Power Fall to San Jose SaberCats 68-54
Sunday June 9, 2013
SAN JOSE, CA (June 8, 2013) - The backup quarterbacks took center stage as the Pittsburgh Power (3-8) fell to the San Jose SaberCats (8-3), 68-54, in front of 8,263 fans at HP Pavilion on Saturday night. The SaberCats scored two touchdowns in the final 30 seconds of the game to seal the victory.
Both teams exploded offensively in the 1st half, with touchdowns resulting on all but one drive. San Jose started the scoring spree, with a 6-yard rushing touchdown from defensive lineman Jabar Fletcher. Pittsburgh’s Derek Cassidy got the starting nod tonight, as Steven Sheffield was out due to a family emergency. Cassidy rose to the occasion, throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for one in the half. Two of those touchdown passes went to Mike Washington, who had six receptions in the half. San Jose’s Mitch Mustain threw three touchdowns of his own, filling in for the injured Russ Michna, and the SaberCats took a 33-28 lead into the locker room.
After stopping the Power on the last drive of the 2nd quarter, San Jose stopped them again on the first drive of the 3rd. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, they were unable to stop the SaberCats, as Fletcher ran in his third touchdown of the game. The teams traded touchdowns the remainder of the 3rd quarter, including one to spirited Power offensive lineman Jason Thomas, but it was San Jose who held the lead at the end of the 3rd quarter, 47-41.
Mustain started the 4th quarter off with a score, hitting J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game Fred Williams with a 9-yard touchdown pass to extend the SaberCat lead 54-41. On the ensuing drive, the SaberCats stopped the Power for a third time. Three plays into the next drive, Pittsburgh’s Willie McGinnis forced a fumble, which was recovered by Chris LeFlore. The Power were able to capitalize on the recovery, scoring on a 14-yard pass from Cassidy to Julian Talley. At that point, San Jose led, 54-48. Mustain and the SaberCats started on offense again, only to be intercepted by Sergio Gilliam, who ran the interception back 46 yards for a touchdown to tie the game, 54-54, which was the AFL Highlight of the Game. Julian Rausch missed the extra point, and that would be the closest Pittsburgh would get, as San Jose would go on to score the final two touchdowns of the game. The first came on a 6-yard pass to former Power wide receiver Jason Willis with 12 seconds left, and the second was a 5-yard interception return by Huey Whittaker, the Riddell Defensive Player of the Game, to seal the game at the 6-second mark. San Jose triumphed, 68-54.
Cassidy ended his night throwing for 6 touchdowns and 261 yards. He also rushed for 1 touchdown, tying Steven Sheffield for 7 total scores in a game this season. Washington, who earned Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game honors, finished the game with 3 touchdowns and 109 yards. Pittsburgh defensive back Chris LeFlore also recorded his 100th career tackle with the Power.
Mustain would finish with 250 yards and 6 touchdowns. Williams ended the game with three touchdowns and 86 yards.
The Power return home to CONSOL Energy Center next Saturday, June 15 against the division-leading Philadelphia Soul (6-5) at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on both thisTV Pittsburgh and TribLIVE Radio SportsTalk.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Pittsburgh’s Mike Washington
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
San Jose’s Huey Whittaker
J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME
San Jose’s Fred Williams
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME
San Jose’s Fred Williams’ 35-yard touchdown catch in 3rd Quarter
AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
Pittsburgh’s Sergio Gilliam’s 46-yard interception return for a touchdown with under one minute to play in 4th Quarter to tie the game.