SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah State alumnus Aaron Lesue's four touchdowns and 125 yards on 15 catches propelled the Utah Blaze to a 60-59 thriller over the San Jose SaberCats at Energy Solutions Arena on Saturday night.
Utah quarterback Tommy Grady threw for 339 yards and seven touchdowns as the Blaze went 7-of-8 within the red zone for a big home opening win.
During last week's 69-49 win over the Iowa Barnstormers the Blaze set an Arena Football League record for sacks in a game with 10, causing six turnovers in the process.
On Saturday night it was on the shoulders of the defense again as San Jose came into the game leading the league in total offense (432.0 yards-per-game), passing offense (432.0 yards-per-game) and was behind only Philadelphia in scoring offense (71 yards-per-game). Utah's defense held San Jose quarterback Mark Grieb to 246 yard and five touchdowns on 22-of-29 passing, picking off the 12-year AFL veteran twice.
Grady -- a former University of Utah quarterback -- and the rest of the Blaze exploited a San Jose defense that allowed 386 yards while squeaking out a 71-70 win over Arizona last weekend.
Utah jumped out to an early lead after Carlton Brown's interception set up a six-yard touchdown pass from Grady to Alvance Robinson.
Robinson ended the night with 165 yards on 12 catches scoring three times.
San Jose retaliated when Grieb hit Ben Nelson for a two-yard score but a missed extra point attempt from Jacob Harfman preserved Utah's lead.
Nelson logged three touchdowns and 70 yards on six catches for the SaberCats.
Grieb hooked up with Nelson again just before the half and cut Utah's lead to 34-26 going into the break.
After both teams scored early in the second half, San Jose pulled within one as Grieb found wide-receiver Huey Whittaker whose acrobatic catch in the end zone made it 41-40.
Moments later San Jose nabbed their first lead of the night when defensive lineman Gabe Nyenhuis picked off Grady near the line of scrimmage and rumbled in from nine yards out to make it 46-41.
Penalties hurt the Blaze throughout the night as Utah racked up 89 yards on 13 infractions including a big kick return called back late in the fourth quarter.
Down six with 56 second remaining Grady once again found Lesue just inside the end zone from six yards out, but a blocked extra point left the game tied at 53.
After an unsuccessful onside kick attempt, San Jose's took over in the red zone and ended the drive as Tommy Taggart punched it in from a yard out making it 59-53 after a missed extra point.
Grady and the Blaze took over with 35 seconds left and hit Robinson with a 31-yard pass that put the Blaze within the San Jose 10 on the drive's first play.
Robinson scored on the next play, somehow getting behind the SaberCat secondary for Grady's pass. Kyle Brozman's kick made it 60-59 with 9 seconds left.
Grieb found a man with his first pass and set up a 38-yard game-winning field goal attempt for San Jose's Harfman.
Harfman missed wide right and ESA erupted as Utah moved to 2-1 ahead of hosting the New Orleans Voodoo (0-2) next Saturday.