SAN ANTONIO -- The Arena Football game is all about how a team closes out the halves.
And the Utah Blaze showed their first-game jitters in a 54-48 loss to the San Antonio Talons on Saturday afternoon at the Alamodome.
The Talons, playing in their first season in the AFL, scored the go-ahead touchdown with 53 seconds to play when reigning ArenaBowl champion quarterback Aaron Garcia connected with Jomo Wilson on the 34-yard score. But the Talons missed the PAT.
Utah's final drive stalled without netting any points.
"We had an opportunity to win the game. We were up eight late in the game. We were late on a throw to take the lead on our final drive. We just didn't get it done," Blaze coach Ron James said.
Garcia passed for 341 yards with 8 touchdowns and just one interception.
Utah's Tommy Grady had 331 yards through the air, finishing with 6 touchdowns and two interceptions. Aaron Lesue caught 9 passes for 82 yards and four touchdowns.
"This game is predicated on how you finish the half, both of them. We didn't do a very good job in the first half," James said.
"Now we have to get back in an offensive groove for next week's game."
The Blaze play on the road again next week, against the Iowa Barnstormers on Saturday night.