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SaberCats Cast Spell on VooDoo, Defeat New Orleans 57-38

Saturday April 27, 2013

NEW ORLEANS – The San Jose SaberCats (3-2) knocked off the New Orleans VooDoo (1-4) 57-38 in front of 4,357 fans at the Mercedez Benz Superdome on Saturday night. It marked the first Arena Football League game at the Superdome since July 25, 1992, the last season for the now-defunct New Orleans Night. San Jose’s new quarterback Russ Michna debuted impressively, completing 23-35 passes for 312 yards and six touchdowns with just one interception. Wide receivers Huey Whittaker and Jamarko Simmons scored three times each on the night, with Whittaker getting one defensively.

San Jose struck first midway through the first quarter, as Whittaker intercepted a Zack Eskridge pass and returned it ten yards for the opening score. The SaberCats defense played very well in the first quarter, allowing just a field goal and took a 7-3 lead into the second.

Michna threw the first touchdown of his SaberCats career early in the second, as he hooked up with Simmons on a six-yard strike. VooDoo wide receiver Quorey Payne brought the ensuing kickoff back 57-yards for the score to trim the San Jose lead to 14-9. New Orleans’ defense made the next big play, stopping a wide receiver screen attempt in San Jose’s endzone, as defensive back Demarcus Robinson made the tackle on Fred Williams, bringing the score to 14-11.

After the VooDoo took their first lead of the game, Michna bounced back from an interception to find Simmons on a 47-yard touchdown strike, their second connection on the evening, as San Jose took a 21-17 advantage late in the first half. Following a successful onside kick recovery, the SaberCats extended their lead to 28-17 at the half when Michna picked out Whittaker for a ten-yard score as time expired.

San Jose picked up right where they left off as Michna hit Williams for a 45-yard score, and following a safety on the VooDoo’s next drive, the SaberCats were in control early in the third quarter, 37-17. New Orleans then pulled a score back, as Eskridge scored on a quarterback keeper from a yard out to cut the San Jose advantage to 37-24. San Jose responded with another long touchdown pass as Michna and Whittaker connected from 35-yards out, pushing the lead to 43-24 late in the third quarter.

The SaberCats extended their lead to 50-24 early in the fourth, as Simmons scored from the wildcat formation on a one-yard score on fourth down, his third score of the night. New Orleans pulled a bit closer as backup quarterback Bill Stull scored from a yard out on the ground, bringing the score to 50-31 in favor of San Jose. Michna finished off his SaberCats debut, firing a bullet to Williams for an 11-yard touchdown, pushing the score to 57-31 with just over a minute to play in the fourth. New Orleans added a late touchdown to bring the final score to 57-38.

The SaberCats left New Orleans with their third win of the season and return home in Week 7 to face the Cleveland Gladiators, who fell tonight to the Utah Blaze. That game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT from the HP Pavilion and will be broadcast live on KNBR 1050.

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
San Jose SaberCats .. 7 21 15 14 57
New Orleans VooDoo .. 3 14 7 14 38

The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats, are in their 17th Arena Football League season. 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.