MILWAUKEE, Wisc. The San Jose SaberCats (8-4) fell to the Milwaukee Mustangs (4-7) 81-68 in front of 6,089 fans at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee on Saturday night. Quarterback Mark Grieb made Arena Football League history with his first quarter touchdown pass to wide receiver Huey Whittaker, as he hit the 70-touchdown mark in a season for the ninth consecutive year. He completed 35-of-56 passes for 435 yards and ten touchdowns in a losing effort. Whittaker led the way with 11 catches for 120 yards and three scores, while Samora Goodson caught four scoring tosses and James Roe had three. San Jose honored their teammate Johnie Kirton, who passed away suddenly and shockingly earlier in the week by wearing helmet stickers with Kirtons number 37.
Milwaukee opened the scoring on the opening kickoff, as a defensive lineman Luis Vasquez had a net recovery and the Mustangs led 7-0. San Jose responded immediately as Grieb found Whittaker for a three-yard score to knot things at seven. Mustangs quarterback Gino Guidugli then picked out wide receiver Andrae Thurman for a six-yard strike, going back in front 13-7. As San Jose was marching to score, a fumble was returned by Vasquez for 43-yards to take a 20-7 lead into the second quarter.
Grieb connected with Goodson for a 28-yard touchdown to pull San Jose within six points at 20-14 early in the second quarter. Milwaukee scored quickly twice, as Guidugli hit wide receiver Taurian Washington from 29-yards out and the Mustangs recovered the ensuing kickoff off of the bar for a score pushing the lead to 33-14.
Grieb and Goodson combined again with an immediate 45-yard touchdown, cutting the Mustangs advantage to 33-20 midway through the second. Guidugli continued to spread the ball around as he picked out Jared Jenkins for a nine-yard score. Goodson then hauled in his third scoring catch of the half, this time from 25-yards out to trim the Milwaukee lead to 40-27. The teams then traded scores, as Milwaukee held a 47-34 lead late in the half and added another score on the last play from scrimmage to take a 54-34 lead into the locker room.
The Mustangs picked up right where they left off as the Guidugli-Thurman connection was good for a third time, pushing the lead to 60-34. After a good kick return by Ruschard Dodd-Masters, Grieb threw his sixth touchdown of the night, for an 11-yard strike, his second to Roe. Milwaukee responded with another score of their own as Jenkins hauled in his third score of the game, this time from 16-yards. James Roe caught his third touchdown on the night when he brought in a 12-yard score, trimming the lead to 67-48.
After a late third quarter interception by Dodd-Masters, Grieb found Whittaker for a jump ball touchdown reception from 21-yards out on fourth down to bring San Jose within 12 at 67-55. San Jose would get no closer, as they dropped their fourth game of the season, 81-68.
Courtesy San Jose SaberCats media services