San Jose SabreCats game notes
THE QUICK FACTS:
Game: Nashville Kats (4-7-1) at SaberCats (8-4).
Date: Friday, April 29, 2005.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. (PDT).
Site: HP Pavilion at San Jose (14,041).
Officials: Perry Havener (Referee); Tom Laverty (Umpire); Kelly Saalfeld (Head Linesman); David Meslow (Line Judge); Joe Duncan (Back Judge).
Television: FOX Sports Net will air the game tape delayed in the Bay Area on Saturday, April 30 at 10:30 a.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 will air the game live in the Bay Area with Bob Fitzgerald (play-by-play) and Keena Turner (color).
Internet: Log on to www.KNBR.com to hear a live webcast of Sundays game.
Series Record: Nashville leads 4-2.
Last Meeting: Nashville 71, SaberCats 47 in a semifinal playoff game on Aug. 12, 2001 in Nashville.
Series Streaks: Nashville Won 1.
Coaches: San Jose, Darren Arbet (7th season; 72-28 regular season, 81-31 overall). Nashville, Pat Sperduto (4th season; 31-22-1 regular season; 36-25-1 overall).
OVERVIEW: San Jose used a record-setting performance to maintain its one-game lead in the Western Division and tie for the top spot in the American Conference. The SaberCats set a team record for points scored, equaled an AFL record for most touchdowns in a game and scored the most points ever by a visiting team in league history with their 89-41 win at Colorado on Apr. 22 Having won two straight and seven of their last eight games, the SaberCats end the season by playing three of their last four at home where they are undefeated (5-0) this year. The Nashville Kats pay a visit to HP Pavilion on Friday, April 29 in the first of two consecutive home games. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. FSN Bay Area will air a tape-delayed broadcast at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 30 QB Mark Grieb had a perfect night against the Crush completing all 15 of his pass attempts for 331 yards and 8 TDs as San Jose scored every time it had the ball. Rashied Davis had a career-high 6 TD receptions and added a rushing score to tie the team record he shares with James Roe for the most TDs in a game. Nick Rolovich completed his two pass attempts as San Joses QBs did not throw an incomplete pass the entire game. The SaberCats became the 3rd team in league history to post back-to-back 80-point games and tied the 1996 Albany Firebirds for most 80-point games in a season with three.
2005 San Jose SaberCats (8-4)
Date Opponent Result Score
Jan. 30 @Tampa Bay Lost 33-63
Feb. 5 LAS VEGAS Won 66-31
Feb. 13 @New Orleans Lost 61-62
Feb. 20 @Los Angeles Lost 69-71
Mar. 6 @Orlando Won 57-38
Mar. 11 PHILADELPHIA Won 52-26
Mar. 18 GRAND RAPIDS Won 72-48
Mar. 28 @Las Vegas Won 81-75
Apr. 3 ARIZONA Won 48-27
Apr. 10 @Chicago Lost 39-55
Apr. 15 DALLAS Won 83-71
Apr. 22 @Colorado Won 89-41
Date Opponent Time (PT) Radio/TV
Apr. 29 NASHVILLE 7:30 pm 1050/FSN
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 Nashville Kats (4-7-1)
Game Opponent Result Score
Jan. 28 @Columbus Won 47-38
Feb. 4 NEW ORLEANS Lost 34-59
Feb. 13 @Philadelphia Lost 48-59
Feb. 19 @New York Lost 49-62
Feb. 26 LAS VEGAS Lost 32-40
Mar. 6 @Chicago Lost 38-45
Mar. 12 COLORADO Lost 35-42
Mar. 26 ARIZONA Lost 35-48
Apr. 3 @Grand Rapids Won 40-27
Apr. 8 @Dallas Tie (ot) 41-41
Apr. 17 LOS ANGELES Won 51-48
Apr. 24 TAMPA BAY Won 37-21
Game Opponent Time (PT) TV
Apr. 29 @San Jose 7:30 pm FSN
May 7 GRAND RAPIDS 5:30 pm
May 13 @Colorado 6:00 pm
May 22 CHICAGO 12:00 pm
THE SERIES: Nashville leads the all-time series 4-2, but the teams have not played since the 2001 campaign. The old Kats franchise was sold and relocated to Georgia following the 2001 season while the new expansion Kats began play this year The Kats eliminated San Jose from the playoffs with semifinal wins in both 2000 and 2001. Nashvilles 71-47 playoff win on Aug. 11, 2001 was the last time the clubs played The home team has won 5 of the 6 meetings San Jose is 2-1 at home against the Kats with its only loss coming in the 2000 semifinals, 51-42 One of San Joses four overtime games was against Nashville, a 58-57 win in San Jose on June 16, 2001.
SERIES NOTABLES: The Kats faced San Jose in their first game in franchise history on May 2, 1997 and earned their first franchise victory with the 47-21 win over the SaberCats Mark Grieb set a personal record with 430 passing yards against Nashville on Jun. 16, 2001 James Roe has totaled 297 receiving yards in two games against Nashville, including a career-high 195 on Jun. 16, 2001, the third highest receiving total in team history Shalon Baker (career-high 11) and Roe (11) became the first San Jose teammates to record double digits in receptions in the same game when they did it against Nashville on Jun. 16, 2001 San Jose scored only 21 points against the Kats on May 2, 1997, the second lowest point total in team history Their last regular season meeting was a 58-57 SaberCats overtime victory in San Jose, only the fourth overtime game in team history (3-1) Out of 18 teams that have played San Jose at least four games, Nashville owns the best record at 4-2 (.667) Nashville defeated San Jose two consecutive years in the semifinals of the playoffs (2000, 2001), preventing the SaberCats from reaching their first ArenaBowl In six series games, the two teams have combined for 27 field goal attempts (San Jose-13, Nashville-14) converting on 11 of them There has been a kick return for a touchdown in five consecutive meetings between the two teams for a total of seven (KO-5, MFG-2) Former SaberCat Steve Papin tied a league record with a 58-yard missed field goal return on Jun. 16, 1999 This will mark the first time San Jose will face Nashville without Andy Kelly as their QB San Jose has had a scoreless quarter in five of the six series games against the Kats In their two victories, San Jose has outscored Nashville by an average margin of 4.5 points, but in their four losses, they have been outscored by an average of 17.5 points.
LAST SERIES MEETING: Nashville 71, SABERCATS 47 Saturday, August 11, 2001 Gaylord Entertainment Center The Nashville Kats returned a kickoff and a missed field goal for scores and defeated the SaberCats, 71-47, in an Arena Football League semifinal playoff contest denying San Jose its first trip to the championship game for a second consecutive season. San Jose's James Hundon caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Mark Grieb to give the SaberCats a 16-14 lead early in the second quarter, but Ron Carpenter returned the ensuing kickoff 57-yards to put the Kats back on top 20-16 with 12:12 remaining in the half. Grieb connected with James Roe on scoring tosses of 12 and 33 yards sandwiched around an Andy Kelly to Tyronne Jones 14-yard touchdown strike as the SaberCats built a 30-27 lead late in the half. San Jose's defense made the first stop of the game forcing a 37-yard Steve McLaughlin field goal attempt which was no good. Barry Wagner returned the miss to the SaberCats 18-yard line with four seconds remaining and San Jose lined up for a field goal attempt. Daron Alcorn's kick sailed wide left as time expired and Tyronne Jones returned the miss 52 yards to give Nashville a 34-30 lead at intermission. The teams combined for nine touchdowns and a field goal in the first half and the lead changed 10 times. Nashville took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 41-yards on seven plays with Kelly hitting Jones from 2-yards out to increase the Kats' lead to 41-30. San Jose countered with a 44-yard Alcorn field goal to cut the lead to 41-33 after three quarters. Following a Kelly to Cory Fleming TD pass, Hundon hauled in his second TD of the game to make the score 48-40 Nashville with 10:30 left. Kelly hit Daryl Hammond on a 12-yard TD pass, his sixth of the game, on Nashville's next possession to up the Kats' advantage to 55-40. Any chance San Jose had at its first ArenaBowl appearance disappeared on the ensuing possession. On fourth-and-10 from the San Jose 12-yard line, Grieb was sacked by Fleming and fumbled the ball into his own endzone. James Baron pounced on the loose football for a Nashville TD to increase the lead to 62-40 with just under two minutes left. The Kats scored 16 of their 30 fourth quarter points in the final 1:53 to make the score more lopsided than it appeared. Grieb threw for a San Jose playoff record 291 yards on 21-of-34 passing with 6 TDs and no interceptions. Nashville recorded three sacks on the day, two of which directly led to points, and applied constant pressure to the San Jose signal-caller.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
SaberCats 10 20 3 14 47
Kats 14 20 7 30 71
SAN FG Alcorn 45
NAS Fleming 29 pass from Fleming (McLaughlin kick)
SAN Hundon 7 pass from Grieb (Alcorn kick)
NAS Hammond 13 pass from Kelly (McLaughlin kick)
SAN Hundon 4 pass from Grieb (kick failed)
NAS Carpenter 57 KO return (kick failed)
SAN Roe 12 pass from Grieb (Alcorn kick)
NAS Jones 14 pass from Kelly (McLaughlin kick)
SAN Roe 33 pass from Grieb (Alcorn kick)
NAS Jones 52 MFG return (McLaughlin kick)
NAS Jones 2 pass from Kelly (McLaughlin kick)
SAN FG Alcorn 44
NAS Fleming 7 pass from Kelly (McLaughlin kick)
SAN Hundon 18 pass from Grieb (Alcorn kick)
NAS Hammond 12 pass from Kelly (McLaughlin kick)
NAS Baron 0 fumble recovery (McLaughlin kick)
SAN Wagner 24 pass from Grieb (Alcorn kick)
NAS Reece 5 run (McLaughlin kick)
NAS Reese safety
Passing: SAN Grieb 21-34-0-291. NAS Kelly 19-28-0-199.
Rushing: SAN Grieb 1-1; Jones 1-(-3). NAS Reece 8-34; Hillery 3-10; Grant 1-7; Fleming 1-(-9).
Receiving: SAN Roe 6-102; Reese 6-65; Hundon 5-59; Wagner 4-65. NAS Jones 7-62; Fleming 5-61; Hammond 5-54; Hillery 2-22.
Kick Returns: SAN Wagner 8-136; Hundon 1-12. NAS Carpenter 7-139; Jones 3-68.
ALL-TIME SERIES SCORES
August 12, 2001 @Nashville 71, San Jose 47 (po)
June 16, 2001 @San Jose 58, Nashville 57 (ot)
August 12, 2000 Nashville 51, @San Jose 42 (po)
July 16, 1999 @Nashville 56, San Jose 45
May 30, 1998 @San Jose 49, Nashville 41
May 2, 1997 @Nashville 47, San Jose 21
THE IFS :
If the SaberCats defeat Nashville it would
*Give San Jose a 9-4 season record.
*Give San Jose a 6-0 home record in 2005.
*Be San Joses 3rd straight win.
*Give San Jose a 57-20 all-time regular season home record.
*Give San Jose a 111-59 all-time record.
*Give San Jose a 26-13 all-time record against Central Division teams.
*Give San Jose a 15-5 all-time home record against Central Division teams.
San Jose Darren Arbet, 7th season
72-28 (.720) reg. season; 81-31 (.723) overall
1-3 (.250) career vs. Nashville
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 .723 (81-31) 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).
Nashville Pat Sperduto, 4th season
31-22-1 (.583) reg. season; 36-25-1 (.589) overall
3-1 (.750) career vs. San Jose
After a three-season absence, Pat Sperduto returns as a head coach in the Arena Football League. He has spent the last four seasons as an assistant on the staff of the Tennessee Titans. He joined the NFL club after spending five seasons with the old Nashville Kats. He compiled a 32-18 record as head coach the last three seasons and led his team to back-to-back appearances in the ArenaBowl in 2000 and 2001. Sperduto replaced Eddie Khayat as head coach in 1999 and posted the best record of seven AFL coaches who took over new teams in 2000. Sperduto spent his first two years as defensive coordinator for the Kats and was elevated to assistant head coach in 1998. He is a three-time ArenaBowl World Champion, winning twice as a player for the Tampa Bay Storm (1991 and 93) and once as an assistant coach with the Storm (1994). Sperduto began his professional career as a player with the Canadian Football League's British Columbia Lions before joining the Tampa Bay Storm in the AFL from 1991-93.
RECENT RESULTS: SABERCATS 89, Colorado 41 Quarterbacks Mark Grieb and Nick Rolovich combined to complete all 17 pass attempts and Rashied Davis tied a team record by scoring seven times as San Jose rolled up its largest point total in an 89-41 win over the Colorado Crush. San Jose scored on the first offensive play of the game when Grieb connected with Rodney Wright on a 45-yard scoring pass just 28 seconds into the contest and the SaberCats never let up as they tied an AFL record by scoring 13 touchdowns. San Jose turned four first half Colorado turnovers into touchdowns and Wright added a score on a 55-yard missed field goal return to help stake San Jose to a comfortable 56-14 halftime lead. Clevan Thomas had two of San Joses three interceptions in the first half to overtake Pat McGuirk as the clubs all-time leader with 25 on his way to Defensive Player of the Game honors. Thomas has five career INTs off Crush QB and former teammate John Dutton. Grieb, who was named Offensive Player of the Game after playing just three quarters, completed all 15 of his attempts for 331 yards and eight TDs with four 45-yard scoring passes. Nick Rolovich replaced Grieb in the fourth quarter and completed both of his pass attempts, including a 6-yard strike to Davis for his first TD pass of the year, for 19 yards. Barry Wagner closed out the scoring with a 1-yard run late in the quarter as San Jose posted the highest point total by a visiting team in league history. Davis ended the game with a career-high six touchdowns and 182 receiving yards on nine catches and added a 3-yard scoring run to match his own team record he shares with James Roe. Colorados Damian Harrell caught a touchdown pass midway through the final quarter to extend his streak of consecutive games with a scoring reception to 45. Dutton completed 21-of-35 attempts for 224 yards with three TDs before being lifted for Jose Davis in the fourth quarter. NOTES: Darren Arbet won his 81st career game to move past Michael Trigg into 6th place on the all-time coaches wins list San Jose became just the 3rd team in AFL history to post back-to-back 80-point games Rashied Davis caught a career-high 6 TD passes Barry Wagner has scored four times on his only four rush attempts this season Shalon Baker caught his 60th career TD pass Grieb and Rolovich combined for a team record tying 9 scoring passes Clevan Thomas had his 3rd career two-interception game Rodney Wrights missed field goal return for a TD was the first by a SaberCat since Clevan Thomas on June 15, 2002 Devin Wymans blocked PAT attempt in the 4th quarter was the first since he did it against Detroit on April 11, 2003 San Jose had six 1-play scoring drives and ran just 27 offensive plays the entire game San Jose matched the 1996 Albany Firebirds for most 80-point games in a season with three.
RECENT ROSTER MOVES
Mar. 1 Signed DS Wendell Davis to the practice squad. Waived WR/LB Mike Duncan from the practice squad.
Mar. 4 Activated WR/LB Shalon Baker, OL/DL Frank Beede, WR/DB Rodney Wright and OL/DL Devin Wyman from IR. Placed OL/DL Jason Andersen, WR/DB Erin Damond, OL/DL Kevin Jordan and WR/LB Calvin Schexnayder on IR.
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.
*Rashied Davis (32) needs 6 TDs to tie Steve Papin (38) for most in a season needs 36 points to tie Steve Papins mark of 228 in a season needs one 100-yard receiving game to tie team season record of 7 needs 86 all-purpose yards to become only the 6th SaberCat to reach the 4,000 all-purpose yard milestone.
*Mark Grieb (67) needs 8 TD passes to tie his team season record of 75 set last season needs 445 yards passing to tie the season record (4,111) he also set last season needs one 300+ yard passing game to set a new franchise high for most 300-yard games in a season needs 19 pass attempts for 2,500 in his career.
*Rodney Wright needs one more MFG return for a TD to establish a new team record in a season.
*Clevan Thomas needs 3.0 tackles for 150 in his career.
*Calvin Schexnayder needs 4 receptions for 600 career.
*James Roe needs 283 receiving yards to match his career-high of 1,440 set in 2003.
*Barry Wagner needs 175 all-purpose yards to become AFLs all-time leader.
*Matt Kinsinger needs 8 rushing 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 Kats
Scoring Offense (Rank) 62.5 (1) 40.6 (17)
Scoring Defense 50.7 (11) 44.2 (1)
Total Offense 321.1 (1) 255.8 (17)
Total Defense 285.2 (9) 268.1 (5)
Pass Offense 305.1 (1) 225.9 (17)
Pass Defense 269.8 (10) 247.0 (4)
Rushing Offense 16.0 (12) 29.9 (4)
Rushing Defense 15.4 (4) 21.1 (9)
Touchdowns 109 (1) 69 (17)
Pass Rating 127.4 (1) 88.2 (17)
Pass Defense Rating 104.5 (7) 109.3 (10)
Interceptions 16 (4) 14 (T-5)
Kickoff Return Avg. 20.7 (2) 17.5 (8)
Field Goal Return Avg. 32.3 (1) 10.8 (14)
Turnover Margin +6 (T-3) +5 (T-5)
3rd Down Conversions 44.7% (13) 47.0% (9)
4th Down Conversions 66.7% (1) 60.9% (2)
Sacks By 9 (T-13) 18 (1)
Sacks Against 11 (T-8) 12 (T-10)
2005 SABERCATS AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS
Player Category No. Rank
Mark Grieb Total Offense 306.6 1
Mark Grieb Completion Pct. 69.7 1
Mark Grieb Pass TDs 67 4
Mark Grieb Passer Rating 129.1 1
Mark Grieb Passing Yards 3,666 1
Mark Grieb Pass Completions
Mark Grieb Pass Avg/Game 305.5 1
James Roe Receptions 81 10
James Roe Receiving Yards 1,077 5
James Roe TD Receptions 24 8
Rashied Davis Touchdowns 32 2
Rashied Davis All-purpose Yards 1,895 7
Rashied Davis KO Return Avg. 24.2 2
Rashied Davis Kickoff Returns
Rashied Davis KO Return Yards 822 6
Rashied Davis KO Return TDs 4 1
Rashied Davis Receving Yards 1,053 7
Dan Frantz Kick Scoring 94 8
Dan Frantz PAT Attempts 106 1
Dan Frantz PATs Made 88 1
Joe Jacobs Forced Fumbles 3 T-5
Joe Jacobs Sacks 4.0 T-10
Matt Kinsinger Rush TDs 9 6
Clevan Thomas Interceptions 6 T-1
Rodney Wright MFG Return Yds 94 5
Rodney Wright MFG Return TDs 1 T-1
HOME SWEET HOME The SaberCats are unbeaten at home in 2005 going 5-0 and have won 15 of their last 16 and 29 of their last 31 regular season home games. Since the start of the 2000 season the SaberCats are 38-4 (.905) in regular season home games and 46-6 (.885) overall at HP Pavilion. San Joses all-time record at home, including playoffs, stands at 64-23 (.736). No team has gone unbeaten at home since the 16-game regular season was adopted prior to the 2003 campaign.
AFTER THE 80s The SaberCats reached the 80-point mark in a game for the 7th time in franchise history and registered consecutive 80-point games for the first time with their 89-41 win at Colorado on Apr. 22. Following their previous six 80-point games they are undefeated and have scored an average of 68.0 points per game.
STREAKING San Joses matchup with the Nashville Kats on Apr. 29 will pit two of the hottest teams in the AFL against one another. After starting the season at 1-7, Nashville is undefeated (3-0-1) in its last four games, including their surprise 37-21 victory over Tampa Bay on Apr. 24. During their streak the Kats have beaten struggling Grand Rapids and playoff contenders Los Angeles and Tampa Bay. They also played to only the second tie in AFL history against Dallas on Apr. 8. San Jose also stumbled out of the gates, losing three of the first four games. But since then, San Jose has won seven of their last eight, including consecutive games against two of the top teams in the AFL, Dallas and Colorado. The SaberCats are undefeated at home (5-0) while Nashville is 2-3-1 on the road.
SCORING FIRST The SaberCats scored on the games first offensive play in their win at Colorado on Apr. 22 and have scored the first points in each of their last five games. The team is 4-1 over that stretch and 7-2 on the year when putting up the first points in a game.
JUST WIN Mark Grieb improved his regular season record as San Joses starting QB to 60-17 (.779) with San Joses 89-41 win at Colorado on Apr. 22 and, more impressively, his record as the teams starter in home games is 36-3 (.923).
QUICK STRIKES The SaberCats had six 1-play scoring drives in their win at Colorado on Apr. 22 with four plays covering 45 yards. Over the last two games, San Jose has 10 touchdown drives that have lasted just one play.
TOUCHDOWN SABERCATS!! One week after tying a team record for TDs in a game with 12, the SaberCats matched a league record by scoring 13 times at Colorado on Apr. 22 while running just 27 offensive plays. San Jose leads the circuit with 108 TDs scored and has reached double figures six times helping them to a league-best 62.1 points per game average.
CRAZY NUMBERS San Joses 89 points in its win at Colorado on Apr. 22 were more than the combined total of four of the seven other AFL games last weekend. Dallas/Columbus and Philadelphia/New York each combined to score 88 points while Austin/Arizona scored 78 points and Tampa Bay/Nashville combined for 58 points.
CELEBRITY SCENE This will mark the third time in four weeks that the SaberCats will square off against an opponent with a celebrity owner. On Apr. 10, former NFL head coach Mike Ditkas Chicago Rush defeated San Jose 55-39 in the Windy City. On Apr. 22, the SaberCats traveled to Denver and routed Hall-of-Fame QB John Elways Crush 89-41. This week, the SaberCats will host the Nashville Kats for the first time since 2001. The Kats are partially owned by country music superstar Tim McGraw. Earlier this season, the SaberCats defeated another rock star, Jon Bon Jovi, in their 52-26 win over the Philadelphia Soul. In their history, the SaberCats are 5-1 against teams with celebrity owners.
AT THE HALF No game is ever decided at the half way point, but San Jose has not lost in 2005 when leading at the intermission. The SaberCats held a 56-14 lead at the break at Colorado on Apr. 22 and went on to an 89-41 victory raising their season record to 8-0 when leading at halftime. On the flip side, the SaberCats are 0-4 when trailing or tied at halftime.
THE MAGIC TOUCH WR/DB Barry Wagner touched the ball twice at Colorado on Apr. 22 and both times the AFLs greatest scorer ended the play in familiar territory the endzone. Wagners only pass reception resulted in a 22-yard TD and his only rush attempt was a 1-yard scoring plunge in San Joses 89-41 win. Wagner has rushed the ball four times this year with the result of all his carries being San Jose scores.
PERFECTION Its impossible to ask for a better performance from San Joses quarterbacks than the one they had in their 89-41 rout of the Crush on Apr. 22. For the first time in the leagues 19-year history, an AFL team finished a game without throwing an incomplete pass. With his 15-of-15 performance, starting QB Mark Grieb set the AFL perfect completion game mark, surpassing the previous record of 11-of-11 set by Carolinas Carlos Garay in 2000. Backup QB Nick Rolovich relieved Grieb in the fourth quarter and completed both of his passes, bringing the team total for the night to 17-of-17. The two also combined to throw 9 TD passes, tying a team-record. For the night San Joses quarterbacks were a perfect 17-of-17 for 350 yards and nine TDs with a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
RECORD SETTING NIGHT The SaberCats established several records with their 89-41 at Colorado on Apr. 22. The teams point total was the highest in franchise history and also the most ever scored by a visiting team in an AFL game. San Jose also tied a league record for most TDs scored in a game with 13. The SaberCats are one of three teams in league history to record back-to-back 80-point games and they matched the 1996 Albany Firebirds for most 80-point games in a season with three. No team has reached the 80-point mark in three straight games. San Joses 172 points over its last two games is the second highest 2-game point total in AFL history. Albany tallied 173 points over a two-game stretch during the 1996 campaign scoring 86 and 87 points.
HIGHEST SCORING GAMES IN AFL HISTORY
Pts Team Opponent Date
99 New York vs Carolina July 7, 2001
91 New Jersey vs Texas June 20, 1997
89 San Jose at Colorado April 22, 2005
87 Albany at Charlotte June 21, 1996
87 Nashville vs Buffalo June 6, 2001
86 Albany vs Texas June 27, 1996
ON THE MARK QB Mark Grieb just keeps adding to his already impressive resume. A week after completing 25-of-30 passes (80%) for 267 yards and 8 TDs, Grieb outdid himself by completing all 15 of his passes, to set an AFL record, and threw for 331 yards and 8 TDs in only three quarters of work. In his past two games Grieb has been almost flawless, completing 40-of-45 (88.9%) for 598 yards with 16 TDs. His passer rating in the last two games is an astounding 149.1. Grieb currently leads the league in passer rating (129.1), passing yards (3,666) and completion percentage (69.7%) and is 4th in the league in touchdowns (67). With four games remaining on the schedule, the AFL record for most passing yards in a season is within reach. Grieb would have to average 274 yards in the SaberCats last four contests to tie the season mark of 4,762 set by Jim Kubiak in 2003.
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
SCORING EFFICIENCY San Jose entered its game at Colorado on Apr. 22 having scored 91 TDs in 130 offensive possessions for a league-leading touchdown scoring percentage of 70.0. The SaberCats did nothing to hurt that number as they scored TDs on all 12 offensive possessions in their 89-41 win to raise their AFL best percentage to 72.5 (103-of-142).
RAH-RAH SHIED Can anyone stop OS Rashied Davis? After Davis team-record tying 7-TD performance against the Crush on Apr. 22, it doesnt seem like it. Davis had career-highs of 182 yards and 6 TDs on 9 receptions, a 20.2 yard per catch average, with two 45-yard grabs and one of 40 yards. For the 6th time in 10 games as an offensive player and for the 2nd consecutive contest, Davis surpassed the 100-yard receiving mark and needs just one more in the last four games to tie the team record. With 1,895 all-purpose yards, Davis has already passed his career-high of 1,795 set last season and is on his way to becoming only the third player in team history (joining Titus Dixon and Steve Papin) to amass 2,000 all-purpose yards in a season. Davis currently has 72 catches for 1,053 yards and 22 TD catches to go along with 822 KO return yards. His 32 total TDs (192 points) are 2nd in the entire league and his 1,913 all-purpose yards rank 7th.
400 (and counting) CLUB For a second straight game QB Mark Grieb tossed 8 scoring passes, a season-high, to lift his season total to 67 and his career total to 415. Grieb trails Todd Hammel by five for 6th place on the leagues all-time TD pass list. With another 8 TD performance, Grieb will tie his own team record of 75 scoring strikes in a season.
AFL CAREER PASSING TOUCHDOWNS
Rk. Player Team Pass TDs
1. Aaron Garcia New York 699
2. Andy Kelly New Orleans 692
3. Sherdrick Bonner Arizona 637
4. Clint Dolezel Las Vegas 625
5. John Kaleo Los Angeles 481
6. Todd Hammel Chicago 420
7. Mark Grieb San Jose 415
8. Jay Gruden -- 400
COACHING WINS Darren Arbet moved up another spot on the all-time coaches win list when his SaberCats defeated Colorado 89-41 on Apr. 22. Arbet passed former Philadelphia head coach Michael Trigg (80) for 6th place by earning 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
Coach Record Pct
Tim Marcum, Tampa Bay 173-68 .718
Danny White 141-65 .684
Mike Hohensee, Chicago 92-82 .529
Perry Moss 86-35-1 .709
Mike Dailey, Colorado 83-56 .597
Darren Arbet, San Jose 81-31 .723
Michael Trigg 80-87 .479
THE 80s Vol. II The SaberCats reached the 80-point mark in a game for the third time this year and a league record 7th time overall in their 89-41 win at Colorado on Apr. 22 and it was just the 24th 80-point game in AFL history. The now defunct Albany Firebirds reached the 80-point mark four times, while Arizona and Grand Rapids, each with two, are the only other teams in league history with multiple 80-point games. San Jose is the only team to crack the 80-point mark this season.
GETTING THE POINTS ACROSS San Joses offense has been firing on all cylinders as of late, stringing together back-to-back 80-point games. The SaberCats currently have 750 points on the season and are on pace to score 1,000 points. In the history of the AFL only six teams have scored more than 900 points in a season with the 2003 SaberCats owning the league record with 966. The 2005 team would have to average 54 points over their last four games to tie the record.
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 Three weeks ago the SaberCats were averaging 57.8 points a game, but after back-to-back 80-point outings the SaberCats have seen their average soar to a league-best 62.1 ppg. 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. San Jose would have to average 69.3 points in their last four games to break their record. Not an easy task, but not out of the question considering the way San Jose has been putting points on the board.
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
THE MALLEY FACTOR The mastermind behind the SaberCats scoring success has been offensive coordinator Terry Malley. Since taking over as the teams OC with six games to play in the 1999 season, Malley has been on the sidelines for 92 regular season games and has seen his club score 5,494 points for an average of nearly 60 points a game (59.7). San Joses 89-point effort at Colorado on Apr. 22 was the 7th 80-point game in team history, all with Malley as the OC, and he has led San Jose to the eight highest scoring games and 12 of the top 13 scoring contests in club history.
NUMBER ONE DS Clevan Thomas snared a pair of interceptions in San Joses win at Colorado on Apr. 22 to become the clubs all-time leader. Thomas picked off passes in the end zone on consecutive series in the second quarter for his 3rd career two-INT performance. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year increased his career total to 25 moving ahead of Pat McGuirk (24) for the top spot on the SaberCats career chart. Interestingly enough, of Thomas 25 career picks, five of those have come against Colorado QB and former teammate John Dutton. Thomas now has 6 INTs on the year, which is tied for first in the league.
TEAM CAREER INTERCEPTION LEADERS
Rank Player INTs
1. Clevan Thomas 25
2. Pat McGuirk 24
3. Barry Wagner 18
4. Tommy Jones 17
5. Omarr Smith 16
MR. WRIGHT Rookie Rodney Wright had another outstanding performance at Colorado on Apr. 22, earning game Ironman honors for the second consecutive week. In San Joses 89-41 win, Wright started the scoring by breaking a number of tackles and turning a quick 5-yard pass into a 45-yard score. At the end of the first quarter, Wright returned a missed field goal 54-yards for a TD, San Joses first MFG return for a score since Clevan Thomas did it on Jun. 15, 2002. Wright tallied his 1st career interception in the second quarter, picking off a deflected pass and returning it to the Colorado 4-yard line, setting up another San Jose TD. For the game Wright caught 3 passes for 81 yards and added 7.0 tackles as the starting WR/DB. This performance comes after the former Fresno State product was named the AFLs Ironman of the Week for his efforts in an 83-71 win over Dallas on Apr. 15. He is currently the teams 3rd leading receiver with 35 receptions for 429 yards despite missing four games.
LIVING LEGENDS Fridays contest against the Kats will pit two AFL legends against one another in San Joses Barry Wagner and Nashvilles Darryl Hammond. Hammond, with an AFL-record 14 years of service and Wagner, with 13 years under his belt, have combined to play a whopping 337 AFL games. Over the course of their lengthy playing careers, these two arena superstars have compiled impressive resumes. A WR/LB, Hammond has been named to five All-Ironman teams, including the AFLs All-Time Ironman team. He also ranks 3rd in AFL history in total tackles and interceptions returned for touchdowns. Hammond is currently 10th in the record books in career receiving yards. Wagner, San Joses veteran WR/DB, is commonly referred to as the greatest player in AFL history, and for good reason. In his illustrious career, Wagner has done it all. He is a six-time AFL Ironman of the Year, a seven-time first-team All-AFL selection and a two-time league MVP. Wagner holds the league record for career scoring, career touchdowns and career tackles, just to name a few. This season, not only did Wagner become the first player in AFL history to record 400 career touchdowns and the third player to amass 20,000 all-purpose yards, he also became the AFLs career leader in receptions. Wagner is also close to becoming the AFLs career leader in all-purpose yardage. He needs just 173 yards to tie former Arizona Rattler Hunkie Cooper for the all-time lead.
AWARD WINNERS Mark Grieb secured the AFLs Offensive Player of the Week and the Arena Football League Writers Association (AFLWA) Player of the Week award after his perfect performance in Colorado on Apr. 22 and rookie WR/DB Rodney Wright was named the Leagues Ironman of the Week for a second straight time. The winners bring to six the number of SaberCats honored by the AFL this season and Grieb is the first to win the AFLWA award.
AFL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Mark Grieb (Week 13)
Rashied Davis (Week 8)
Rashied Davis (Week 9)
AFL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Tremain Mack (Week 6)
AFL IRONMAN OF THE WEEK
Rodney Wright (Week 13)
Rodney Wright (Week 12)
AFL CAREER ALL-PURPOSE YARDAGE LEADERS
Rank Player All-Purpose Yds
1. Hunkie Cooper 20,550
2. George LaFrance 20,480
3. Barry Wagner 20,377
MEMORIES One of the greatest games in SaberCats history took place against the Kats on June 16, 2001. San Jose overcame a 17-point fourth quarter deficit and won the game in overtime 58-57. Mark Grieb completed 16 straight passes in the fourth quarter and overtime and finished the game 30-of-39 for a team record 430 yards. A 28-yard Carlos Huerta field goal tied the game at the end of regulation and Grieb connected with Shalon Baker on the first drive of OT. Nashville responded with an Andy Kelly-to-Darryl Hammond 3-yard TD pass to pull within a point, but the 2-point conversion pass attempt for the win was batted away.
MILESTONES REACHED AGAINST COLORADO:
*San Joses 89-point performance was the highest point total in team history, the highest ever for a road team and the third highest point total in league history.
*San Jose tied an AFL record with 13 touchdowns.
*QBs Mark Grieb (15-of-15) and Nick Rolovich (2-of-2) did not throw an incomplete pass the entire game, the first AFL game in history without an incomplete pass thrown Griebs perfect 15-of-15 performance eclipsed the previous AFL mark of 11-for-11 set by Carolinas Carlos Garay in 2000.
*Grieb and Rolovich combined to match a team-record 9 scoring passes.
*Nick Rolovich threw his first touchdown pass of the season and the second in his AFL career.
*With two INTs, Clevan Thomas (25) passed Pat McGuirk (24) for first place on San Joses all-time list.
*Darren Arbet won his 81st career game to move past Michael Trigg into 6th place on the all-time coaches win list.
*San Jose became just the third team in history to post back-to-back 80-point games San Joses 172 points in its last two games is the highest back-to-back point total in team history and the second highest total in AFL history.
*San Jose posted an 80-point game for the third time this season, tying the now-defunct Albany Firebirds for most 80-point games in a season.
*Ironman of the Game Rodney Wright set a career-high with a 45-yard touchdown reception, had the 1st MFG return for a TD in his career and the first by a SaberCat since 2002, and his 1st career INT.
*Rashied Davis tied a team-record with 7 TDs and caught a career-high 6 TD passes.
*Shalon Baker caught his 60th career TD pass.
*Devin Wymans blocked PAT attempt was the SaberCats first blocked PAT since he did it in 2003.
*Dan Frantz tied a career-high by converting 11 PATs.
*Erin Damond set a career-high with 9 tackles.
*Matt Kinsinger scored the 30th rushing TD of his San Jose career.
NASHVILLE PLAYERS TO WATCH:
OL/DL JAMES BARON The nine-year AFL veteran has faced San Jose 10 times in his career with his teams posting a 4-6 record. In those games, Baron has compiled 9 tackles, four sacks for 22 yards, two forced fumbles, a quarterback hurry, a PBU and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. The former Defensive Player of the Year (1999) and two-time Lineman of the Year (1998 and 2001) has 3.0 sacks on the season and ranks in the top five in AFL history in sacks with 39.5. Baron anchors a Nashville defensive line that ranks first in the league in sacks. Until missing the first two games of the season, Baron had appeared in 131 consecutive games, including the playoffs, and all 80 games with the previous Nashville franchise.
OS FRED COLEMAN In his rookie season last year with the SaberCats, Coleman impressed many by ranking third on the team in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. A member of last years championship squad, Coleman is one of only a handful of players with an ArenaBowl title and a Super Bowl title (2001). Following the 2004 season, the talented offensive specialist packed his bags and headed to the country music capital of the world, Nashville and has excelled. Coleman leads the Kats in receiving with 63 catches for 684 yards and seven TDs.
WR/LB DARRYL HAMMOND Like Barry Wagner, Hammond is a living AFL legend. Hammond has more seasons of service (14) in the league than any other player. Entering his 15th season in the league, Hammond continues to be a productive player, catching 47 passes for 455 yards and six scores and adding an INT on defense. In 10 games against San Jose with three different teams (St. Louis, Nashville and Georgia), Hammond has hauled in 55 passes for 501 yards and 11 TDs while defensively he has 29 tackles, an INT, a sack, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
QB LEON MURRAY The Kats QB has struggled in his third season in the AFL, earning a passer rating of only 89.3. Murray has completed 175-of-299 passes (58.5%) for 1,957 yards with 30 TDs and 10 INTs. However, as a member of the Georgia Force, he has played fairly well against the SaberCats. In his two meetings with San Jose, both losses, Murray has thrown for 452 yards on 39-of-69 passing with 9 TDs and only 1 INT. The former All-Rookie team member in 2003 joined the Kats prior to the 2005 season and appeared in their first game since returning to Nashville.
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)
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)
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)
LOS ANGELES (May 7)
@Arizona (May 14)
GEORGIA (May 21)
*Players in Bold won AFL weekly honors
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 2-0 0-1
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 0-2
Leading after the 1st 6-2
Trailing after the 1st 1-0
Tied after the 1st 1-2
Leading at Half 8-0
Trailing at Half 0-3
Tied at Half 0-1
Leading after the 3rd 8-0
Trailing after the 3rd 0-3
Tied after the 3rd 0-1
Scoring First 7-2
Opp. Score First 1-2
More Total Offense 5-4
Less Total Offense 3-0
More Pass Yards 5-4
Less Pass Yards 3-0
More Rushing Yards 6-1
Less Rushing Yards 2-3
Thursday games 0-0
Friday games 4-0
Saturday games 1-0
Sunday games 2-4
Monday games 1-0
On NBC 1-4
On WB20 2-0
On FSN 5-0
vs. West 3-1
vs. Central 2-1
vs. South 1-2
vs. East 2-0
Winning coin toss 2-1
Losing coin toss 6-3
Outscoring Opponent 8-0
Being Outscored 0-4
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