SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Sabercats (1-0) return to SAP Center this Sunday, March 23 at 5:00 p.m. PT for their home opener, where they will battle the Philadelphia Soul (0-1) who came up short against the Arizona Rattlers last Saturday, losing 62-55 in overtime. San Jose came in firing on all cylinders in Week 1 and defeated the Portland Thunder 64-34 Monday night in the Thunder’s inaugural contest.
These two franchises have faced off seven times since 2004. Out of the seven matchups, the SaberCats have taken home three wins while the Soul have taken the other four. In their last meeting in Week 19 of the last season, the Soul traveled to San Jose and took it to the SaberCats, defeating the home team 65-43. Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh threw six touchdown passes, while SaberCats quarterback Russ Michna threw five touchdowns in the loss.
Last Monday, San Jose traveled to Portland and started off the 2014 season with a solid win. Although the ‘Cats did not score first, they caught up quickly with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Michna to new standout wide receiver Reggie Gray. For the remainder of the contest the SaberCats kept a sizeable lead thanks to relentless pressure from the San Jose defense.
Philadelphia started off their season on the road with a tough battle against the Arizona Rattlers, in a 2013 ArenaBowl rematch. The Soul allowed a 34-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds remaining to allow the game to go to overtime.
Arizona would go on to defeat Philadelphia in OT by a final score of 62-55.
This contest will feature two of the Arena Football League’s most consistent quarterbacks. Last week, appearing in only the first half, Michna recorded 12 completions for 166 yards and five touchdown passes. In his first games of the season, Soul quarterback Raudabaugh recorded 22 completions for 226 yards and two touchdown passes with one interception.
The SaberCats are coming off a strong performance from their receiving corps. Reggie Grey recorded six catches for 102 yards and four touchdowns in Portland while fellow wide outs Rod Harper and Jason Willis both recorded two touchdowns.
San Jose has a tough test ahead of them this week, thanks to the work of Soul fullback Derrick Ross. Ross pounded home six touchdown runs in Week 1, tying an AFL single-game record. The League’s all-time leading rusher and Week 1 Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week figures to be a key component of Philadelphia’s high-powered offense again in Week 2.
This matchup features two of the very best defensive backs the AFL has to offer: Philadelphia’s Rayshaun Kizer and San Jose’s Clevan Thomas. Kizer earned Second Team All-Arena honors last season, while Thomas took home First Team honors and the Riddell Defensive Player of the Year award for the third time in his career.
This week’s matchup will be a tough battle between two of the AFL’s most competitive franchises. Even in Week 2, there is plenty at stake for both sides. The San Jose Sabercats take on the Philadelphia Soul at the SAP Center this Sunday, March 23 at 5:00 p.m. PT on the radio at KNBR 1050.