(Anaheim) – It was better than last week but it still wasn’t the result that the LA KISS wanted. And the KISS let it be known loud and clear. “We’re not happy at all about the result,” said KISS quarterback JJ Raterink. “I need some guys that can win football games,” said KISS head coach Bob McMillen.
“We say almost, almost…well almost isn’t good enough. We have got to get the job done. Period,” said KISS receiver Samie Parker. The effort may have been better than last week’s abysmal 31-12 loss to Iowa but the outcome was the same as the KISS fell to San Jose 48-32 Saturday night at Honda Center.
Turnovers were again a big part of the KISS’ downfall as they coughed it up three times. Raterink threw two interceptions – both in the second half and Parker fumbled it while trying to get up field after a reception.
“You can’t turn the ball over three times and win. The protection was better tonight but you can’t turn the ball over three times,” said McMillen.
The KISS stayed within striking distance of the Sabercats in the first half trailing 27-18 at the break. The KISS found the end zone three times but all three extra points were missed.
“Our kicker was atrocious. I’ll have seven kickers in here next week for tryouts,” McMillen said.
San Jose scored on its first possession. Russ Michna hit Rod Harper on a three-yard touchdown to cap the drive. The KISS responded on the following series when Joe Mortensen plunged in from a yard out.
The Sabercats marched down and scored on the next drive. Michna connected with Harper again on a three-yard pass.
Donovan Morgan made the play of the game on the next series when he reeled in a one-handed grab on the run off a pass from J.J. Raterink for a 25-yard touchdown.
Michna found Doug Williams on nine-yard score on San Jose’s next possession. A penalty on the Sabercats pushed them back ten yards and the extra point was wide.
Samie Parker slid into the corner of the end zone on a four-yard toss from Raterink on the KISS next series but Harper performed his magic once again. This time he hauled in a Michna TD strike while falling over the wall in the back of the end zone and San Jose went up 27-18 at the break.
Raterink was intercepted on the KISS’ first series of the second half and the Sabercats cashed in with a Michna TD toss to Harper (who else?). This was a 16 yard score and suddenly the Cats had broken it open at 34-18.
The KISS made one last push when Raterink finished a drive with a one-yard run and also bulled his way in on the two point conversion to cut the San Jose lead to 34-26.
But just as quickly as the KISS got close the Cats put it away.
Odie Armstrong busted in from the one for the Cats to open the fourth and the advantage was back to 15.
Raterink was then picked off for the second time when Simeon Castille came down with a pass after it deflected off the down marker. The Sabercats seized the opportunity when Michna found a wide open Rich Ranglin and he rumbled in for the 19-yard score that iced it for San Jose.
The KISS responded one more time when after a long pass from Raterink to Morgan, Parker corralled a three -yard strike from Raterink to make it 48-32.
San Jose then killed the clock. Michna was 26 of 40 for 249 yards and six touchdowns for the Cats. Harper had nine catches for 67 yards and four scores. For LA Raterink threw for 305 yards and three scores but also had two big picks. Donovan Morgan had 10 receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown and Markee White had nine for 111. Parker also had ten catches and a pair of touchdowns but it wasn’t enough.
Next week the KISS takes on the Spokane Shock at home.
“They’re all crucial,” McMillen said about the importance of the game. “I’m not concerned about winning the division, I’m concerned about making the playoffs.”
The KISS fell to 2-4 with the loss while San Jose improved to 4-3.
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