Sabercats take first place with 68-49 win over Blaze

Sabercats take first place with 68-49 win over Blaze



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SAN JOSE - The San Jose SaberCats (5-3) forced five turnovers and recorded four sacks as they grabbed first place in the Western Division with Saturday's 69-48 victory over the Utah Blaze (5-4) in front of 12,967 fans at the HP Pavilion.

"The bottom line is that we didn't execute," said Blaze head coach/general manager DANNY WHITE. "Combined with the fact that we weren't getting the calls, it made for a long night. But, at the end of the day, it goes back to making plays and we didn't do that tonight."

San Jose WR BEN NELSON, who was named Offensive Player of the Game, finished with 11 receptions for 117 yards and three touchdowns. FB/LB PHIL GLOVER was named the ADT Defensive Player of the Game by recording 8.0 total tackles, forcing two fumbles, recovering a fumble and tallying two sacks. The Ironman of the Game was WR JASON GEATHERS, who recorded seven receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown on offense and two total tackles on defense.

The SaberCats got things started when KR TRESTIN GEORGE returned the opening kickoff 56 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. The Blaze first possession ended with a JOE GERMAINE fumble and the SaberCats took advantage when QB MARK GRIEB hit Nelson on a 20-yard pass play for a 14-0 lead.

Trailing 28-7 in the second quarter, Germaine found SIAHA BURLEY and TOM PACE on three consecutive touchdowns to pull back to a 28-27 score, but San Jose scored on the final play of the half to give the SaberCats the 35-27 halftime lead.

San Jose went on to outscore Utah 13-7 in the third quarter and 21-14 in the fourth to seal the victory and gain sole possession of first place in the Western Division.

The bright spot for the Blaze was the defense as they recorded four stops, which included two forced fumbles. DL GARRETT SMITH lead the way with 1.5 total tackles, one sack, a fumble recovery and a blocked field goal.

Germaine finished by completing 28-of-42 passes for 356 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception. Burley finished with 13 receptions for 190 yards and four touchdowns, while Pace had 13 receptions for 146 yards and three touchdowns.

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