SAN JOSE – In what may be hailed as one of the best games so far in the 2011 Arena Football season, the COMMAND falls short in the final seconds of their Week 2 game, losing to the SaberCats 57 to 60. It came down to a battle of field goals as the clock ran down; San Jose’s Juan Gamboa kicked an 18 yard field goal putting the SaberCats up by 3. With two seconds left on the clock, Mike Salerno’s 50 yard attempt went wide, ending the game.
The team’s ability to move the chains on 4th down conversions kept the pressure on San Jose all night long, with Quarterback JJ Raterink passing for a spectacular 364 yards and 8 touchdowns. Rookie receiver Bret Smith again led the team with 132 yards. Bradly Chavez, filling in for an injured Aaron Hosack, posted 123 yards. Christian Wise pulled off one of the more dramatic touchdown receptions of the game , hanging onto the ball in the end zone despite being plowed into the wall by a SaberCat defender with a brutal hit. Ken Fontenette led KC’s defensive statistics, with 8 tackles and two assists while Carlton Brown was a play-breaker, breaking up 3 of Grieb’s passes.
Initially, San Jose had gotten out to an early 14 point lead and for a while it looked like Kansas City was as outmatched as the Week 2 Coaches Poll had stated. But the team started catching back up on points quickly and as the first half ended, the COMMAND had closed to within a touchdown. In the third quarter, the momentum dramatically shifted to the COMMAND.
Veteran SaberCats Quarterback Mark Grieb pulled off a dramatic fake hand off and ran the ball in himself for a touchdown with 53 seconds left on the clock, bringing the COMMAND’s second half lead to an end, putting the score at 50-57. Kansas City responded with a 35 yard touchdown pass to Bradly Chavez and field goal by Mike Salerno, tying the game with 14 seconds left on the clock. Driving to within sight of the end zone, San Jose completed their field goal attempt, leaving two seconds on the clock. An odd penalty drawn by the SaberCats gave KC a single play after the kick, which allowed for Mike Salerno to attempt a field goal from 50 yards that went wide.
Head Coach of the Kansas City COMMAND, Danton Barto, had this to say: “Even though we didn’t win, I think this shows what this team can do. We went up against a team that the other coaches had ranked at the top of the list, and very nearly beat them.”

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