The Utah Blaze take a rare trip east in Week 17, traveling to play the Philadelphia Soul tonight in AFL football action.
Philadelphia (10-5) is riding a five game winning streak after earning a 58-26 victory over the Chicago Rush last weekend. The Soul already clinched the East Division for the second-straight season.
Utah (5-10) will be looking to bounce back following a 63-49 loss to the New Orleans VooDoo in Week 16.
The Soul possess a balanced offensive attack and rank fourth in the AFL in total offense (306.3 ypg) as well as third in scoring offense (59.3 ppg). Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh holds the highest passer efficiency rating in the League (126.7) and has thrown for 4,057 yards with 81 touchdowns and nine interceptions this season while completing 69.1 percent of his attempts.
Raudabaugh's go-to receiver is 2012 All-Arena performer Tiger Jones, who has hauled in 131 passes for 1,942 yards and 33 scores in 2013.
In its backfield, Philadelphia employs the most productive rusher in Arena Football League history in fullback Derrick Ross. Ross owns the all-time AFL rushing record with 1,718 yards on the ground over his three-year career. The 2012 All-Arena choice has gained 451 yards with 30 touchdowns this season.
In the secondary, rookie defensive back Maurice Leggett ranks sixth in the AFL with a total of 26 passes defended. Leggett has registered 21 pass breakups and five interceptions, gaining 81 yards with one touchdown on returns. Alongside Leggett is veteran David Hyland, who leads the team in both tackles and interceptions. Quarterback Jason Boltus will be making the fifth start of his career this weekend and has thrown for 1,417 yards with 31 touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 62.9 percent of his attempts. His favorite target is Mario Urrutia, who ranks fourth in the AFL in receptions (129) as well as fifth in receiving yards (1,535) and touchdowns (34).
Rookie DeJay Lester emerged last week against New Orleans, coming up with four receptions for 104 yards and two scores.
Boltus will face the League's top-ranked scoring defense, as the Soul have allowed only 47.7 points per game. Two-time All-Arena performer Rayshaun Kizer patrols the secondary and has contributed a team-high eight interceptions and 24 pass breakups.
* BLAZE NOTES: The Utah Blaze have been assigned rookie defensive lineman Michael Johnson and rookie wide receiver LaVaughn Macon, the franchise announced Friday.