SaberCats-Mustangs: What to watch for


SaberCats-Mustangs: What to watch for

After an emotional rollercoaster of a week that saw San Jose come from behind in the final seconds to win 84-77 in overtime against Chicago, to the tragic news of the death of Johnie Kirton, who scored the game winning touchdown, the SaberCats this week travel to Milwaukee to face a Mustangs team that has one win in its last seven games.

Here is what to watch for.

Milwaukee, which is Algonquin for the good land
San Jose will try to improve their 3-3 road record in a city they have not seen in eleven years. The last time San Jose was in Milwaukee was May 18, 2001. Darren Arbet was in his 3rd season as head coach while Mark Grieb was playing for the Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL.

John Dutton, who the following year stepped in for Grieb and led the SaberCats to their first ArenaBowl, was behind center.

A young man named James Roe, playing ironman football, scored three touchdowns and returned an interception for another one. Now a broadcaster for the team, Steve Papin had just another day at the office with 163 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.

The SaberCats won that game 69-55, and would go on to a 10-4 record and their second consecutive west division title. Now they all return in somewhat different roles to try and get the same result.

Big Game James
Already the greatest receiver to ever wear the SaberCats logo, James Roe last week passed the legendary Barry Wagner with his 267th career touchdown reception. He was voted as the sixth best wide receiver in AFL history this past week, but in most people minds he should be in the top three.

With the loss of Ben Nelson four weeks ago, James Roe has been the go to guy for Grieb in the endzone as he has scored two or more touchdowns in five of the last seven games. In his eleven seasons, all with San Jose, James has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards six times. He is 325 yards away from 11,000 career receiving yards, which on his current pace, he should pass this season.

San Jose SaberCats defensive coordinator Cedric Walker knows a little about the Milwaukee Mustangs. For the two years previous he was their defensive coordinator and helped them in 2010 to their first division title with an 11-5 record and a trip to the conference title game. The Mustangs would lose to the eventual ArenaBowl champion, Spokane Shock.

Walker has been a major part of the success this season for San Jose, as the defense has stepped up when needed to help win games. Case in point was Vince Hills interception of Russ Michna in overtime to seal the win last Saturday. Walker has to be excited at the opportunity of facing a Mustangs squad led by Gino Guidugli, the 4th rated quarterback in the AFL.

AFL announces SaberCats ownership pulling out of league


AFL announces SaberCats ownership pulling out of league

LAS VEGAS -– Arena Football League Commissioner Scott Butera announced today that, for reasons unrelated to League operations, the owners of the San Jose Sabercats have notified him that they will no longer continue as members of the AFL.

Butera said that the League is working to secure a new long-term owner for the storied franchise, which played its first Arena game in 1995. He also extended the AFL’s deep appreciation to the SaberCats ownership group for all the contributions they have made to Arena Football.

“We have a remarkably loyal fan base in the San Jose area and we are working aggressively to secure new ownership for the franchise as soon as possible,” Butera said. “In the process of rebuilding, there is an evolution that brings change and growth. In the coming months, we will reveal a strategic growth plan for the AFL, including completion of agreements with a number of expansion opportunities.”

AFL media services 

SaberCats return 2012 leading receiver Samora Goodson


SaberCats return 2012 leading receiver Samora Goodson

SAN JOSE -- The SaberCats announced today that they have been assigned 2012s leading wide receiver Samora Goodson on a two-year contract. Goodson had a breakout season last year, his third in San Jose. The Arena Football Leagues free agency period for exclusive negotiations with players from a teams 2012 roster opened on Monday, Oct. 15 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 4.

"Bringing our leading receiver back from a year ago certainly bolsters our receiving corps," OwnerHead Coach Darren Arbet stated regarding the addition. "Samora is a very talented, proven receiver who has exhibited big-play ability at this level.

Goodson (6-3, 205, SE Missouri State) appeared in all 18 games for the SaberCats in 2012, where he led the team in all receiving statistical categories but touchdowns. He caught a career-high 114 passes for 1,471 yards and 27 scores as he paced a deep stable of SaberCats receivers on the way to a 12-6 season and playoff berth. Goodson also proved his worth on special teams, as he recorded 12 total tackles (ten solo) on kickoff coverage.

The Hayward, Calif. native appeared in seven games for San Jose in 2011, after his season was cut short due to injury. He posted 46 receptions for 630 yards and 12 touchdowns in the teams first season back since 2008. Goodson was a member of the SaberCats practice squad in the 2008 regular season and made the postseason roster in a year that saw San Jose fall in ArenaBowl XXII to the Philadelphia Soul. In between these two stints, Goodson played for the San Jose Wolves of the AIFA (Arena Football Indoor Association) in 2010.

Prior to his professional career the Californian played two seasons at Southeast Missouri State, where he tallied 37 receptions for 439 yards and four touchdowns in 22 appearances for the Redhawks. He transferred to Southeast Missouri State from Citrus Community College (Glendora, Calif.), where he earned All-Western State Conference and all-state honors.

Transaction: SaberCats are assigned WR Samora Goodson on a two-year contract.

Courtesy San Jose SaberCats media services