Chicago tops Utah, 67-43
Sunday June 9, 2013
Second Half Struggles Lead to Blaze Loss
ROCKFORD, IL – In the final week of a three-game road tour, the Utah Blaze dropped a 67-43 decision to the Chicago Rush at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, Illinois. The Blaze trailed by just six points at halftime, but struggled to find a rhythm in the third and fourth quarters.
The Blaze defense took the field to start the game and provided a lockdown effort, holding the Rush to four-and-out on the opening possession. Quarterback Tommy Grady quickly converted the early turnover into points, needing just four plays before tossing a 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mario Urrutia. Chicago responded with a score of its own as quarterback Carson Coffman found wide receiver Reggie Gray in the end zone from 20 yards out, but the Blaze maintained a 7-6 lead following a missed PAT.
Utah added to its advantage on the next drive as Grady fired a completion over the middle to wide receiver AJ Jackson, who sprinted 33 yards across the field for the score. However, Chicago would take a 20-14 lead after two unanswered scores. Coffman capped off the ensuing Chicago drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak for a score and wide receiver Jared Jenkins caught a 15-yard touchdown pass a possession later.
Needing a spark on offense, rookie wide receiver Braylon Bell answered the call for the Blaze. Bell hauled in a short pass from Grady and went streaking 19 yards up the sideline, eluding would-be tacklers before crossing the goal line. Reggie Gray caught a quick touchdown pass moments later for the Rush, but Utah responded as Urrutia made a leaping four-yard touchdown reception. Chicago got the final word of the half as Jenkins corralled an 18-yard touchdown pass to give the Rush a 34-28 lead at the midway point.
Chicago built a 53-28 lead in the second half, beginning with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Coffman to Jenkins. Grady was intercepted by linebacker Kelvin Morris on the ensuing possession and the Rush found the end zone again off a 16-yard reception by Reggie Gray. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Jenkins caught a short pass and ran 39 yards for a score.
Utah finally responded with 8:36 in the fourth quarter, as backup quarterback Jason Boltus entered the game and lofted a four-yard pass to Urrutia, who outmuscled a defender to come down with the ball in the end zone. The Rush would score on the next play from scrimmage, as Coffman hit wide receiver DJ Woods from 28 yards out. Facing a fourth-and-goal on the ensuing drive, Boltus gunned an eight-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Bell with 2:22 remaining in the game. Fullback Ben Stallings punched in the two-point attempt to narrow the deficit, 60-43.
Chicago added its final score with just seven seconds remaining in game, as backup quarterback Luke Drone floated a four-yard score to Jenkins.
The Utah Blaze return to Salt Lake City to battle the Jacksonville Sharks at EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday, June 15. The matchup will nationally televised on CBS Sports Network as the “NET10 Wireless Arena Football Saturday” feature game of Week 13. Tickets are still available for purchase by calling 1-888-99BLAZE or online at UTBlaze.com.
ABOUT THE BLAZE
The Utah Blaze return to Salt Lake City to battle the Jacksonville Sharks at EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday, June 15. Tickets are still available for purchase by calling 1-888-99BLAZE or online at UTBlaze.com. Follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/utahblaze), Twitter (@UTBLAZE) and Instagram (@UtahBlaze), or head to UTBlaze.com for all the latest news!