Blaze-Vigilantes game turns just before half

Mar 31 2011 - 11:27pm


SALT LAKE CITY -- Now that's how to entertain your home fans.

The Utah Blaze blew out the Dallas Vigilantes 69-40, in front of 7,163 on Thursday night in Arena Football League action at EnergySolutions Arena.

QB Tommy Grady and receiver Aaron Boone both made team history in the team's second home victory of the season.

"I thought our defense was great tonight, that's what made the difference," said coach Ron James. "I told our guys at halftime that if they came up with one more turnover we would put this game away, and they came through. This is a great confidence builder as we head into San Jose next week."

The Blaze (2-1) were first to put points on the board with a five-yard toss from Grady to WR Ernie Pierce. Dallas responded with a strong drive of their own, ending in an eight-yard touchdown pass from QB Dan Raughbaugh to WR Tiger Jones.

The Blaze started the second quarter with a one-yard rushing touchdown from FB Ben Stallings to capture the lead. The teams traded touchdowns, keeping the game within one possession until the final minutes of the half.

With 48 seconds left, Blaze DL Devon Hicks forced and recovered a fumble, giving the Blaze one last opportunity to extend their lead. Grady converted on a 13-yard touchdown pass to WR Alvance Robinson, extending the lead to 14 as the teams entered the locker room, 34-20.

Dallas opened the second half with a one-yard rushing touchdown by FB Derrick Ross (6-3, 204, Tarleon State), but missed the extra point. Utah finished the quarter by scoring three unanswered touchdowns, putting the game out of reach.

At the end of the third quarter Grady hit Boone for a 35-yard touchdown pass, giving Grady over 300 passing yards for the game, making him the first Blaze QB to have three straight games with 300 yards or more since 2007.

The fourth quarter began with a 29 point lead for the Blaze, which was the final difference in the game, giving the Blaze their second victory of the season at home.

Boone finished the game with 13 receptions for 226 yards and two touchdowns. His 226 receiving yards are the second most for a single-game in team history, earning him offensive player of the game.

DB Al Phillips earned defensive player of the game honors for tallying 1.5 total tackles, one fumble recovery and one interception. DB Labrose Hedgemon led the team with 5.5 total tackles, one forced fumble and one interception.



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