SaberCats Dominate Iowa, 76-33
|SaberCats Dominate Iowa, 76-33
SaberCats Media Relations
DES MOINES, Iowa – The San Jose SaberCats (5-2) knocked off the Iowa Barnstormers (3-4) convincingly, 76-33, in front of 7,863 fans at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday night in Des Moines, Iowa. The defensive line was the story, as they recorded six sacks, and pressured Iowa quarterback J.J. Raterink throughout the night. Defensive lineman Joe Sykes finished the night with three-and-a-half sacks and an interception. Offensively, quarterback Mark Grieb was efficient, completing 19-24 passes for 219 yards and six touchdowns. Wide receiver Ben Nelson posted three touchdowns, while James Roe and Hank Edwards caught two apiece.
San Jose opened the scoring on their first drive, as fullback Tommy Taggart scored his eighth rushing touchdown of the season (ninth overall), as he bullied his way into the end zone. After a missed extra point, the SaberCats led 6-0 early. Iowa responded quickly, as quarterback Raterink found wide receiver Collin Taylor for a 27-yard strike. After the teams exchanged turnovers, then scores, Grieb found Nelson for the second time on the night, this time from 29-yards out, and San Jose held a 20-13 lead after one quarter of play.
Raterink found wide receiver Jesse Schmidt for a 25-yard scoring strike, but San Jose took advantage of a failed onside kick attempt, as Grieb hit Roe for a 12-yard touchdown, putting San Jose back on top, 27-21 early in the second quarter. Schmidt caught his second touchdown of the night, but linebacker Francis Maka’s block of the extra point, kept things knotted at 27.
Edwards hit a significant career milestone on the next ‘Cats possession, as he caught the 100th touchdown of his Arena Football League career, scoring from 29-yards out to give San Jose a 34-27 advantage late in the second quarter. The teams then traded scores, as Raterink found wide receiver Marco Thomas for the second time, and then SaberCats offensive lineman Mark Lewis pounded his way in from two yards out to give San Jose a 41-33 advantage that held until the half.
San Jose extended their lead out of halftime to 48-33. After a defensive stop, Grieb picked out a wide open Roe in the end zone on a five-yard scoring toss, the second time those two connected on the night. San Jose then took complete control, as Lewis scored another rushing touchdown, and then on the next play from scrimmage, defensive back Andre Jones intercepted Raterink and returned it 20-yards for the score.
The SaberCats closed the game out, courtesy of a 42-0 run to close the game, that ran from late in the second quarter through the completion of the game. San Jose moved it to a 76-33 lead on quarterback Danny Southwick’s first touchdown for San Jose, as he hit Nelson on a 40-yard scoring strike.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
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San Jose SaberCats .. 20 21 21 14 - 76
Iowa Barnstormers .. 14 19 0 0 - 33
ABOUT THE SAN JOSE SABERCATS
The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats, opened their 16th season in the Arena Football League Saturday night. Fans and sponsors can go to thesanjosesabercats.com or call 408-673-3400 to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the SaberCats, as well as to purchase 2012 season tickets. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on the team.