Talons Claw their Way to Victory 42-41 over Blaze
Tuesday June 4, 2013
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Talons (5-5) reached .500 for the second time this season with a 42-41 win over the Utah Blaze (4-6) at the Alamodome in front of a crowd of 5,894. With 8 assists and 2 solos, Jamar Ransom was a nightmare for the Blaze with 10 tackles, a forced fumble, one fumble recovered and one pass broken up. Quarterback Xavier Lee was 16-30 for 207 yards and four touchdowns. Blaze’s Tommy Grady was 25-36 for 248 yards and three touchdowns.
Grady looked comfortable from the first Blaze possession seeing little resistance from San Antonio’s defense. He opened the game with three straight completions, forcing the ball deep into Talons territory and on the fourth attempt, Grady found Chase Deadder with a 7 yard pass to the end zone putting Utah on the board 7-0. D.J. Stephens made a statement on the ensuing kickoff taking it 56 yards to the end zone for the Talons, game tied at 7-7. Stephens, small playmaker of the game has 3 kick return touchdowns in his last two games.
Jamar Ransom applied pressure to the Blaze offense with a huge defensive play, forcing a fumble, and then recovering it giving the Talons the ball deep in Blaze Territory. Xavier Lee’s one yard scramble into the end zone earned the Talons a 14-7 lead midway through the first quarter.
Grady failed to put anything together on Utah’s third drive of the game. His attempt to find Deadder resulted in Carlton Brown’s forced fumble, allowing Andre Jones to recover. Jomo Wilson kept the drive alive late in the first quarter with a brilliant one handed catch. Xavier Lee couldn’t quite capitalize in the Red zone, throwing his second interception of the season to end the first quarter of play.
Utah started the first drive of the second quarter with a momentum changer when Grady found Braylon Bell streaking deep over the middle of the field, taking the Ball inside of the Talons five yard line. Ben Stallings punched it in from two yards out, and Brotzman’s extra point tied the game at 14-14 early in the second quarter.
Xavier Lee threw his second interception in two possessions and the Blaze defense capitalized on the opportunity when David Hyland returned it 16 yards for a touchdown giving the Blaze a 21-14 lead. San Antonio’s offense struggled to put anything together, but the defense added another big play to keep a one-possession game, when Sale Key picked off Grady in the end zone. Xavier Lee, taking advantage of the Turnover found D.J. Stephens on a 33 yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 21. Utah struck late in the second half as Grady found Lesue in the right corner of the end zone to give the Blaze a 28-21 edge with less than a minute left in the half. In an attempt to cut the lead, Stefan Demos’ field goald attempt was missed to end the half.
In the first Play of the third quarter, the Talons offense came out aggressive enabling Lee to find Jomo Wilson for 42 yards over the middle of the field to tie the game at 28. Joe Sykes recorded a sack on Grady for a loss of six yards to add to his great defensive season. San Antonio caught a huge break in the third quarter when Blaze receiver Mario Urrutia dropped a sure touchdown. The Talons took advantage of the miscue and forced a turnover on downs later in the drive.
The Talons marched the ball right down the field, allowing Lee to finish off the drive with a short touchdown pass to Key, and the Talons secured their first lead since the first quarter at 35-28. The Talons defense showed their true colors in the second half, stopping multiple fourth down attempts and putting pressure on Utah.
After both teams failed to score on their opening fourth quarter drive, Utah finally found a rhythm when Grady hit Urrutia for a 13 yard touchdown pass to tie the game once again at 35. The home team answered back shortly with a 6 yard touchdown pass to Jomo Wilson to give the Talons a 42-35 edge over Utah.
After a 42 yard kick-return by Deadder, Ben Stallings found the end zone with a four yard rushing Blaze touchdown. In an attempt to secure the lead and win, Stallings’ attempt at a two point conversion was unsuccessful with less than a minute to play. Fred Shaw successfully recovered Brotzman’s on-side kick and the Talons hung on to their one point lead to reach a final score of 42-41.
The Talons return to action on Saturday June 8, 2013 against the number one ranked Arizona Rattlers. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM CST for educator appreciation night.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME
Wilson’s one-handed catch with 1:17 left in the first quarter
AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
Talons defensive line on two point conversion attempt
About the Talons
The San Antonio Talons are in their second season in the Arena Football League (AFL). The team was moved to San Antonio from Tulsa, Okla. in 2012 and won the AFL’s Central Division title, as well as hosted their first AFL playoff game in the 2012 season. For more information or to ask about season tickets please call 210.227.TEAM.