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SaberCats Clip Talons, 47-42 to Open the 2013 Season

Saturday March 23, 2013

 SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose SaberCats (1-0) opened their 2013 season by knocking off the San Antonio Talons (0-1) on Saturday night at the AlamoDome in front of 8,161 fans. The SaberCats new quarterback Aaron Garcia completed 23-of-36 his passes for 264 yards and five touchdowns. Garcia also continued to improve on his Hall of Fame numbers, throwing for his 1,200th career touchdown, and currently has 1,201. Wide receiver Huey Whittaker also had a monster day, scoring five total touchdowns, four receiving and one on an interception return.

After the teams traded turnovers on their first possessions, San Jose opened the scoring as Garcia found Whittaker in the back of the endzone for a three-yard score to put the SaberCats up 6-0 midway through the first quarter. Defensive back Clevan Thomas then recorded the 51st interception of his career as San Jose shut out San Antonio in the first quarter.

Garcia found Whittaker for the second time on the first play of the second quarter from six-yards out to stretch the SaberCats lead to 13-0. Whittaker struck again midway through the second quarter, this time from the linebacker position, as he intercepted a John Dutton pass and raced 45-yards for the score to put San Jose on top 20-0. The Talons put up their first touchdown of the game late in the half, as Dutton hooked up with Arena Football League veteran Robert Quiroga on a 21-yard strike.

The teams traded touchdowns to start the second half, as Dutton picked out a wide open Jomo Wilson for a 23-yard score and Garcia found Whittaker for the third time, this time from four-yards out. San Jose led 27-14 midway through the third. The Talons fought back and took the lead briefly, as Dutton and Quiroga connected again from four-yards out and then defensive back Fred Shaw returned an interception 54 yards for the touchdown.

San Jose took the lead right back on the next play from scrimmage as Garcia found Whittaker for the 40-yard touchdown to put the SaberCats on top 34-28 early in the fourth quarter. San Antonio wrestled the lead back, as Dutton picked out a well-covered Wilson for a 27-yard touchdown, and the Talons led 35-34. The see-saw affair continued as new SaberCats offensive lineman TJ Watkins took a 17-yard screen pass in for the score, Garcia’s fifth touchdown pass on the night to put San Jose in front 41-35 with a little over nine minutes to play.

A key fourth and goal conversion saw San Antonio take a 42-41 lead, as Dutton picked out a wide open Dwayne Eley, Jr. from seven yards out. SaberCats wide receiver Jamarko Simmons then dove in from one-yard out with just 52 seconds to play to move San Jose into a 47-42 lead. It all came down to a fourth and goal to go for the Talons with just 17 seconds remaining, and the SaberCats defense stood tall, forcing the incompletion to wrap up their first win of the 2013 season.

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
San Jose SaberCats .. 6 14 7 20 47
San Antonio Talons .. 0 7 21 14 42

The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats, are in their 17th Arena Football League season. San Jose opens their 2013 season on the road against the San Antonio Talons on Saturday, March 23. Fans can log on to, call 408-673-3400 and follow the SaberCats on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@SJSaberCats) for all of the latest news and information on the team. Please contact the front office at the above phone number for information on 2013 Season Ticket Packages.