Blaze fall in Austin 65-64

Blaze fall in Austin 65-64



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AUSTIN, Texas - Utah Blaze K STEVE VIDETICH's last-second field goal attempt from 46 yards missed wide left at the final horn as the visitors fell to the Austin Wranglers, 65-64, on Friday night in front of 9,223 fans at the Frank Erwin Center.

Austin Wranglers QB ADRIAN MC PHERSON found WR ANTHONY HINES on a 17-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds remaining to lift the host team to the victory over the Blaze (4-2), who are still in first place in the Western Division.

"We knew coming in that Austin was a talented team," said Blaze head coach/general manager DANNY WHITE. "We just didn't put them away when we had a chance and it came back to bite us."

The Blaze jumped out early by taking a 21-14 first quarter lead thanks to two AARON BOONE receiving touchdowns and a rushing score by QB JOE GERMAINE. Utah increased the lead to 42-28 at the half with two SIAHA BURLEY touchdowns and an onside kick return by Boone.

Momentum swung the Wranglers (2-4) way in the third quarter when McPherson scored on an 11-yard touchdown run to open the second half. The Blaze then answered when the Ironman of the Game, DB/KR CLARENCE LAWSON, returned a kick 55 yards to make the score 49-35, but were outscored 21-7 in the third quarter.

Scoring went back and forth in the fourth quarter, but after a Germaine-to-Burley score to start the fourth quarter, Videtich missed the extra point which proved to be the difference.

The Blaze appeared to have the upper hand when Germaine found WR TOMMY PACE on a 30-yard scoring strike with 52 seconds remaining. But, the Wranglers answered when McPherson and Hines hooked up for the final score of the game.

McPherson, who earned Offensive Player of the Game honors, finished by completing 18-of-29 passes for 271 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. He also added two rushing scores in the victory. Austin's MIKE WILLIAMS took ADT Defensive Player of the Game honors.

Germaine finished by completing 29-of-38 passes for 304 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. He also added a rushing score. Burley finished with 10 receptions for 95 yards and three touchdowns, while Boone had nine receptions for 99 yards and two scores and one onside kick return for a touchdown. Pace also added eight receptions for 96 yards and a score.

Lawson finished with 178 return yards - including a touchdown - and 5.5 total tackles, while DL GARRETT SMITH finished with 4.5 total tackles and a sack.

The Blaze will return home to the EnergySolutions Arena on Friday April 13 to face Western-Division rival Los Angeles Avengers at 7 p.m. The game can be heard live on 1280 The Zone and on the internet via AFL Net at www.arenafootball.com.

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