SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah opened a three-game home stand on Friday as they hosted the defending Arena Football League champion Arizona Rattlers at EnergySolutions Arena.
After thumping the Pittsburgh Power in their season opener, the Blaze hoped to continue their early season momentum in a rematch of last year's National Conference Championship where Arizona scored in the game's final seconds, ending Utah's season with a heartbreaking 75-69 loss.
Turns out hoping wasn't quite enough as the Rattlers rolled over the Blaze 77-49, handing Utah the season's first loss.
"Our offense was just not in sync," Utah team owner and coach Ron James said. "It's a rhythm based-offense and that's arena football and we were not running at a high tempo and producing any rhythm on the offensive side."
Utah's task was all the more challenging as MVP quarterback Tommy Grady was without his favorite target, wide receiver Aaron Lesue who's out with a hamstring injury. Adding to the already palatable tension between the two teams was the fact that wide receiver Tysson Poots, who caught 30 touchdowns in orange and black last season, signed with the Rattlers in the offseason and started across from his former teammates on Friday.
Things were tough for Grady early on as he sported tape on his throwing hand and started the evening with a pair of picks on Utah's first two drives putting the Blaze in 13-0 hole.
Arizona's defense held Utah at bay through the first quarter but momentum shifted with six minutes in the half as Utah DB Maurice Leggett picked off Davila and took the ball to the Arizona 15 yard line.
Grady punched it in three plays later with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Chase Deadder giving the Blaze their first lead of the game at 21-20.
The team's traded blows through the rest of the half with Arizona getting the better of the Blaze taking a 33-28 lead into the locker room on an 8-yard pass to Poots.
The ex-Blaze receiver proved a thorn in Utah's side throughout the night, lighting up the secondary for 92 yards and four touchdowns on eight catches.
"There was so much emotion in this game for me," Poots said of being back in Salt Lake City. "It's a great experience and a great atmosphere to come back here and perform and compete against each other."
Davila picked apart a Blaze secondary that held Pittsburgh to 164 passing yards a week ago. With Utah's pass rush virtually non-existent, Davila ended the night with 285 yards and seven TDs on a 21-of-30 performance.
Penalties didn't help Utah's cause either as the Blaze racked up 50 yards on 11 infractions.
"Any time you add penalties to the equation you're asking to not be able to come back when you've got a deficit," James said.
Things didn't get better to start the second half as Grady threw his third interception of the night on the first play from scrimmage to Arizona DB Virgil Gray who returned it for six points putting the Rattlers up 40-28.
Grady finished the night a paltry 19-of-37 for 195 yards. and four scores, leaving the game in the beginning of the fourth quarter after throwing five interceptions.
"The issue really is that Arizona disrupts timing, we were a little off, and they made us pay," James said.
Mario Urrutia stepped up for Utah for the second week logging a game-high 172 yards on 11 catches with three scores.
Backup QB Jason Boltus took over for Grady in the final 15 minutes and tossed three touchdowns on 144 yards.