SaberCats Stifle KISS, Win 63-35
Sunday June 8, 2014
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose SaberCats (8-4) took down the LA KISS (2-10), 63-35, Saturday night at the SAP Center in front of 8,637 fans. Rookie quarterback Nathan Stanley completed 25-of-37 passes for 280 yards, with seven touchdowns and one interception. The defense shut the door as legendary defensive back Clevan Thomas and linebacker Simeon Castille each had two interceptions in the win.
The SaberCats offense got on the board early, as Stanley connected with wide receiver Jason Willis on a six-yard out pattern to put San Jose up 7-0. After a big return from AJ Cruz, quarterback Aaron Garcia found offensive lineman Julius Wilson on a quick screen pass to tie the game at seven all. San Jose would answer right back, as Stanley lofted a touch pass over the linebacker to wide receiver Dominique Curry for a 15-yard hook up, putting the SaberCats back up 14-7. Looking to even the score, the KISS turned the ball over on downs inside the San Jose 15-yard line late in the first quarter.
Opening up the second quarter, Stanley once again connected with Curry for a touchdown, this time for 13-yards, to extend the SaberCats lead to 21-7. The lead would be reduced back down to seven, as Garcia found a streaking wide receiver, Donovan Morgan, for a 39-yard touchdown. After a long, penalty-filled drive, Stanley connected with Willis for a 31-yard pitch and catch, putting San Jose back up by 14. Inside the one-minute warning, Garcia couldn’t take advantage of a failed SaberCats onside kick attempt and the KISS offense turned the ball over on downs once again. Looking to end the half with another score, Stanley artfully drove the San Jose offense down the field and hit wide receiver Reggie Gray for a ten-yard score with just ten seconds left in the half to put the SaberCats up 35-14. Throwing up one last heave, Garcia was intercepted by Thomas, the 72nd of career.
Looking to cut into the San Jose lead, Garcia opened up the third quarter with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Morgan to close the gap to 14 points. Trying to answer back, Stanley’s attempted deep pass to Willis was picked off by defensive back Roderick Cohn and returned near midfield. Using the short field to his advantage, Garcia once again found Morgan for a 27-yard connection, bringing LA within seven. San Jose would get back on the board, thanks to a three-yard rumble from fullback JJ Payne, putting the SaberCats up 14 at 42-28.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Garcia was picked off by Thomas for the second time on the evening. Making good on the extra possession, Stanley found a wide open Gray for a 21-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 21 points. After recovering the LA onside kick attempt, the SaberCats would fumble the ball at their KISS one-yard line. However, their drive quickly ended when Castille picked off an errant Garcia pass. Stanley wasted little time capitalizing, finding Curry who carried several defenders into the end zone with him for the 16-yard touchdown catch and run. The score put the SaberCats up 56-35. On LA’s next play, Castille did it again, picking off Garcia and this time taking it in himself for the touchdown, giving San Jose the 63-35 lead. The KISS could not get anything going on their final possession, running out the clock and sealing the SaberCats victory.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
LA KISS 7 7 14 7 35
San Jose SaberCats 14 21 7 21 63
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: SJ QB Nathan Stanley
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: SJ DB Clevan Thomas
JLS Playmaker of the Game: LA WR Donovan Morgan
Cutters Catch of the Game: 4th Quarter 21-yard TD pass Stanley to Gray
AFL Highlight of the Game: Thomas Interception at end of 2nd Quarter.
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