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SaberCats take first meeting KISS 48-32

Sunday April 27, 2014

 SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose SaberCats (4-3) defeated the Los Angeles KISS (2-4) 48-32 at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday night in front of 10,569 fans. Quarterback Russ Michna was his usual efficient self, finishing the night 26-of-40 for 249 yards with six touchdowns to one interception. His main target was wide receiver Rod Harper, who tallied nine catches for 67 yards and four scores.

Opening the night with the ball, San Jose wasted little time getting on the board. After a screen pass to offensive lineman Rich Ranglin, Michna spotted Harper cutting across the back of the end zone for a three-yard touchdown completion. LA would respond on their first possession, as fullback Joe Mortensen reached the end zone on a one-yard rush. However, a missed extra point kept the SaberCats in the lead at 7-6.

Starting the second quarter, the SaberCats converted a fourth down attempt as Michna once again found Harper in the end zone for the score, extending the lead to 14-6. The KISS would answer right back, as quarterback JJ Raterink connected with wide receiver Donovan Morgan for a one-handed touchdown catch from 25-yards out. However, a second missed extra point from LA kicker Kenny Spencer kept the score at 14-12 San Jose. Michna would get those points right back, as he connected with wide receiver Doug Williams from nine-yards out, but a missed point after kept the San Jose lead at 20-12. On the ensuing possession, Raterink connected with wide receiver Sammie Parker for the four-yard touchdown, but a third straight missed extra point kept the SaberCats lead at two points. Executing after the one-minute warning, Michna connected with Harper for a third time, this one from 15-yards out as Harper went up and over the wall behind the end zone for the score.

The KISS opened the second half with the football, but quickly turned it over, as Raterink was intercepted by defensive back Clevan Thomas. Making the turnover count, Michna connected with Harper for the fourth time, this time from 16-yards out, to extend the lead to 34-18 early in the third quarter. On the next two offensive plays, Thomas recovered a fumble for the SaberCats, but Michna gave it right back as he was intercepted by KISS defensive back Andre Jones. On the ensuing possession, Raterink snuck into the end zone on fourth down, and added a run for the two-point conversion, to trim the San Jose lead to 34-26.

Early in the fourth quarter SaberCats fullback Odie Armstrong found pay dirt to extend the SaberCats lead to 15 points. On the next KISS possession, Raterink’s pass was deflected, bounced off the first down marker and intercepted by defensive back Simeon Castille. However, San Jose’s offense wouldn’t take advantage, as they turned the ball over on downs. On the ensuing drive, LA’s offense would also stall, as San Jose defensive back Kenny Okoro recorded a tackle for loss and two pass break ups on third and fourth down in the end zone to give the ball back to the SaberCats offense. After marching down the field, Michna connected with Ranglin for a 19-yard screen pass, extending the San Jose lead to 48-26. LA would quickly respond, as a long pass to Morgan set up a short touchdown pass to Parker, but the two-point conversion was broken up, keeping the score 48-32. After recovering a KISS onside attempt, San Jose ran out the clock to secure the 48-32 victory.

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
San Jose SaberCats 7 20 7 14 48
Los Angeles KISS 6 12 8 6 32

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: SJ WR Rod Harper
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: SJ DB Clevan Thomas
JLS Ironman: SJ QB Russ Michna
Cutters Catch of the Game: LA WR Donovan Morgan one-handed touchdown reception
AFL Highlight of the Game: LA WR Donovan Morgan one-handed touchdown reception

ABOUT THE SAN JOSE SABERCATS
The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats, are in their 18th season in the Arena Football League. Fans and sponsors can go to thesanjosesabercats.com or call 408-673-3400 to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the SaberCats. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on the team.