The Utah Blaze kicked off their 2013 season tonight on the road against the Pittsburgh Power, causing an outage on the way to the 64-33 rout.
Reigning AFL MVP Tommy Grady led the way going 17-of-33 for 190 yards, five touchdowns and throwing one interception. The Blaze dominated the game for the majority, but Pittsburgh created a slight 20-point surge before the half. They didn’t see the scoreboard again until the last play of the game.
Rookie WR Mario Urrutia led all Blaze receivers with 76 yards and four scores.
Former LSU QB Jordan Jefferson didn’t have the most impressive showing Saturday night, being sacked four times, two with fumbles and tacking on two interceptions. He threw five touchdowns, but Utah’s defense was too much to handle for the Arena League Rookie.
Blaze DL Mike Alston tore up the Power offense, breaking through for 1.5 sacks, forcing a fumble while adding six tackles.
The Blaze were the talk of the town this offseason, with the solid road victory they’ll increase that chatter. There was a lot of concern over the roster changes made this season, specifically at the receiver position – but the new guys held their own tonight. At camp, the talk of the team gelling was swirling and the guys were really excited. Coach James said that until they take their first road trip he didn’t really know how they’d gel – a solid win to open the season should help bump that chemistry up a notch.
The Blaze return to Salt Lake City Friday, March 29th to take on the Arizona Rattlers as they look to get revenge on the team that sent them packing last season. Arizona eliminated the Blaze in the NC Championship game before going on to win Arena Bowl XXV.
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