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Posted: Friday May 27, 2011 | Category: Game

Utah returns home to face Division-leading Arizona

SALT LAKE CITY— The Utah Blaze (5-5) fell to the Iowa Barnstormers (3-7), 50-48, Friday night at Wells Fargo Arena in front of a nationally-televised audience on the NFL Network. The Blaze fall to .500 as they return home to EnergySolutions Arena next week to face the Division-leading Arizona Rattlers (8-2).

Utah notched the first score of the evening on a 16-yard pass from QB Tommy Grady (6-7, 245, Utah) to WR Ernie Pierce (6-4, 209, Kansas State). Iowa answered back with a 31-yard touchdown pass from QB Jesse Schmidt (6-3, 220, Buena Vista) to WR Brad Banks (6-0, 212, Iowa), however, the Barnstormers failed to convert on their extra point attempt. Each of the teams exchanged another pair of touchdowns, but the Barnstormers were unable to stop another connection between Grady and Pierce, giving Utah the advantage, 20-14, as they entered the second quarter of play.

The Barnstormers were able to match the Blaze’s touchdowns in the second quarter, leaving the teams’ tied at halftime, 34-34.

Iowa capitalized on their first possession of the second half on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Schmidt to Banks, but yet again they were unable to convert through the uprights. Blaze set forth their run option and successfully tallied a 4-yard rushing touchdown by FB Ben Stallings (5-11, 263, Delta State). Utah’s defense emerged on the following possession and held the Barnstormers to a field goal. The special teams followed suit with a 58-yard kickoff return by WR Chris Bocage (5-10, 190, USC). The teams entered the final quarter of play with the Blaze on top, 48-43.

The tide turned for the Blaze in the fourth quarter after Iowa forced the Blaze to a field goal. The failed attempt was pre-empted by a valiant defensive front by DL Caesar Rayford (6-7, 245, Washington), who recovered a forced fumble by LB Mike Lewis (6-2, 250, Adrian College). K Andrew Aguila’s  (5-11, 190, Western Michigan) 35-yard field goal attempt fell wide to the left.  Iowa sealed their victory on 29-yard touchdown pass on the following possession from Banks to WR Tommy Ellingworth (5-10, 185, Augustana College).

Grady finished the night completing 22-of-40 passes for 276 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. Pierce led the receiving corp with 10 catches for 163 yards and four touchdowns. LB Devin Johnson (6-3, 240, Utah State) led the defense with 5.0 total tackles.


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 return home to Tim Dahle Field at EnergySolutions Arena next Saturday to take on the division-leading Arizona Rattlers at 7 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

Arizona Rattlers @ Utah Blaze
Saturday at 7:00 pm