Blaze keep playoff hopes alive with 51-14 win over Crush

Blaze keep playoff hopes alive with 51-14 win over Crush



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SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah Blaze (7-7) defense registered a scoreless second and third quarter in a conference victory over the Colorado Crush (8-6) at EnergySolutions Arena. The win came in front of 15,223 fans during their first-ever Monday Night Football national broadcast on ESPN2.

"It was a banner night for our defense, no question about it," said Blaze head coach/general manager DANNY WHITE.

K STEVE VIDETICH was named Offensive Player of the Game by recording Blaze single-game record three field goals and coming within two field goals of the all-time AFL record set by MIKE BLACK. Black was in attendance working for ESPN. Ironman of the Game honors went to WR/DB RYAN DENNARD after he recorded an interception, one forced fumble and 2.0 tackles. DB DAHNEL SINGFIELD was named ADT Defensive Player of the Game by recording one forced fumble, one interception, three pass breakups and 8.0 tackles, including one for a loss.

The Blaze shut out the Crush in the second and third quarters to build a 37-7 lead. WR SIAHA BURLEY scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the Blaze intercepted two more passes in the quarter to hold the Crush to their lowest point total in franchise history. Other defensive standouts for the evening included DB JACOBY SHEPHERD (11.0 tackles, one interception, one pass breakup) and DB LEROY SMITH (6.0 tackles, one interception

Colorado WR WILLIE QUINNIE led all receivers with 10 receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns. The Blaze held two-time AFL Offensive Player of the Year, WR DAMIAN HARRELL, to zero touchdowns for the first time in 78 games, breaking a record that dated back to the 2002 season.

"He's one of the best in the league, and I think everybody knows that, "said White. "The fact that we shut him down may be the greatest tribute to our defense."

The Blaze play this Saturday in the final regular-season home game at EnergySolutions Arena. They will take on Western Division leading San Jose SaberCats at 7 p.m. on KJZZ. The game can also be heard on 1280 The Zone with KEVIN GRAHAM and TOM GOODHINES calling the action.

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