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BLAZE DEFEAT COMMAND, 61-60, ON NFL NETWORK

Posted: Friday June 24, 2011 | Category: Game

Blocked Extra Point Seals Victory for Blaze

SALT LAKE CITY— The Utah Blaze (7-7) defeated the Kansas City Command (5-10), 61-60, in front of 9,270 fans  on Tim Dahle field at EnergySolutionsArena. With the win, Utah remains tied for fourth place in the National Conference and stays in contention for the final playoff spot.

“We had a key stop in the second half and that was the difference in the football game,” said Head Coach Ron James. “You have to play your best football at the end of the year and we pulled through tonight.”

The Blaze came out of the gates hot with QB Tommy Grady (6-7, 245, Utah) connecting with WR Alvance Robinson (5-9, 165, Alabama State) on a 17-yard touchdown strike in the opening minutes. The Command drained the clock in the first quarter with two long five-minute drives, resulting in six points. The Blaze only needed five plays to put two scores on the board and led 13-6 after the first quarter. 

The teams went back and forth in the second quarter, each scoring on their first three possessions. The teams went into the locker rooms tied 33-33 at halftime.

The turning point for the Blaze came when DB Alfred Phillips (5-11, 190, Wagner) intercepted a pass by Kansas City QB Steve Wasil (6-3, 220, Albion) early in the third quarter.  The Blaze took advantage of the games only turnover and got on top of the scoreboard with a two-yard touchdown pass from Grady to WR Aaron Lesue (5-10, 195, Utah State). The Blaze took a 47-40 lead going into the final quarter of play.

The Blaze continued to pour it on in the fourth quarter as Grady connected again with Robinson and Lesue for touchdowns.  The Command were relentless, matching the Blaze score for score to the end.  On Kansas City’s final possession of the game, they converted two fourth-downs including a fourth and six when Wasil hit WR Bret Smith (6-2, 195, Tennessee) in the corner of the end-zone. DL Caesar Rayford (6-7, 265, Washington) blocked the ensuing extra point, sealing the victory for the Blaze. It was Rayford’s fourth blocked kick this season, setting a new team record.

Grady finished the night completing 18-of-26 passes for 257 yards and eight touchdowns. He now has 103 touchdowns on the season and stays on pace to break the AFL’s single season touchdown record. Robinson led the Blaze receivers with nine receptions for 127 yards and five touchdowns. Phillips led the defense with 9.5 total tackles, one interception and tied the team record with four pass break-ups.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Utah WR Alvance Robinson
JLS Ironman of the Game: Utah DB Alfred Phillips
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Utah MLB Michael Lewis
Cutter’s Catch of the Game: Utah WR Ernie Pierce 12-yard pass to OL Jason Boone
Spalding Highlight of the Game: Utah DL Caesar Rayford blocked extra point
National Guard MVP: Utah QB Tommy Grady

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 hits the road next week to face the Chicago Rush on Friday, July 1st, with kickoff slated for 6:30 p.m. (MT). The game will be broadcast live on the Blaze’s flagship station 1280/104.7 The Zone. 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.


Kansas City Command @ Utah Blaze