San Jose SaberCats game notes
THE QUICK FACTS:
Game: Colorado Crush (10-4) at San Jose SaberCats (8-6).
Date: Saturday, May 6, 2006.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. (PDT).
Site: HP Pavilion at San Jose (14,041).
Officials: Referee: Riley Johnson; Umpire: Rick Podraza; Head Linesman: Julian Mapp; Line Judge: Paul Engelberts; Back Judge: Bud McCleskey.
Television: There is no local television coverage of the game, however, FOX Sports Rocky Mountain will televise the game as part of the Crush's local package.
Radio: San Jose's flagship station KNBR-1050 will broadcast the game live with Bob Fitzgerald (play by play), Keena Turner (color) and Steve Papin (sideline). The station will air a 30-minute pre-game show beginning a half hour before kickoff.
Internet: Log on to www.KNBR.com to hear a live webcast of Saturday night's game.
Statistics: Complete team and league stats available at www.aflmedia.com
Series Record: SaberCats lead 4-1.
Last Meeting: Colorado 56, SaberCats 48, Conference Semifinal Playoff (May, 29, 2005 in Pepsi Center).
Series Streak: Colorado Won 1.
Coaches: San Jose, Darren Arbet (8th season; 81-37 regular season, 90-41 overall). Colorado, Mike Dailey (10th season; 89-57 regular season, 98-62 overall).
OVERVIEW: The SaberCats clinched their 7th consecutive playoff berth, and 10th overall, while moving closer to their first Western Division title since 2003 with a 53-36 win at Los Angeles on Apr. 29. San Jose also snapped its three-game losing streak to the Avengers with its 5th straight win. FBs Brian Johnson (3) and Phil Glover (2) combined for 5 rush TDs and the defense posted four stops in allowing the lowest point total of the year and the fewest points since a 48-27 win over Arizona on Apr. 3, 2005. The past two ArenaBowl champions will collide on Saturday, May 6, when the SaberCats host the Colorado Crush. San Jose can clinch its 6th division title in franchise history with a win and stay on the heels of the Crush for the top playoff seed in the American Conference. Colorado, led by former SaberCat QB John Dutton, defeated San Jose in a first-round playoff game last season on its way to the first league title in franchise history. The SaberCats were ArenaBowl champions in 2004 and won their first title in 2002 with Dutton as their starting QB following an injury to Mark Grieb in the second-to-last regular season game. San Jose leads the all-time series 4-1, with its only loss coming in last years playoffs. The SaberCats are 2-0 all-time against the Crush in HP Pavilion.
2006 SAN JOSE SABERCATS (8-6)
Date Opponent Result Score (Rec)
Jan. 28 UTAH Lost 35-48 (0-1)
Feb. 6 @Las Vegas Lost 48-51 (0-2)
Feb. 12 @Arizona Won 58-50 (1-2)
Feb. 19 @Grand Rapids Lost 52-66 (1-3)
Feb. 26 @Chicago Lost (ot) 48-54 (1-4)
Mar. 4 @Utah Won 65-50 (2-4)
Mar. 12 LOS ANGELES Lost 61-75 (2-5)
Mar. 17 GEORGIA Won (ot) 56-55 (3-5)
Mar. 25 @Nashville Lost 48-51 (3-6)
Apr. 2 ARIZONA Won 61-49 (4-6)
Apr. 7 @Tampa Bay Won 52-43 (5-6)
Apr. 14 LAS VEGAS Won 69-59 (6-6)
Apr. 22 AUSTIN Won 63-59 (7-6)
Apr. 29 @Los Angeles Won 53-36 (8-6)
Date Opponent Time (PT) Radio/TV
May 6 COLORADO 7:30 pm 1050/FSNRM
May 13 COLUMBUS 7:30 pm 1050/CSN
2006 COLORADO CRUSH (10-4)
Date Opponent Result Score
Jan. 29 CHICAGO Won 65-56 (1-0)
Feb. 5 @Georgia Won 61-59 (2-0)
Feb. 12 LAS VEGAS Won 65-55 (3-0)
Feb. 18 @Nashville Lost 36-58 (3-1)
Feb. 26 @Philadelphia Won 48-38 (4-1)
Mar. 5 GRAND RAPIDS Won 66-54 (5-1)
Mar. 10 @Chicago Won 49-42 (6-1)
Mar. 19 @Los Angeles Lost 57-60 (6-2)
Mar. 25 COLUMBUS Lost 21-65 (6-3)
Apr. 1 NASHVILLE Won 77-47 (7-3)
Apr. 8 @Grand Rapids Won 73-48 (8-3)
Apr. 16 @Kansas City Won 55-49 (9-3)
Apr. 21 UTAH Lost 40-52 (9-4)
Apr. 28 ORLANDO Won 75-54 (10-4)
Date Opponent Time (PT) TV
May 6 @San Jose 7:30 pm FSNRM
May 12 ARIZONA 6:00 pm FSNRM/AZ
THE SERIES: The SaberCats lead the all-time series 4-1 and are unbeaten (4-0) in regular season games...Colorado won the last meeting, 56-48, in a divisional playoff game in Denver on May 29, 2005...The SaberCats have won both games played in San Jose outscoring Colorado 135 to 75 and has outscored the Crush 289 to 165 in its four wins...San Jose recorded a franchise record point total in its 89-41 win on Apr. 22, 2005. It was also the most points scored by a road team and the third-highest point total in AFL history.
WHAT'S AHEAD: Following Saturday's game the SaberCats conclude the 2006 regular season on Saturday, May 13 when they host the Columbus Destroyers in the first-ever meeting between the teams. San Jose's flagship radio station KNBR-1050 will broadcast the game live starting at 7:30 p.m. A team poster will be distributed to the first 5,000 fans through the turnstiles on Fan Appreciation Night.
SABERCATS SIDELINE REPORT: Bob Fitzgerald returns as host of the SaberCats Sideline Report, which airs every Sunday during the season on NBC11 at 11:50 p.m. immediately following Sports Sunday. Join Fitz and a special guest every week for this action-packed 8-minute segment.
SERIES NOTABLES: San Jose's 89 points against Colorado on Apr. 22, 2005 set a new franchise-high for points in a game, set an AFL record for most points in a game by a visiting team and was also the third-highest total in AFL history...San Jose's 13 touchdowns against Colorado in the same game tied an AFL record...Mark Grieb (15-of-15) set an AFL record for most attempts in a game without an incompletion on Apr. 22, 2005...Grieb and Nick Rolovich (2-of-2) combined for a perfect 17-of-17 performance, the first time in the league's 20-year history that a team finished a game without throwing an incomplete pass and the two also combined to throw a team single-game record tying nine TD passes...John Dutton set a personal-high and tied a San Jose opponent record with four INTs on Feb. 22, 2003...Mark Grieb set the team record for highest passer rating in a game with a perfect 158.3 mark doing it twice against Colorado (3/14/04 and 4/22/05)...San Jose accumulated 85 yards on the ground on Apr. 27, 2003, which is the second-highest rushing total in team history...Colorado tied a San Jose opponent's record with six turnovers (four INT, two fumbles) on Feb. 22, 2003...San Jose tied a league and team record with six rushing touchdowns against Colorado on Feb. 22, 2003...Darren Arbet won his 81st career game to move past Michael Trigg into 6th place on the all-time head coaches win list (Apr. 22)...Rodney Wright set a career-high with a 45-yard TD reception, had his first career MFG return for a TD and his first career interception (Apr. 22)...Clevan Thomas intercepted two passes against the Crush on Apr. 22, moving him past Pat McGuirk for first place on San Jose's career interceptions list...San Jose has had nine INTs in five games against Colorado...Kevin McKenzie, Joey Dozier and John Dutton are the only players to play for both teams.
LAST SERIES MEETING: Colorado 56, SaberCats 48 - Conference Semifinal Playoff - Sunday, May 29, 2005 - Pepsi Center (Denver, CO) - John Dutton tossed six scoring passes and the Colorado Crush defeated the defending AFL champion SaberCats 56-48 in a divisional round playoff game. Dutton's 38-yard scoring strike to Damian Harrell early in the fourth quarter broke a 42-42 tie and the Crush held on. Dutton, who led the SaberCats to the ArenaBowl XVI championship, completed 19-of-29 attempts for 315 yards with no interceptions. San Jose got within 49-48 following a Mark Grieb to James Roe 14-yard scoring pass, but kicker Derek Schorejs missed the PAT leaving the SaberCats a point behind. Harrell hauled in his second scoring pass of the quarter, a 17-yarder, with 6:08 left for the final margin of victory. San Jose drove to the Colorado 8-yard line with under a minute left in the game, but Grieb's fourth down pass to James Roe didn't connect and Colorado ran out the clock. Kevin McKenzie, another former SaberCat, got the Crush off to a fast start by taking the opening kickoff 56-yards for a score. After a stop on downs, Dutton found Andy McCullough on a 37-yard scoring pass putting Colorado up 14-0 with just five minutes elapsed in the opening quarter. The SaberCats chipped away at the deficit and finally tied the game at 35-35 on the opening second half possession when Grieb connected with Roe from 4-yards out. Sam Hernandez and Joe Jacobs sacked Dutton on fourth down on Colorado's ensuing possession and the SaberCats grabbed their first lead of the game, 42-35, on a 1-yard Barry Wagner run. Grieb set team playoff records by completing 34 passes in 55 attempts for 392 yards. His completion total is the second-highest in AFL postseason history. Wagner led San Jose with 10 receptions, while Roe and Rodney Wright grabbed nine each. San Jose amassed 396 yards of offense but turned the ball over on downs twice and had an interception.
Score By Quarters
SaberCats................................. 14 14 14 6 - 48
Crush....................................... 21 14 7 14 - 56
COL McKenzie 56 kickoff return (Rush kick)
COL McCullough 37 pass from Dutton (Rush kick)
SAN Davis 21 pass from Grieb (Schorejs kick)
COL McCullough 3 pass from Dutton (Rush kick)
SAN Roe 37 pass from Grieb (Schorejs kick)
COL McKenzie 1 run (Rush kick)
SAN Davis 12 pass from Grieb (Schorejs kick)
COL Hawkins 32 pass from Dutton (Rush kick)
SAN Wright 6 pass from Grieb (Schorejs kick)
SAN Roe 4 pass from Grieb (Schorejs kick)
SAN Wagner 1 run (Schorejs kick)
COL Marshall 9 pass from Dutton (Rush kick)
COL Harrell 38 pass from Dutton (Rush kick)
SAN Roe 14 pass from Grieb (kick failed)
COL Harrell 17 pass from Dutton (Rush kick)
Passing - SJ: Grieb 34-55-1-392. CO: Dutton 19-29-0-315.
Rushing - SJ: Wagner 2-4; Buck 1-1; Dozier 1-(-1). CO: Marshall 2-5; McKenzie 2-1; Dutton 2-(-3).
Receiving - SJ: Wagner 10-94; Roe 9-120; Wright 9-96; Davis 5-70; Baker 1-12. CO: McCullough 7-122; Harrell 5-102; McKenzie 4-46; Marshall 2-13; Hawkins 1-32.
Kick Returns - SJ: Davis 1-22. CO: Marshall 3-54; McKenzie 2-69; Hawkins 2-29.
ALL-TIME SERIES SCORES
May 29, 2005 @Colorado 56, San Jose 48 (playoff)
Apr. 22, 2005 San Jose 89, @Colorado 41
Mar. 14, 2004 @San Jose 55, Colorado 35
Apr. 27, 2003 San Jose 65, @Colorado 49
Feb. 22, 2003 @San Jose 80, Colorado 40
2006 TEAM STATISTICAL COMPARISON
Category (Rank) SaberCats Crush
Scoring Offense 54.9 (4) 56.3 (2)
Scoring Defense 53.3 (14) 52.6 (10)
Total Offense 316.1 (1) 287.4 (9)
Total Defense 286.4 (11) 272.2 (4)
Pass Offense 301.1 (1) 272.4 (6)
Pass Defense 270.9 (11) 251.9 (5)
Rushing Offense 15.0 (12) 14.9 (13)
Rushing Defense 15.4 (4) 20.3 (9)
Pass Rating 114.7 (6) 111.4 (8)
Pass Defense Rating 112.1 (12) 107.9 (9)
Interceptions 14 (8) 17 (6)
Kickoff Return Avg. 16.4 (14) 17.7 (7)
Field Goal Return Avg. 9.5 (17) 18.4 (6)
Turnover Margin +6 (T-3) -6 (16)
3rd Down Conversions 49.0% (5) 54.8% (2)
4th Down Conversions 40.0% (T-14) 61.1% (2)
Sacks By 14 (9) 17 (T-5)
Sacks Against 14 (T-11) 8 (5)
2006 SABERCATS AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS
Player Category No. Rank
Mark Grieb Total Offense 304.4 1st
Mark Grieb Pass TDs 70 6th
Mark Grieb Pass Completions 347 2nd
Mark Grieb Passing Yards 4,276 1st
Mark Grieb Pass Avg/Game 305.4 1st
Mark Grieb Passer Rating 114.1 6th
Mark Grieb Pass Attempts 536 3rd
Clevan Thomas Fumbles Recovered 3 T-4th
Clevan Thomas Fumbles Forced 4 T-3rd
Clevan Thomas Total Tackles 73.0 10th
Clevan Thomas Interceptions 6 T-9th
Brian Schmitz Kick Scoring 105 10th
Brian Schmitz PAT Kicks Made 84 7th
Brian Schmitz PAT Kick Attempts 97 T-4th
Phil Glover Rushing TDs 13 1st
Phil Glover Rush Attempts 43 T-4th
Marquis Floyd Fumbles Forced 4 T-3rd
Joe Jacobs Tackles for Loss 5.5 T-10th
James Roe Scoring (pts) 164 10th
James Roe Scoring (TDs) 27 10th
James Roe Receptions 101 T-10th
James Roe TD Receptions 27 9th
Brian Johnson Rush TDs 11 T-3rd
Brian Johnson Rush Attempts 43 T-4th
Ben Nelson Yards/Catch 15.2 T-7th
Ben Nelson Receiving Yards 1,200 10th
If the SaberCats defeat Colorado it would...
*Clinch the Western Division title.
*Give them a 9-6 season record.
*Be their 6th straight win.
*Give them a 5-1 series advantage.
*Snap a 5-game losing streak to the Central Division.
*Give them a 29-18 all-time record against the Central.
*Give them a 15-6 all-time home rec. against the Central.
*Give them a 62-24 all-time reg. season home record.
*Give them a 111-62 all-time regular season record.
*Give them 120-69 all-time record.
San Jose - Darren Arbet, 8th season
81-37 (.686) reg. season; 90-41 (.687) overall
4-1 (.800) career vs. Colorado
4-2 (.667) career vs. Mike Dailey
Now in his eighth season at the helm of the SaberCats, two-time Coach of the Year Darren Arbet moved into sole possession of 5th place on the AFL's all-time wins list surpassing Perry Moss when San Jose defeated Tampa Bay on Apr. 7 for his 87th career victory. At Los Angeles on Apr. 29, Arbet posted his 90th career victory in just his 131st career game and qualified for the playoffs for a seventh consecutive season. Since the start of the 2000 campaign his teams have compiled a 75-29 (.721) 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). Last season Arbet became the second fastest head coach to reach 80 career wins, doing it in 111 games. Only Tampa Bay's Tim Marcum, who reached the 80-win mark in 96 games, got to that milestone quicker.
Colorado - Mike Dailey, 10th season
89-57 (.610) reg. season; 98-62 (.613) overall
4-5 (.444) career vs. San Jose
2-4 (.333) career vs. Darren Arbet
Dailey enters his third season in Colorado and 10th as a head coach in the AFL. He was named the Crush's second head coach on June 26, 2003 joining the Crush after 13 seasons in the Albany/Indiana Firebirds organization, including the final seven as head coach. During his career his teams have made seven postseason appearances and he has won four division titles and two championships. Last season under Dailey's guidance, the Crush captured their first Central Division title en route to claiming a 51-48 victory in ArenaBowl XIX giving Colorado its first AFL championship in only its third year of existence. In his first season in Colorado, Dailey helped guide the Crush to the largest turnaround in AFL history, inheriting a 2-14 team and leading them to an 11-5 record in 2004, tied for the best in the league. He also led the Crush to their first playoff appearance and first win, advancing to the AFL Semifinals. In 1999, Dailey led the Firebirds to their only ArenaBowl championship and was named AFL Coach of the Year.
IN THE 90's - SaberCats' head coach Darren Arbet joined the 90-win club on Apr. 29 when his team posted a 53-36 win at Los Angeles reaching the milestone in his 131st game. Tim Marcum reached the 90-win mark in just 112 games and Danny White hit 90 in game 130. Arbet has posted a winning record in games against the four coaches ahead of him going 4-2 against Mike Dailey, 6-2 against Tim Marcum, 11-7 against Danny White and 5-2 against Mike Hohensee for a combined 26-13 (.667) record.
CAREER COACHING RECORDS
Rk. Coach Team Record
1. Tim Marcum Tampa Bay 181-75
2. Danny White Utah 147-73
3. Mike Hohensee Chicago 100-94
4. Mike Dailey Colorado 98-62
5. Darren Arbet San Jose 90-41
ROSTER MOVES: The SaberCats did not make any roster adjustments last week keeping the same squad for consecutive games for the first time this season.
RECENT ROSTER MOVES
Mar. 23 Signed OL/DL Frank Beede. Activated WR/LB Kevin McKenzie from IR. Placed WR/DB Marquis Floyd and WR/LB Jason Geathers on IR.
Apr. 1 Activated FB/LB JaJuan Huddleston, OL/DL Chuck Reed and WR/DB Rodney Wright from IR. Placed OL/DL Van Brown, OL/DL Julius Gant and WR/LB Kevin McKenzie on IR. Released OL/DL Nikia Adderson.
Apr. 3 Activated from IR and waived WR/LB Fred Coleman.
Apr. 6 Activated WR/DB Marquis Floyd from IR. Placed WR/DB Rodney Wright on IR.
Apr. 13 Activated WR/LB Jason Geathers, OL/DL Joe Jacobs and OL/DL Fitu Tu'ua from IR. Placed DS Terrance Joseph and OL/DL Chuck Reed on IR.
Apr. 21 Activated OL/DL Julius Gant from IR. Placed OL/DL Fitu Tu'ua on IR.
Apr. 24 Re-signed OL/DL Dan Loney.
INJURY REPORT: At press time the SaberCats had 12 players on injured reserve. League rules stipulate that players on IR must be inactive for two weeks. The players listed below with an asterisk by their name are eligible to be activated to the 24-man roster for this week's game.
Player Injury Status
Atnaf Harris* L foot stress IR
Chris Lewis* Back strain IR
Rufus Brown* L wrist sprain IR
Alan Harper* Flu symptoms/Knee IR
Calvin Schexnayder* R Ankle Sprain IR
George Williams* L knee IR
Van Brown* Hyperextended Elbow IR
Kevin McKenzie* R Ankle sprain IR
Rodney Wright* Foot IR
Chuck Reed* L groin strain IR
Terrance Joseph* L ankle IR
Fitu Tu'ua* Dislocated finger IR
Player Milestone Needs
Phil Glover 250 career rush yards 3
Mark Grieb 2,100 career completions 7
Mark Grieb Season pass attempts rec. 11
Kevin McKenzie 3,000 career receiving yds 276
Kevin McKenzie 50 career TD catches 6
Joe Jacobs 40 career sacks 0.5
Brian Schmitz 500 career PAT attempts 2
Barry Wagner 50 career INTs 2
Barry Wagner 1,000 career receptions 19
Charles Pauley 1,000 career receiving yds 46
James Roe Season receptions rec. 16
James Roe 6,700 career receiving yds 19
RECENT RESULTS: SABERCATS 53, Los Angeles 36 - Saturday, April 29, 2006 - STAPLES Center - Brian Johnson rushed for three TDs and Clevan Thomas made a key interception with 11 minutes left in the game as the San Jose SaberCats defeated the Los Angeles Avengers, 53-36, for their fifth straight win clinching a playoff spot. The win moved the SaberCats (8-6) ahead of second-place Arizona by a full game in the American Conference West with each team having two games to play. Quarterback Mark Grieb directed an assault on the Avengers in the first half and the SaberCats built a 31-21 margin. Johnson scored his first two touchdowns, both from 4 yards out, and FB/LB Phil Glover added another from nine yards away at the end of the second half. Glover's run gave San Jose a 28-21 lead with 28 seconds left in the half and Ben Nelson recovered Antoine Burns' fumble on the ensuing kickoff setting up Brian Schmitz' 23-yard field goal as time ran out, giving the SaberCats their 10-point halftime bulge. It took Johnson three attempts on San Jose's opening third quarter drive to collect his third running score, a one-yard blast, after a Grieb to Charles Pauley 27-yard pass play set up the series. Johnson's career-high tying score gave the 'Cats a 37-21 lead. A 13-yard toss by Grieb to James Roe kept San Jose on top, 44-28, in the third, but Avengers' quarterback Sonny Cumbie tossed a 2-yarder to Rob Turner and the pair teamed on the 2-point conversion to close within eight points, 44-36, after three. Schmitz booted a 39-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to make it 47-36 and Glover added his second scoring run midway through the final stanza. Grieb connected on 21-of-38 for 263 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. His primary receivers were Roe, with 78 yards on seven catches, and Nelson, who had 7 grabs and 86 yards. Each had a TD reception. The running game proved more effective as Johnson had 16 yards and the three scores and Glover added 19 yards and a pair of TDs. Cumbie ended with four TD passes on 20-31 and 278 yards but had two interceptions, the first by Pauley in the first half. Tony Locke led the Avengers with 102 yards receiving and six catches, but had no scores.
Score By Quarters
SaberCats................................ 7 24 13 9 - 53
Avengers................................. 7 14 15 0 - 36
SAN Johnson 4 run (Schmitz kick)
LAA Ingram 6 pass from Cumbie (Hamilton kick)
SAN Johnson 4 run (Schmitz kick)
LAA Ford 3 run (Hamilton kick)
SAN Nelson 24 pass from Grieb (Schmitz kick)
LAA Turner 4 pass from Cumbie (Hamilton kick)
SAN Glover 9 run (Schmitz kick)
SAN FG Schmitz 23
SAN Johnson 1 run (kick blocked)
LAA Hopkins 34 pass from Cumbie (Hamilton kick)
SAN Roe 13 pass from Grieb (Schmitz kick)
LAA Turner 2 pass from Cumbie (Turner pass)
SAN FG Schmitz 39
SAN Glover 1 run (kick failed)
Passing - SJ: Grieb 21-38-0-263. LA: Cumbie 20-31-2-278.
Rushing - SJ: Glover 4-19; Johnson 7-16; Geathers 2-5. LA: Ford 1-3; Mann 1-3; Cumbie 1-0.
Receiving - SJ: Nelson 7-86; Roe 7-78; Pauley 3-44; Glover 2-18; Battle 1-23; Geathers 1-14. LA: Locke 6-102; Hopkins 4-74; Ingram 4-57; Turner 3-12; Ford 1-14; Anderson 1-10; Burns 1-9.
Kick Returns - SJ: Pauley 4-80. LA: Burns 4-60.
HOME COOKIN - The SaberCats return home to HP Pavilion for the final two games of the regular season where they have won four in a row after starting the campaign with a pair of losses. Since Darren Arbet became the team's head coach in 1999 the SaberCats have posted an impressive 47-11 (.810) record in regular season home games and are 55-13 (.809) in all games played in HP Pavilion. In their 12-year history the SaberCats have a 61-24 (.718) record in regular season home games.
CENTRALLY LOCATED - The SaberCats will be looking to break a 5-game losing streak to Central Division teams when they host Colorado Saturday night. San Jose has lost at Grand Rapids, Chicago and Nashville earlier in the season and lost twice at the end of 2005, including a playoff defeat at Colorado on May 29. San Jose's last win over a Central team came in an 89-41 rout of the Crush in Denver on Apr. 22, 2005.
PAYDIRT - The SaberCats scored five rushing TDs in a game for the 2nd time this season and the 8th time in team history in their 53-36 win at Los Angeles on Apr. 29. San Jose scored a league record tying six times on the ground earlier this year at Tampa Bay (Apr. 7) and have matched the record six times. The SaberCats are 14-0 all-time when scoring five or more rushing TDs in a game.
FOR BETTER OR WORSE - The SaberCats guaranteed themselves of at least a .500 finish on the year, their 7th straight non-losing campaign, with their 8th win of the season coming at Los Angeles on Apr. 29. San Jose has not had a season below .500 since 1999 when the team went 6-8 and has just two losing seasons in the franchise's 12-year history.
WHAT A RUSH - The SaberCats, behind FBs Phil Glover and Brian Johnson, totaled a season-high 40 rushing yards in their win at Los Angeles on Apr. 29. San Jose has totaled more rushing yards than the opposition six times this season and are unbeaten in those games.
GETTING OFFENSIVE - The SaberCats managed 249 yards of offense in their win at Los Angeles on Apr. 29, just the 3rd time this season they've been below the 250-mark, but still lead the circuit in total offense with an average of 316.1 yards per game. San Jose is still on pace to eclipse the 5,000 level in total yards (5,058) for the season and would become the first team in AFL history to do so. In five games against Colorado the SaberCats have amassed 1,690 yards of offense for an average of 338 per game.
MOST TOTAL YARDS, AFL SEASON
Rank Team Year Total Yds
1. Las Vegas Gladiators 2005 4,996
2. San Jose SaberCats 2005 4,991
3. Dallas Desperados 2003 4,807
4. Las Vegas Gladiators 2004 4,807
5. New Orleans VooDoo 2005 4,764
THE DEFENSE RESTS - San Jose's defense turned in its stingiest outing of the year at Los Angeles on Apr. 29 holding the Avengers scoreless in the fourth quarter and limiting them to just 36 points. It was the third time San Jose has held an opponent scoreless in a quarter during the team's 5-game winning streak.
ZERO RETURNS - The SaberCats went another game without returning a kickoff for a TD and are one of six teams without a KOR score this season. Rashied Davis and Clevan Thomas were the last San Jose players to return a kickoff for a score doing so in the 2005 regular season finale against Georgia on May 21. San Jose has never gone an entire season without a KOR touchdown.
IN THE RED - Thanks in large part to the ability to run the football in the red zone, the SaberCats have been successful 13 straight times when getting inside the opponents 10-yard line. San Jose converted all seven of its red zone opportunities at Los Angeles on Apr. 29 scoring five TDs and a pair of FGs. The last time the SaberCats failed to score in the red zone was at Tampa Bay on Apr. 7 when they ran out the clock from the Storm 6-yard line in a 52-43 victory.
PLAYOFF BREAKDOWN - With a win over the Crush, or an Arizona loss this week, the SaberCats will clinch their 6th Western Division title and claim one of the top seeds in the American Conference. With their win at Los Angeles on Apr. 29, the SaberCats secured their 7th consecutive playoff berth and 10th overall. Six teams from the American Conference qualify for postseason play, two division winners and four wild card teams (best records among non-division winners). Colorado has clinched the Central and needs one more win to secure the top seed in the conference playoff picture. Division winners get a first-round bye while the highest-seeded wild card team hosts the lowest seed and the second-highest seed hosts the second-lowest. Below is the American Conference breakdown through 14 weeks of the season.
y-San Jose 8-6
Arizona 7-7 (win head-to-head vs. NAS)
Chicago 5-9 (win head-to-head vs. GRR & LVG)
Las Vegas 5-9 (win head-to-head vs. GRA)
Grand Rapids 5-9
Los Angeles 3-11
If the playoffs were to start this weekend, the SaberCats and Colorado would get byes while Arizona would host Chicago and Nashville would host Utah. But we all know the playoffs DON'T start this weekend.
QB BATTLE - Former San Jose QB John Dutton, who guided the SaberCats to their first AFL title in 2002, returns to San Jose to go head-to-head with his good friend Mark Grieb on Saturday. The two have started all five series games for their respective clubs with Grieb holding a statistical edge as well as an advantage in wins and losses. In the five games Grieb, who has a 4-1 record, has completed 105-of-145 passes (72.4%) for 1,507 yards (301.4 ypg) with 30 TDs and just two INTs. Meanwhile, Dutton has completed 94-of-164 passes (57.3%) for 1,326 yards (265.2 ypg) with 20 TDs and nine INTs. Grieb set San Jose playoff records in a divisional round playoff game at Colorado last season by completing 34 passes in 55 attempts for 392 yards. However it was Dutton who had the last laugh leading his Crush to their first-ever win over San Jose by throwing for 315 yards and six TDs without an INT in a 56-48 win.
ROE-LIFIC - Ironman of the Year candidate WR/LB James Roe caught 7 passes in San Jose's win at Los Angeles on Apr. 29 reaching 100 receptions in a season for the third time in his career and second straight. Roe increased his team-leading total to 101, the 3rd highest single season total in team history, and now owns the top three single season marks. Roe established the record with 116 catches last year and also had 115 during the 2003 campaign. 'The Difference', as he is known, is also the team's career leader in receptions (521), receiving yards (6,681) and TD grabs (157). Despite missing nearly three full games at the beginning of the year, Roe is nearing the team record for receptions in a season. He is also the team's leading tackler among players who are not DBs with 23.0, and has added 4 PBUs, a pair of FFs and an interception.
MOST RECEPTIONS, TEAM, SEASON
Rk Player Year Receptions
1. James Roe 2005 116
2. James Roe 2003 115
3. James Roe 2006 101
4. Rashied Davis 2005 100
5. James Hundon 2002 98
RUNNING MEN - Phil Glover and Brian Johnson have been locked in a tight battle for the team's rushing lead all season and it looks like the duel will come down to the wire to see which fullback ends up as the rushing leader. Glover ran for a career-best 19 yards and 2 TDs on four attempts to lead the SaberCats ground game in their win at Los Angeles on Apr. 29. He became the 17th player in team history to rush for 100 yards in a season and increased his league leading rush TD total to 13, the 2nd highest season total in team history. Johnson carried the ball seven times scoring a career-high tying 3 TDs with 16 yards. Both players have carried the ball 43 times on the year with Glover totaling 101 yards and Johnson 97. The pair has combined for 86 of the team's 127 rush attempts and 198 of the team's 224 yards.
MOST RUSH TDs, TEAM, SEASON
Rk Player Year Rush TDs
1. Barry Wagner 2003 18
2. Phil Glover 2006 13
Steve Papin 1999 13
4. Barry Wagner 2004 12
Derrick Chachere 1999 12
6. Brian Johnson 2006 11
Steve Papin 2006 11
MOST RUSH ATTEMPTS, TEAM, SEASON
Rk Player Year Rush Atts
1. Keala Keanaaina 2003 49
2. Steve Papin 1999 48
3. Joey Dozier 2001 45
4. Derrick Chachere 1997 44
5. Phil Glover 2006 43
Brian Johnson 2006 43
CLEVAN THE D-MAN - DS Clevan Thomas snared his 6th interception of the season and 31st career to earn Defensive Player of the Game honors in San Jose's win at Los Angeles on Apr. 29. It was Thomas' 5th career pick against the Avengers, tying Las Vegas and Colorado as the team's he's most victimized. All five of his INTs against Colorado have come with former teammate John Dutton tossing the pigskin. Thomas has intercepted Dutton the most of any QB in the league and has two two-interception games against him. Current Philadelphia QB, and former L.A. Avenger, Tony Graziani has been intercepted three times by Thomas while Sherdrick Bonner, Jeff Loots and Craig Whelihan have each tossed a pair of picks to the two-time Defensive Player of the Year. With his 31st career INT Thomas moved ahead of Adrian Lunsford into 14th place on the league's career chart and trails Nashville's Darryl Hammond and Dameon Porter by one for the next spot on the list.
CAREER INTERCEPTIONS, AFL
Rank Player INTs
1. Kenny McEntyre, Orlando 66
2. Durwood Roquemore, none 50
3. Barry Wagner, San Jose 48
4. Mark Ricks, none 44
5. Corey Johnson, none 41
6. Kevin Gaines, Philadelphia 39
7. Damon Mason, Austin 37
Tracey Perkins, none 37
9. Randy Gatewood, Arizona 36
Carlos James, none 36
11. Chris Barber, none 35
12. Darryl Hammond, Nashville 32
Dameon Porter, none 32
14. Clevan Thomas, San Jose 31
FULL NELSON - Rookie of the Year candidate Ben Nelson totaled 86 receiving yards, his 2nd lowest total since becoming the team's starting OS nine games ago, and a TD on 7 catches in San Jose's win at Los Angeles on Apr. 29. Nelson improved his team-leading yardage total to 1,200, the 10th highest season total in team history, and is within striking distance of the league rookie record of 1,372, set by Georgia's Troy Bergeron last year. Nelson must first pass Austin's Derrick Lewis, who leads all rookies this year with 1,260 receiving yards.
MOST RECEIVING YARDS, ROOKIE, AFL SEASON
Rk Player Year Rcv Yards
1. Troy Bergeron, Georgia 2005 1,372
2. Oronde Gadsden, Portland 1998 1,335
3. Chris Jackson, Los Angeles 2000 1,325
4. Eddie Brown, Albany 1994 1,324
5. Etu Molden, Chicago 2004 1,280
6. Derrick Lewis, Austin 2006 1,260
7. Derek Lee, Georgia 2005 1,235
8. Mike Baker, St. Louis 1996 1,223
9. Hunkie Cooper, Arizona 1993 1,214
10. Ben Nelson, San Jose 2006 1,200
GETS HIS KICKS - Brian Schmitz made a pair of field goals in San Jose's win at Los Angeles on Apr. 29 giving him 7 on the year, matching the most by a SaberCats kicker since Daron Alcorn made 10 in 2002. Schmitz converted his first attempt at the end of the first half, and the 60th of his 6-year career, to stake San Jose to a 31-21 halftime lead. He added a 39-yarder early in the fourth quarter giving him two games this season with more than one FG made. Schmitz is the first kicker to make more than one FG in a game twice during a season since Chris Sailer and Carlos Huerta did it during the 2000 season. Schmitty also reached a personal milestone by scoring his 600th career point in the 53-36 win over the Avengers.
IN THE LOS ANGELES GAME:
San Jose won the opening coin toss for the 12th time in 14 games...The SaberCats snapped a three-game losing streak to Los Angeles...WR/DB Charles Pauley had his 5th career interception...WR/LB Jason Geathers had his 1st career rush attempt and totaled 5 yards on 2 carries...DS Clevan Thomas had his 31st career interception...WR/LB James Roe reached 100 catches in a season for the 3rd time in his career...QB Mark Grieb completed his 2,000th career pass as a SaberCat and reached 27,000 career pass yards...K Brian Schmitz made his 60th career FG and scored his 600th career point...FB/LB Brian Johnson tied a career-high with 3 rush TDs...FB/LB Phil Glover ran for a career-high 19 yards, had his 100th career rush attempt and scored his 20th career rush TD...Head coach Darren Arbet won his 90th career game.
COLORADO PLAYERS TO WATCH:
OS DAMIAN HARRELL - The 2005 AFL Offensive Player of the Year is the top offensive threat in the Arena Football League. Harrell leads the league with 138 receptions for 1,730 yards and has already broken the league record for TD receptions in a season with 51. He has also recorded a TD catch in a league record 63 straight regular season games. It took a late fourth quarter TD grab against San Jose in the team's last regular season meeting on Apr. 22, 2005 in Denver to keep his streak alive. Harrell has played in five career games against San Jose, all as a member of the Crush, and has recorded 25 receptions for 404 yards and 10 touchdowns.
QB JOHN DUTTON - The former SaberCats quarterback helped lead San Jose to the 2002 ArenaBowl title before signing with the Crush in 2003. In 2005 he threw for 4,143 yards on 367-of-586 with 89 TDs and 14 INTs leading the Crush to the 2005 ArenaBowl title becoming the first quarterback in league history to win ArenaBowl championships with two different teams. In five games against the SaberCats he has completed 94-of-164 for 1,326 yards with 20 TDs and 9 interceptions. In his first game against his former team, Dutton tossed a career-high and tied a SaberCats opponent record with 4 INTs in an 80-40 loss in San Jose on Feb. 22, 2003.
WR/LB ANDY MCCULLOUGH - McCullough has played in all 14 games this season and is 2nd on the Crush in receiving with 80 catches for 957 yards and 13 touchdowns with 17.5 tackles on defense. He has played in five games with two different teams against the SaberCats totaling 287 yards on 22 receptions with six touchdowns. His best performance against San Jose came as a member of the Crush in Colorado's 2005 playoff win on May 29 when he led his team in receiving with 7 catches for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns in the 56-48 victory.
WEEKLY PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Opp. (Date) Player
v UTA (1/28) QB Joe Germaine, UTA
@LVG (2/6) OS Marcus Nash, LVG
@ARZ (2/12) OS Calvin Schexnayder, SJS
@GRR (2/19) WR/DB Timon Marshall, GRR
@CHI (2/26) OS C.J. Johnson, CHI
@UTA (3/4) QB Mark Grieb, SJS
v LAA (3/12) WR/LB James Roe, SJS
v GEO (3/17) WR/LB Derek Lee, GEO
@NAS (3/25) WR/LB Cory Fleming, NAS
v ARZ (4/2) OS Ben Nelson, SJS
@TBY (4/7) OS Freddie Solomon, TBY
v LVG (4/14) QB Mark Grieb, SJS
v AUS (4/22) WR/LB James Roe, SJS
@LAA (4/29) FB/LB Phil Glover, SJS
v COL (5/6)
v CLB (5/13)
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Opp. (Date) Player
v UTA (1/28) DS Kelvin Hunter, UTA
@LVG (2/6) DL Wilky Bazile, LVG
@ARZ (2/12) DS Clevan Thomas, SJS
@GRR (2/19) DS Johnnie Harris, GRR
@CHI (2/26) DS Jeremy Unertl, CHI
@UTA (3/4) DS Clevan Thomas, SJS
v LAA (3/12) DS Antuan Simmons, LAA
v GEO (3/17) DS Nate Coggins, GEO
@NAS (3/25) DS Monty Montgomery, NAS
v ARZ (4/2) DS Joe Todd, ARZ
@TBY (4/7) DS Omarr Smith, SJS
v LVG (4/14) DS Clevan Thomas, SJS
v AUS (4/22) WR/LB Greg Brown, AUS
@LAA (4/29) DS Clevan Thomas, SJS
v COL (5/6)
v CLB (5/13)
IRONMAN PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Opp. (Date) Player
v UTAH (1/28) WR/DB Orshawante Bryant, UTAH
@LVG (2/6) WR/DB Coco Blalock, LVG
@ARZ (2/12) WR/DB Charles Pauley, SJS
@GRR (2/19) WR/DB Marquis Floyd, SJS
@CHI (2/26) WR/LB James Roe, SJS
@UTAH (3/4) WR/LB James Roe, SJS
v LAA (3/12) WR/DB Kevin Ingram, LAA
v GEO (3/17) FB/LB Phil Glover, SJS
@NAS (3/25) WR/LB Cory Fleming, NAS
v ARZ (4/2) WR/LB James Roe, SJS
@TBY (4/7) WR/LB Lawrence Samuels, TBY
v LVG (4/14) WR/LB James Roe, SJS
v AUS (4/22) WR/DB Sedrick Robinson, AUS
@LAA (4/29) WR/LB James Roe, SJS
v COL (5/6)
v CLB (5/13)
THE SABERCATS RECORD WHEN...:
0 - 9 points 0-0 0-0
10-19 points 0-0 0-0
20-29 points 0-0 0-0
30-39 points 0-1 1-0
40-49 points 0-3 2-1
50-59 points 4-1 5-3
60-69 points 4-1 0-1
70-79 points 0-0 0-1
80+ points 0-0 0-0
by 7 or fewer points 2-3
by 3 or fewer points 1-2
Leading after the 1st 4-3
Trailing after the 1st 3-1
Tied after the 1st 1-2
Leading at Half 4-1
Trailing at Half 4-5
Tied at Half 0-0
Leading after the 3rd 5-2
Trailing after the 3rd 3-4
Tied after the 3rd 0-0
Scoring First 5-4
Opp. Score First 3-2
More Total Offense 6-5
Less Total Offense 2-1
More Pass Yards 4-5
Less Pass Yards 4-1
More Rushing Yards 6-0
Less Rushing Yards 2-5
Thursday games 0-0
Friday games 3-0
Saturday games 3-2
Sunday games 2-3
Monday games 0-1
On NBC 1-2
On TV20 4-2
On NBC11 0-1
On FSN 2-1
On Comcast 1-0
vs. West 5-3
vs. Central 0-3
vs. South 3-0
vs. East 0-0
Winning coin toss 6-6
Losing coin toss 2-0
Outscoring Opponent 8-0
Being Outscored 0-6
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Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from May 2, 2006
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