WEST VALLEY CITY -- If Caesar Rayford wasn't scoring, the Utah Blaze defense wasn't doing any stopping.
Three touchdowns by the rookie defensive lineman gave the Blaze second-quarter leads and a modicum of hope as the game gradually slipped away, but the Arizona Rattlers shredded the Blaze defense in a 83-58 Arena Football League victory before an announced season-high crowd of 8,501 at the E Center Friday
Nick Davila threw for 335 yards and nine touchdowns as the Rattler (4-3) offense scored on the 11 possessions Rayford didn't.
It's the second straight week the Blaze (1-6) defense, ranked worst in the 15-team league, has given up a 70-spot or more -- the 83 was a season-worst.
Arizona scored on its first two plays from scrimmage in the opening quarter, and it didn't get much better -- except when Rayford made a big play.
His first score came when he sacked Davila, scooped up the fumble and scooted 30 yards for the touchdown and gave Utah a 24-21 lead with 11:25 remaining in the first half.
The Rattlers answered with two touchdowns, but after an Aaron Boone touchdown catch, Rayford snagged a batted Davila pass for a 16-yard pick six with 2:33 remaining to give Utah a 39-35 lead.
"Everybody gets a chance to make a big play," Blaze coach Ernesto Purnsley said of Rayford, who added another interception return in the third quarter. "Caesar's a high-energy guy and makes things happen."
Arizona gained control when Davilla connected with JJ McKelvey 12 seconds before halftime, and on the final play of the half, Marcus Pittman picked up a Michael Affleck fumble and returned it 24 yards to give the Rattlers a 48-39 lead.
Affleck, starting in place of injured Brett Elliott, managed two first-quarter TDs to Boone on fourth-and-long situations, but simply faded in the second half. He fumbled six snaps, losing three.
He did connect twice more with Boone, who finished with seven catches for 161 yards and four scores.
Former Weber State star Akuma Aki finished with four catches for 59 yards.
It was a successful homecoming for former Blaze coach Danny White, now Arizona's GM and offensive coordinator.