The Official Site of the Utah Blaze


Posted: Sunday June 19, 2011 | Category: Game


Team Remains in Position for Playoffs

SALT LAKE CITY— The Utah Blaze (6-7) defeated the Pittsburgh Power (7-6), 81-40, in front of 9,096 on Tim Dahle field at EnergySolutions Arena. The 41-point victory ties the largest margin of victory in Blaze history. With the win, Utah remains tied for fourth place in the National Conference and stays in contention for the final playoff spot.

“We were fighting for our lives out there,” said Head Coach Ron James. “I told the team that if they had any desire to play in the playoffs then they would have to bring the intensity against Pittsburgh. The guys rallied around the idea of being a team this week and that showed tonight. The defense was incredible and the offense supported them with points.”

The Blaze defense made their presence felt early as they forced two fumbles by Pittsburgh QB Kevin McCabe (6-2, 220, Cal PA). The first came as DL Khreem Smith (6-4, 275, Oklahoma State) and DL Caesar Rayford (6-7, 265, Washington) sacked McCabe in the backfield. The fumble was recovered by TJ Raymond (6-3, 348, Northeastern State) and led to a touchdown pass from Blaze QB Tommy Grady (6-7, 245, Utah) to WR Alvance Robinson (5-9, 165, Alabama State).  The second fumble came on another sack, this time by LB Michael Lewis (6-3, 250, Adrian College). The fumble was recovered by DB Brandon Taylor (5-11, 195, New Hampshire) and returned for a touchdown. The quarter ended with the Blaze leading, 21-13.

Both teams stayed hot in the second quarter, scoring on every possession. On the final drive of the first half, Grady threw a touchdown pass to WR Aaron Lesue (5-10, 195, Utah State) from the one-yard line to extend their lead to 41-27 at half.

Utah’s defense continued to show its toughness in the third quarter, holding the Power scoreless. The defense forced three turnovers and the offense scored three touchdowns in the quarter, making the score 60-27 entering the final quarter of play.

The Blaze continued to pour it on in the fourth quarter, scoring on three touchdown passes to Lesue. Pittsburgh managed to get on the board in the second half on two touchdown passes by QB Chris Wallace (6-1, 240, Toledo) to WR Jerome Mathis (5-11, 185, Hampton) and WR Jason Willis (6-1, 200, Oregon).

Grady finished the night completing 31-of-39 passes for 313 yards and ten touchdowns. He now has 95 touchdowns on the season and stays on pace to break the AFL’s single season touchdown record. Lesue led the Blaze receivers with 11 receptions for 97 yards and five touchdowns.  Alfred Phillips (5-11, 190, Wagner) led the defense with 9.0 total tackles.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Utah QB Tommy Grady

JLS Ironman of the Game: Utah WR Aaron Lesue

Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Utah DB Alfred Phillips

Cutter’s Catch of the Game: Utah WR Alvance Robinson’s one-handed catch against the boards

Spalding Highlight of the Game: Utah WR Aaron Lesue leaping over a defender after a reception

National Guard MVP: Utah QB Tommy Grady


Kansas City Command @ Utah Blaze