ARBET LEADS SAN JOSE TO ARENABOWL TITLE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Former Sacramento State football player Darren Arbet became just the second coach in Arena Football League history to win three championships as he led the San Jose SaberCats to a 55-33 win over the Columbus Destroyers in ArenaBowl XXI, Sunday afternoon in New Orleans.
The convincing win was the third for San Jose since 2002 (the team also won the title in 2004). Arbet, who is now 3-0 in ArenaBowl games, joined Tim Marcum as the only to coaches to win three titles.
The SaberCats posted a 13-3 regular season record and earned the American Conference’s top seed and first-round bye. The team then defeated Colorado and Chicago to earn a trip to the ArenaBowl.
Arbet, who just finished his ninth season as San Jose’s head coach, earned his 100th career victory earlier in the year. He currently is the fifth winningest coach in AFL history with 108 wins while his near .700 winning percentage is third. The SaberCats have posted eight consecutive winning seasons and have advanced to the playoffs each of those seasons.
The Stockton, Calif., native played on the defensive line for the Hornets from 1981-85. After earning his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and playing professionally, Arbet returned to the Hornets in 1990 and served as an assistant coach for three years. He joined the AFL ranks as an assistant with Albany in 1994 before moving to San Jose the following seasons as the defensive assistant and special teams coach.
Arbet has returned to Hornet Stadium during the last two seasons, serving as the sideline announcer for Sacramento State’s football radio broadcasts.
Other Football Notes:
• Offensive lineman Marko Cavka is back in the NFL after resigning with the New York Jets. Cavka was a sixth-round selection by the Jets in 2004 but did not play in a regular season game. He spent this past offseason with the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europa.
• While the AFL season came to a close on Sunday, AFL2 is still going strong. Former Hornets Jason Barnes and Tyson Butler have helped lead the Central Valley Coyotes to the AFL2 playoffs. Barnes leads the team with 119 receptions for 1.477 yards and 40 touchdowns. His 242 points rank sixth in AFL2 entering this week. Butler joined the squad in early July and has already made an impact in his first four games. The linebacker has already tallied 3.5 sacks and 14.5 total tackles (6 solo, 17 assists).
• Fred Otis Amey concluded his first year with the Austin Wranglers of the AFL. Amey ranked second on the team in receiving yards (1,035), rushing yards (51), and touchdowns (28).
• Eddie Canonico began the year with the Las Vegas Gladiators but was traded midyear to the LA Avengers. Canonico finished the season with 101 total tackles to lead the team and rank sixth in the AFL.
• AFL veteran Aaron Garcia wrapped up his 12th season. Garcia began the year on the injured list while still recovering from a broken leg suffered in 2006. Once healthy, he twice was named AFL Offensive Player of the Week and finished the year with 45 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
• Despite not playing during the year, Brandon Smith earned his first AFL championship as a member of the SaberCars. Smith spent the entire season on the injured list after being signed by San Jose prior to the start of the year.
• Ricky Ray currently leads the CFL in completions (131) and passing touchdowns (9) and is also second in passing yards (1,440). Edmonton is currently 2-2-1.
• Charles Roberts’ quest to add another CFL rushing title to his resume is off to a good start. Roberts is second in the league with 414 yards and leads the league with five rushing touchdowns. Joe Smith of B.C. is just 19 yards ahead of Roberts through five games of the 18-game slate.