SaberCats Fall to Spokane Shock 90-63
|San Jose fell to 9-6 after a 90-63 loss at the hands of the Spokane Shock
SaberCats Media Relations
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Seven turnovers hurt the San Jose SaberCats (9-6), who were defeated by the Spokane Shock (8-6) 90-63, in front of 9,062 fans at HP Pavilion on Saturday night. Quarterback Mark Grieb completed 25-40 passes for 356 yards and five touchdowns and passed another milestone in his illustrious career, becoming the third Arena Football League quarterback with 900 career touchdowns. His counterpart, Kyle Rowley had arguably the best quarterbacking night in AFL history, breaking the all-time AFL single-game touchdown record with 12 on the night, as well as completing 30-37 passes for 392 yards.
San Jose wide receiver Fred Williams caught seven passes for 102 yards and three touchdowns and wide receiver Samora Goodson had seven receptions for 142 yards and one score. Wide receiver and kick returner Rodney Wright had 318 all-purpose yards and two total touchdowns in his return to San Jose after playing with the team from 2005-2008 and 2011.
“We obviously didn’t get it done, you have to take care of the football, can’t turn it over,” said SaberCats Owner/Head Coach Darren Arbet following the loss. “Any time you turn the ball over as much as we did tonight, you aren’t going to win. All we can do is put it behind us, move forward and just work on our execution and ball security. We have to fix these turnovers and get this team in the right direction.”
Spokane gained an early edge with Rowley hitting wide receiver Adron Tennell for two quick touchdowns, putting them on top 14-0 early. San Jose answered on fourth down, as Grieb found Williams who fought through a defensive interference and hauled in the 31-yard touchdown. Shock wide receiver Rod Harper then nabbed a 15-yard score, and Spokane led 21-7 after the first quarter.
Offensive lineman and fullback Mark Lewis charged in for a three-yard touchdown run to begin the second quarter and trimmed the deficit to seven pointe. Behind Harper’s two scores and one apiece from Tennell and wide receiver Steven Black, Spokane went on a 28-0 run and opened up a 49-14 lead.
Grieb made AFL history with eight seconds remaining in the first half. The former UC Davis Aggie collected the 900th touchdown of his illustrious career with a 16-yard scoring pass to Williams, joining Talons quarterback Aaron Garcia and former AFL veteran Clint Dolezel as the only others to complete the impressive feat.
With 11:28 remaining in the third quarter, a nine-yard toss to Tennell brought the score to 56-20 in favor of Spokane. Grieb connected with Goodson for the 48-yard scoring strike and wide receiver Huey Whittaker converted the two-point conversion. On Spokane’s ensuing drive, Whittaker scooped up a fumble, leaped over a pile of lineman and dashed in for his 20th touchdown of the season, drawing San Jose within 20 points at 56-36.
Tennell and wide receiver Jeffrey Solomon added scores in the third quarter, giving Spokane a 69-36 advantage with one period to play. In the fourth quarter, Grieb found wide receiver Rodney Wright for the 25-yard score and Whittaker converted his third two-point conversion. Harper caught Rowley’s 18-yard pass for the score and Solomon secured a 45-yard touchdown reception, giving Rowley his 12th touchdown pass of the night to break the all-time, single-game record.
Tennell had 13 catches, 164 yards and five touchdowns while Harper added nine receptions, 119 yards and four scores. Defensive back Paul Stephens sparked Spokane’s defensive effort, intercepting two passes and leading the team with six tackles.
San Jose’s loss was its first home defeat since May 28, 2011 when the team fell 55-49 to Georgia. The 90 points allowed was the most in franchise history.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Spokane Shock .. 21 28 20 21 90
San Jose SaberCats .. 7 13 16 27 63
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