SALT LAKE CITY -- For all the high-scoring hijinks that come in an Arena Football League game, the Utah Blaze's 61-60 victory over the Kansas City Command came down to a defensive play.
Caesar Rayford blocked a game-tying PAT in the final minute of action Saturday night at Energy Solutions Arena to help the Blaze preserve their lead and improve to 7-7 in league play.
Utah remains tied for fourth place in the National Conference and in the hunt for the playoffs.
"We had a key stop in the second half and that was the difference in the football game," said coach Ron James. "You have to play your best football at the end of the year and we pulled through tonight."
Tommy Grady and his receiving corps combined for eight TDs. The teams were tied 33-33 at halftime.
As the teams traded scores in the second half, Utah DB Alfred Phillips intercepted a Kansas City pass -- the only turnover of the game -- and the Blaze scored to take the lead for good.
But the Command were relentless, matching the Blaze score for score to the end. On Kansas City's final possession of the game, they converted two fourth downs, including a fourth-and-six when Wasil hit WR Bret Smith (6-2, 195, Tennessee) in the corner of the end zone.
But Rayford blocked the ensuing extra point, sealing the victory. It was Rayford's fourth blocked kick this season, setting a new team record.
Grady completed 18-of-26 passes for 257 yards and eight touchdowns.
Alvance Robinson led the Blaze receivers with nine receptions for 127 yards and five touchdowns. Phillips led the defense with 9.5 total tackles, one interception and tied the team record with four pass break-ups.