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Posted: Thursday March 31, 2011 | Category: Game


Grady and Boone make history in win


SALT LAKE CITY— The Utah Blaze (2-1) blew out the Dallas Vigilantes (2-1), 69-40, in front of 7,163 on Tim Dahle field at EnergySolutions Arena. QB Tommy Grady (6-7, 245, Utah) and WR Aaron Boone (6-3, 215, Kentucky) both made team history in the team’s second home victory of the season.

“I thought our defense was great tonight, that’s what made the difference,” said Head Coach Ron James. “I told our guys at halftime that if they came up with one more turnover we would put this game away, and they came through. This is a great confidence builder as we head into San Jose next week.”

The Blaze were first to put points on the board with a five-yard toss from Grady to WR Ernie Pierce (6-3, 215, Kansas). Dallas responded with a strong drive of their own, ending in an eight-yard touchdown pass from QB Dan Raughbaugh (5-10, 175, Miami) to WR Tiger Jones (5-11, 195 Louisville). The quarter ended with the teams tied, 7-7.

The Blaze started the second quarter with a one-yard rushing touchdown from FB Ben Stallings (5-11, 263, Delta State) to capture the lead. The teams traded touchdowns, keeping the game within one possession until the final minutes of the half.  With 48 seconds left, Blaze DL Devon Hicks (6-1, 275, NWMississippi) forced and recovered a fumble, giving the Blaze one last opportunity to extend their lead. Grady converted on a 13-yard touchdown pass to WR Alvance Robinson (5-9, 165, Alabama State), extending the lead to 14 as the teams entered the locker room, 34-20.

Dallas opened the second half with a one-yard rushing touchdown by FB Derrick Ross (6-3, 204, Tarleon State), but missed the extra point. Utah finished the quarter by scoring three unanswered touchdowns, putting the game out of reach.

At the end of the third quarter Grady hit WR Aaron Boone (6-3, 215, Kentucky) for a 35 yard touchdown pass, giving Grady over 300 passing yards for the game, making him the first Blaze QB to have three straight games with 300 yards or more since 2007.

The fourth quarter began with a 29 point lead for the Blaze, which was the final difference in the game, giving the Blaze their second victory of the season at home.

Boone finished the game with 13 receptions for 226 yards and two touchdowns. His 226 receiving yards are the second most for a single-game in team history, earning him Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game.

DB Al Phillips (5-11, 190, Wagner) earned Riddell Defensive Player of the game honors for tallying 1.5 total tackles, one fumble recovery and one interception. DB Labrose Hedgemon (5-10, 185, Jackson State) led the team with 5.5 total tackles, one forced fumble and one interception.

JLS Ironman of the Game: Utah WR Alvance Robinson
Nifty Playmaker: Utah DB Al Phillips
Cutter’s Catch of the Game: WR Ernie Pierce’s TD catch in the first quarter
Spalding Highlight of the Game: WR Aaron Boone’s diving TD reception (5:29 remaining, 3rd quarter)


The Utah Blaze enter their fifth season in the Arena Football League in 2011 and were recipients of the Best Support Staff Award for the 2006 and 2007 seasons as recognized by the League office. The Blaze hit the road next week to take on the division-foe San Jose SaberCats in their first matchup of the season on Friday, April 8th, 2011. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. (MT). 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

Utah Blaze vs San Jose Sabercats
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