San Jose 55-39 in the Windy City. Earlier this season the SaberCats defeated rock star, Jon Bon Jovis Philadelphia Soul, 52-26.
AT THE HALF For the first time this season, the SaberCats lost when leading at the half. Coming into the contest against Nashville, San Jose was a perfect 8-0 when holding a halftime lead. However, ahead 34-30 at the halfway point, the SaberCats failed to protect their lead and eventually lost 55-57. On the flip side, the SaberCats are 0-4 when trailing or tied at halftime.
PLAYOFF SHUFFLE With three games remaining in the season, the playoff forecast remains cloudy. In the American Conference, five teams (San Jose, Colorado, Chicago, Los Angeles and Las Vegas) are vying for four playoff spots, with San Jose, Colorado, Chicago and L.A. all owning 8-5 records. San Jose is one of two teams in the conference that can clinch a playoff berth this weekend. The SaberCats can clinch its sixth consecutive trip to the postseason with a win over Los Angeles and a Las Vegas loss to Dallas. Colorado can clinch a spot with a win over New Orleans and a loss by Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
ON THE MARK QB Mark Grieb set what is believed to be an AFL record by completing 28 consecutive passes over a three-game stretch. Grieb completed his last five passes against Dallas on Apr. 15, went 15-for-15 at Colorado on Apr. 22 and began the game against Nashville on Apr. 29 by completing his first 8 passes. During his completion streak, which spanned just over five quarters, Grieb threw for 513 yards and 11 touchdowns. He currently leads the league in completion percentage (70.1%), yards (3,997) and passer rating 128.3, and is 4th in the league with 72 TD passes. Grieb can crack the top five in single-season passing yards with 340 and needs to average 255.0 yards per game over the next 3 contests to best Jim Kubiaks 2003 AFL season record of 4,762.
MOST PASSING YARDS, AFL SEASON
Rk Player Team Yards
1. Jim Kubiak, Dallas 2003 4,762
2. Aaron Garcia, New York 2001 4,515
3. Clint Dolezel, Las Vegas 2004 4,450
4. Clint Dolezel, Grand Rapids 2003 4,430
5. Clint Dolezel, Houston 1999 4,336
MR. WRIGHT Its starting to become redundant, but rookie Rodney Wright turned in another impressive performance in the SaberCats 57-55 loss to Nashville on Apr. 29. Wright was named the Ironman of the Game for the 3rd consecutive contest after setting career-highs in receptions (10), receiving yards (134) and all-purpose yards (247). Earlier in the week, Wright had the distinction of being the first player in SaberCats history to earn back-to-back AFL Ironman of the Week awards. Over his last three games Wright has 19 catches for 267 yards and 3 TDs, 12 KORs for 250 yards, and returned 2 MFGs for 94 yards with a 54-yard TD. On defense he has 21.5 tackles and INT and 3 PBUs.
400 (and counting) CLUB Two of the top six TD passers in AFL history will be on display on May 7 when Mark Grieb and John Kaleo square off. Grieb tossed 5 TD passes in San Joses loss to Nashville on Apr. 29 to tie veteran Todd Hammel for 6th place on the AFLs career chart with 420 TD passes while Kaleo threw six TD passes in LAs win over Arizona to up his 5th place career total to 487. Grieb has thrown 48 of his career TD pass total against the Avengers in 10 career games.
AFL CAREER PASSING TOUCHDOWNS
Rk. Player Team Pass TDs
1. Aaron Garcia New York 704
2. Andy Kelly New Orleans 697
3. Sherdrick Bonner Arizona 643
4. Clint Dolezel Las Vegas 634
5. John Kaleo Los Angeles 487
6. Mark Grieb San Jose 420
Todd Hammel Chicago 420
8. Jay Gruden -- 400
RAH-RAH SHIED With his 4-TD performance against Nashville on Apr. 29, OS Rashied Davis is nearing San Joses season record for TDs. A top candidate for AFL Offensive Player of the Year, Davis currently has 36 TDs, the 2nd highest season total in team history, and is only two shy of the team record set by Steve Papin in 2000. In his last four games, San Joses speedster has 17 TDs, including his second 7-TD performance of the season on Apr. 22 at Colorado. Despite not seeing any time on offense the first two games of the season, Davis ranks second in the league in scoring and trails first-place Siaha Burley by only 20 points. Davis also had his 3rd consecutive 100-yard receiving game and has totaled seven on the year to match a team season record.
TEAM SINGLE SEASON TOUCHDOWNS
Rk. Player Year TDs
1. Steve Papin 2000 38
2. Rashied Davis 2005 36
3. James Hundon 2002 35
4. James Roe 2003 33
5. Steve Papin 1999 32
Steve Papin 1998 32
COACHING WINS One of the most successful head coaches in the AFL, Darren Arbet currently ranks 6th in career wins with 81. Arbet passed former Philadelphia head coach Michael Trigg for 6th place when San Jose defeated Colorado on Apr. 22 for his 81st career win. Arbet became the second fastest head coach in AFL history to reach the 80-win mark, doing it in just 111 games. Tampa Bays Tim Marcum, the all-time leader with 173 victories, got his 80th win in 96 games coached.
ALL-TIME COACHES WINS
Rk Coach Record Pct.
1. Tim Marcum, Tampa Bay 174-68 .719
2. Danny White 141-65 .684
3. Mike Hohensee, Chicago 93-82 .531
4. Perry Moss 86-35-1 .709
5. Mike Dailey, Colorado 83-57 .593
6. Darren Arbet, San Jose 81-32 .717
7. Michael Trigg 80-87 .479
GETTING THE POINTS ACROSS Even though San Joses streak of consecutive 80-point games came to an end, they are still on pace to break the single-season point total of 966 set by the 2003 SaberCats. San Jose currently has 805 points and would need to average 54 points over their last three games to break the league record. Only six teams in the history of the AFL have scored more than 900 points in a season.
MOST POINTS, AFL SEASON
Rank Team (Year) Points
1. San Jose SaberCats (2003) 966
2. Grand Rapids Rampage (2003) 925
3. Los Angeles Avengers (2003) 924
4. Arizona Rattlers (2003) 917
5. Dallas Desperados (2003) 910
6. Los Angeles Avengers (2004) 904
UP YOUR AVERAGE After scoring a TD less than their season average in a 57-55 loss to Nashville on Apr. 29, the SaberCats still lead the circuit in scoring with a per game average of 61.9 points. Only five teams in league history have finished a season averaging better than 60 points a game and the SaberCats have done it three times, including the second-highest total at 62.7 ppg in 2002. The 2001 New York Dragons have the highest all-time scoring average with 64.1.
HIGHEST SCORING AVERAGE, AFL SEASON
Rank Team (Year) Average
1. New York (2001 64.1
2. San Jose (2002) 62.7
3. Albany (1996) 62.4
4. San Jose (2000) 62.2
5. San Jose (2003) 60.4
BULL-DOZIER Appearing in his first game of the season on Apr. 29, San Joses FB/LB Joey Dozier took a Mark Grieb handoff and rumbled into the end zone for a two-yard score. Dozier, who was a member of the SaberCats from 2000-01, had not scored in a San Jose uniform since Jul. 6, 2001. Last season, Dozier was a member of the New York Dragons, appearing in 5 games and rushing for 7 yards and a TD on four carries. The scoring run was Doziers 16th as a SaberCat and vaulted him into a 5th place tie with Tom Petithomme on the clubs career list.
TEAM CAREER RUSHING TDs
Rank Player TDs
1. Barry Wagner 54
2. Steve Papin 43
3. Derrick Chachere 34
4. Matt Kinsinger 30
5. Joey Dozier 16
Tom Petithomme 16
HANG TEN Joey Dozier became the 10th SaberCat this year to score a rushing TD on his 2-yard scamper against Nashville on Apr. 29, breaking a team record for most players with a rush TD in one season. The old record was nine, which was set last season when the SaberCats ran for 38 TDs. San Jose leads the league this season with 38 rush TDs and has an outside chance to top the 2004 Chicago record of 49.
BLOCKED Fans in attendance witnessed a rare occurrence in the second quarter of the game against the Nashville Kats on Apr. 29. San Jose OL/DL Albrey Battle fought his way through defenders and blocked Nashville kicker Tony Dodsons 23-yard field goal attempt, marking the first time San Jose has blocked a FG since Joe Jacobs did it on May 5, 2001 in a game against Oklahoma. At Colorado on Apr. 22, Devin Wyman blocked a PAT attempt in the 4th quarter of the game, the first blocked extra point attempt since he did it against Detroit on April 11, 2003.
STARTING LINE When San Jose steps onto the field to begin the game, its safe to assume that Nos. 93 and 97 will be in the trenches. OL/DL Joe Jacobs (#93) has started on both sides of the ball in the last seven games totaling 3.0 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. Aside from missing the Mar. 11 game due to a family emergency, Jacobs has started all 12 games he has appeared in. OL/DL George Williams (#97) began the season as a backup FB/LB but has started nine consecutive games on the line. Williams is one of two linemen, along with Albrey Battle, to appear in all 13 games this season.
AGAINST THE AVENGERS QB Mark Grieb threw for 399 yards on Feb. 20, 2005, the 3rd highest total in team history. However, he also tied a team-record for most INTs thrown in a game with three. In 10 games, Grieb is 7-2 (as a starter) and has completed 180-of-269 passes (66.9%) for 2,399 yards with 48 TDs and 9 INTs. Rashied Davis tied a SaberCats team record with 2 kickoff return TDs at L.A. on Feb. 22, 2004. He also returned a kickoff for a TD earlier this season and amassed 333 all-purpose yards, the 5th highest total in team history. James Roe has 60 catches for 764 yards and 18 TDs in nine games against the Avengers. OL/DL Albrey Battle had his first career reception go for 14 yards and a TD on Feb. 22, 2004. K Dan Frantz has converted on his last 20 PATs against Los Angeles dating back to Feb. 22, 2004. Overall, Frantz is 23-of-25 (92%) in three games. Ryan Fernandez had his first career INT on Feb. 20, 2005 and Tremain Mack saw his first AFL action in the same game.
MILESTONES REACHED AGAINST NASHVILLE:
*Rashied Davis had his 7th 100-plus yard receiving game of the season, tying a team record accomplished by three other players (James Roe, James Hundon and Shalon Baker). Davis (4,031) became just the 6th SaberCat to reach the 4,000 career all-purpose yard mark and also became only the 3rd SaberCat to surpass 2,000 all-purpose yards in a season.
*Mark Grieb set a new franchise high for most 300-yard passing games in a season with five and he also eclipsed the 2,500 mark in career attempts (2,516)
*With 3.0 tackles, Clevan Thomas earned the 150th of his career.
*Rodney Wright set a career-high in receptions (10), receiving yards (134) and all-purpose yards (247). Wright was named Ironman of the Game for the third consecutive week.
*Joey Dozier scored his first regular season touchdown as a SaberCat since Jul. 6, 2001.
*San Jose lost for the first time at home this season, bringing their record to 5-1 at HP Pavilion. The SaberCats had won seven consecutive home games dating back to last season.
*Albrey Battle's blocked FG attempt in the second quarter was San Jose's first since May 5, 2001.
LOS ANGELES PLAYERS TO WATCH:
QB JOHN KALEO The former SaberCat and 11-year AFL veteran has played an integral role in the success of the Avengers (8-5), who are fighting for their first-ever Western Division title. Needing only 13 more TD passes, Kaleo is on the verge of becoming just the 5th QB in AFL history to throw for 500. Against San Jose, Kaleo owns a 2-3 record and has completed 102-of-184 passes (55.4%) for 1,202 with 22 TDs and 12 INTs. For the season, Kaleo has completed 277-of-451 passes (61.4%) for 3,297 yards with 62 TDs and only eight interceptions. Though the contest against San Jose will be the biggest game of the year for both teams, Kaleo is no stranger to pressure. He was the starting QB for the 2003 ArenaBowl champion Tampa Bay Storm.
WR/LB GREG HOPKINS The former Ironman of the Year and four-time All-Arena team selection has continued to play particularly well against the SaberCats. Earlier this season against San Jose, Hopkins was named Offensive Player of the Game and Ironman of the Game after picking off two passes, including a three-yard INT return for a TD, and adding 5 catches for 49 yards. In 10 career games against the SaberCats, Hopkins has 49 receptions for 646 yards and 11 TDs and contributed 4 INTs (two for touchdowns) on defense. Hopkins was named MVP of the game on Feb. 9, 2003 after collecting 133 receiving yards, 3 TDs and the game-winning two-point conversion in L.A.s narrow 73-72 victory over San Jose. On the season, Hopkins has a team-high 5 INTs and is 3rd on the Avengers with 64 receptions for 680 yards and 8 TDs.
OL/DL SILAS DEMARY Demary has been a one-man wrecking crew on the defensive line this season for the Avengers. The four-year AFL vet is closing in on the AFL single-season sack record of 13.0, which has stood for 17 years. With 10.5 sacks, Demary needs 3.0 in Los Angeles final three games to break the record. The former AFL All-Rookie team selection began the season slowly with only 1.0 sack in his first seven games, but has since been on fire with 9.5 sacks in his last five, including a three-sack performance against the New York Dragons on Apr. 10. Last season, Demary was named Defensive Player of the Game after recording two sacks, a forced fumble and a pass breakup in the Avengers 52-55 loss to the SaberCats. He was held off the score sheet when the teams faced each other earlier this season.
WR/DB KEVIN INGRAM One of the top two-way players in the league, Ingram leads the Avengers balanced receiving attack with 76 receptions for 877 yards and 19 TDs. Against the SaberCats, Ingram has had mediocre numbers, catching 19 passes for 179 yards and 5 TDs in six games. In their Feb. 20, 2005 meeting, he caught two passes for 34 yards and a TD. Ingram was named Ironman of the Game in the Avengers win over Arizona on Apr. 30 after hauling in 2 TD passes and adding a fumble recovery and an interception. Ingram is also a threat to score on special teams as the Avengers top return man.
WEEKLY PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Opponent (Date) Player
@Tampa Bay (Jan 30) QB Shane Stafford, Tampa Bay
LAS VEGAS (Feb 5) OS Calvin Schexnayder, San Jose
@New Orleans (Feb 13) QB Andy Kelly, New Orleans
@Los Angeles (Feb 20) WR/DB Tony Locke, Los Angeles
@Orlando (Mar 6) QB Mark Grieb, San Jose
PHILADELPHIA (Mar 11) WR/LB James Roe, San Jose
GRAND RAPIDS (Mar 18) OS Rashied Davis, San Jose
@Las Vegas (Mar 28) OS Marcus Nash, Las Vegas
ARIZONA (Apr 3) QB Mark Grieb, San Jose
@Chicago (Apr 10) QB Raymond Philyaw, Chicago
DALLAS (Apr 15) QB Mark Grieb, San Jose
@Colorado (Apr 22) QB Mark Grieb, San Jose
NASHVILLE (Apr 29) QB Leon Murray, Nashville
LOS ANGELES (May 7)
@Arizona (May 14)
GEORGIA (May 21)
ADT DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Opponent (Date) Player
@Tampa Bay (Jan 30) DS Tramain Jones, Tampa Bay
LAS VEGAS (Feb 5) DS Omarr Smith, San Jose
@New Orleans (Feb 13) OL/DL B.J. Cohen, New Orleans
@Los Angeles (Feb 20) WR/LB Greg Hopkins, Los Angeles
@Orlando (Mar 6) DS Tremain Mack, San Jose
PHILADELPHIA (Mar 11) DS Tremain Mack, San Jose
GRAND RAPIDS (Mar 18) DS Tremain Mack, San Jose
@Las Vegas (Mar 28) DS Tremain Mack, San Jose
ARIZONA (Apr 3) OL/DL Joe Jacobs, San Jose
@Chicago (Apr 10) WR/DB Etu Molden, Chicago
DALLAS (Apr 15) WR/LB James Roe, San Jose
@Colorado (Apr 22) DS Clevan Thomas, San Jose
NASHVILLE (Apr 29) DS Khalil Carter, Nashville
LOS ANGELES (May 7)
@Arizona (May 14)
GEORGIA (May 21)
ARMY IRONMAN OF THE GAME:
Opponent (Date) Player
@Tampa Bay (Jan 30) WR/LB Lawrence Samuels, TBY
LAS VEGAS (Feb 5) FB/LB Matt Kinsinger, San Jose
@New Orleans (Feb 13) WR/LB Thabiti Davis, New Orleans
@Los Angeles (Feb 20) WR/LB Greg Hopkins, Los Angeles
@Orlando (Mar 6) WR/LB James Roe, San Jose
PHILADELPHIA (Mar 11) FB/LB Matt Kinsinger, San Jose
GRAND RAPIDS (Mar 18) WR/DB Ryan Fernandez, San Jose
@Las Vegas (Mar 28) OS Rashied Davis, San Jose
ARIZONA (Apr 3) WR/LB James Roe, San Jose
@Chicago (Apr 10) FB/LB Bob McMillen, Chicago
DALLAS (Apr 15) WR/DB Rodney Wright, San Jose
@Colorado (Apr 22) WR/DB Rodney Wright, San Jose
NASHVILLE (Apr 29) WR/DB Rodney Wright, San Jose
LOS ANGELES (May 7)
@Arizona (May 14)
GEORGIA (May 21)
THE SABERCATS RECORD WHEN :
0 - 9 points 0-0 0-0
10-19 points 0-0 0-0
20-29 points 0-0 2-0
30-39 points 0-2 2-0
40-49 points 1-0 2-0
50-59 points 2-1 0-2
60-69 points 1-2 0-2
70-79 points 1-0 2-1
80+ points 3-0 0-0
by 7 or fewer points 1-0
by 3 or fewer points 0-3
Leading after the 1st 6-3
Trailing after the 1st 1-0
Tied after the 1st 1-2
Leading at Half 8-1
Trailing at Half 0-3
Tied at Half 0-1
Leading after the 3rd 8-0
Trailing after the 3rd 0-4
Tied after the 3rd 0-1
Scoring First 7-3
Opp. Score First 1-2
More Total Offense 5-5
Less Total Offense 3-0
More Pass Yards 5-5
Less Pass Yards 3-0
More Rushing Yards 6-1
Less Rushing Yards 2-4
Thursday games 0-0
Friday games 4-1
Saturday games 1-0
Sunday games 2-4
Monday games 1-0
On NBC 1-4
On WB20 2-0
On FSN 5-1
vs. West 3-1
vs. Central 2-2
vs. South 1-2
vs. East 2-0
Winning coin toss 2-1
Losing coin toss 6-4
Outscoring Opponent 8-0
Being Outscored 0-5
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