Rush defeat Utah Blaze in last second to improve to 3-2
Sunday April 21, 2013
Kicker Jose Martinez nails last second field goal to defeat Blaze 59-56
CHICAGO - The Rush won their third consecutive game of the season Saturday night as they defeated the Utah Blaze 59-56. The victory allowed the Rush to claim first place in the Central Division for the first time this season.
Chicago initially stumbled out of the gates, as they could not muster a first down, going four-and-out on their first drive to turn over the ball to quarterback Tommy Grady and the Utah Blaze. On their very first offensive play, the 2012 MVP found receiver Aaron Lesué to give the Blaze an early lead.
After nearly going four-and-out again, Coffman found Reggie Gray to extend their second attempt at a drive. On the very next play, it was Rodney Wright’s turn to shine as he hauled in a 13 yard touchdown reception to tie the game. After the Blaze responded with another touchdown, Wright capped off a seven-play drive with a three yard run to tie it back up. The see-saw action continued as Chicago and Utah traded two touchdowns apiece, going into the locker room at the half tied at 28.
The Blaze continued their offensive efficiency in the third quarter, as Grady found Mario Urrutia on a 16-yard pass to regain the lead. After Coffman connected with Reggie Gray in the end zone on a textbook back shoulder catch, Grady finally faltered. On a deep pass over the middle, defensive back Jorrick Calvin leapt into the play to collect his second interception in as many weeks. Unfortunately for the Rush, they turned it right back over with a lost fumble as they were about to take their first lead of the night. Grady answered with a six-yard drive, capped off with another touchdown toss to Urrutia. The momentum nearly tipped in favor of Utah as the resulting kickoff return was fumbled by Calvin and recovered by the Blaze. However, on Grady’s first pass attempt of the drive, the ball bounced off the boards and right into defensive back Joe Phinisee’s hands.
The fourth quarter started with new life for Chicago. Coffman put together an eight-play drive that took five minutes off the clock. Kicker Jose Martinez converted the extra point, giving the Rush their first lead of the night at 42-41. After trading two more touchdowns, the Rush defense turned the tide for good. On a Grady pass attempt, defensive lineman Brian McNally grabbed his throwing arm, and linebacker Kelvin Morris was able to snatch the ball out of the air and find his way into the end zone untouched.
Grady, not fazed by his fourth interception of the night, quickly found receiver Brandon Thompkins on a 45-yard bomb on the ensuing possession. With the two-point conversion successful, the game was once again tied up at 56 with just over a minute remaining. With the choice to either continue the offensive fireworks or slow it down, the Rush made the decision to burn some clock. After a few conservative plays, including an incomplete pass to run the clock down to 0.3 seconds, the stage was set for Martinez to win the game with a 23-yard field goal. After a picture-perfect snap by Anthony Hoke and hold by Vic Hall, Martinez nailed the kick to send the Rush home with a victory. The Rush move into first place in the division, and keep their record on the road perfect.
About the Chicago Rush
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