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BLAZE PICK-UP CRUCIAL DIVISIONAL WIN, 76-68

Posted: Sunday May 22, 2011 | Category: Game

Utah Moves into Second Place in Division

SALT LAKE CITY— The Utah Blaze (5-4) defeated the San Jose SaberCats (5-5), 76-68, in front of 8,815 fans on Tim Dahle field at EnergySolutions Arena. The win moves the Blaze into second place in the Western division behind the Arizona Rattlers (8-2).

“This was a game we needed to win,” said Head Coach Ron James. “We’ve talked about it all year how we need to take advantage of our home field advantage and we did just that. Now we have to keep it rolling next week at Iowa.”

The Blaze opened the game by scoring on a ten yard pass from QB Tommy Grady (6-7, 245, Utah) to WR Ernie Pierce (6-3, 215, Kansas). The SaberCats responded one play later with a touchdown of their own on a 13-yard pass from QB Mark Grieb (6-2, 200, UC Davis) to WR Ben Nelson (6-3, 190, St. Cloud State). The Blaze notched two more touchdowns, connecting with WR Chris Bocage (5-10, 190, Southern California) and WR Alvance Robinson (5-9, 165, Alabama St.). The defense held the SaberCats to just one score, a four-yard rushing touchdown by FB Chad Cook (6-1, 263, Murray State), giving the Blaze a 21-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.

San Jose started the second quarter with another Cook rushing touchdown, tying the game at 21. Each of the team’s went on to score an additional two touchdowns before entering the locker room tied at halftime, 35-35.

The third quarter went back and forth with each offense scoring on every possession. The Blaze began to ignite after Brocage returned the kick for a touchdown, but San Jose ended the quarter on top, 55-49.

Utah opened the fourth quarter with another touchdown pass from Grady to Pierce, regaining the lead, 56-55. On the ensuing drive, the Blaze forced a key turnover on downs and took advantage with a three yard touchdown pass from Grady to OL Jason Boone (6-4, 300, Utah), extending their lead to seven. Each of the team’s exchanged another pair of touchdowns, but the Blaze clinched the lead after DL Caesar Rayford (6-7, 265, Washington) blocked the SaberCats extra point attempt. The blocked extra point gave the Blaze a one point lead with only 28 seconds remaining. On the ensuing drive, Grady closed that gap and rushed for an eight yard touchdown and the Blaze held on for a 76-68 win.

Grady finished the night completing 23-of-32 passes for nine touchdowns, and one rushing touchdown. Pierce led the Blaze receivers with 10 catches for 136 yards and three touchdowns. DB Brandon Taylor (5-11, 195, New Hampshire) led the defense with 9.5 total tackles, one interception and 0.5 sack.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Utah QB Tommy Grady
JLS Ironman of the Game: Utah WR Chris Bocage
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Utah WR Brandon Taylor
Nifty Playmaker: DL Caesar Rayford
Cutter’s Catch of the Game: OL Jason Boone one handed touchdown catch to take lead with 1:22 remaining in the game
Spalding Highlight of the Game: WR Chris Bocage 56-yard kick return for a touchdown
National Guard MVP: Utah WR Ernie Pierce

ABOUT THE BLAZE

The Utah Blaze enter their fifth season in the Arena Football League in 2011and boast one of the top offenses in the AFL. The Blaze hit the road after a 76-68 victory over the San Jose SaberCats and prepare to take on the Iowa Barnstormers on Friday, May 27th, 2011 with kickoff at 6 p.m. (MT) on the NFL Network. The Blaze are proud to be under new ownership and making notable strides in providing fans with a premier Arena Football experience. Make sure to follow the Blaze on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on the team. 2011 Blaze Season Tickets are on SALE NOW! Call 888-99BLAZE to reserve your seat in the action or information can be found at www.utblaze.com.


Utah Blaze vs San Jose Sabercats
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