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SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah Blaze (0-5) are still without a victory in 2008 after losing their fifth consecutive contest to the Georgia Force (2-3). The loss was witnessed by a season-high 15,240 fans at the EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday night.
"We did everything we could do this week to challenge them. We hoped to come out and play with some energy, but it was just the opposite," said Blaze head coach/general manager DANNY WHITE. "It was the worst I've ever seen a team play in terms of the energy level. One little thing went wrong and nobody responded."
Offensive Player of the Game honors went to Georgia QB CHRIS GREISEN (6-3, 220, NW Missouri State) who was 21-for-32 passing for 248 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception. Georgia WR DAMIEN GROCE (5-11, 180, Iowa State) was named Ironman of the Game after he recorded 2.0 total tackles and returned four kicks for 62 yards Defensive player of the game honors went to Georgia DB STEPHEN CASON (5-11, 210, William & Mary) who recorded an impressive 13.5 total tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Georgia opened the scoring for the night with a 2-yard touchdown run by FB/LB MATT HUEBNER (6-4, 280, Saint Cloud St.). In the Utah's first possession of the evening, Blaze QB JOE GERMAINE'S (6-2, 238, Ohio State) pass to WR AARON BOONE (6-3, 208, Kentucky) was fumbled resulting in another Georgia touchdown. The Blaze offense answered before the termination of the first quarter with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Germaine to Boone. At the end of the first quarter, Georgia had a 14-7 advantage.
Georgia and Utah traded scores throughout the second quarter, and with no time remaining on the clock, the Blaze closed the half with a 9-yard touchdown pass to from Germaine to Whittaker, resulting in a 28-35 halftime score.
The Force opened the third quarter with an 8-yard touchdown pass from QB CHRIS GREISEN (6-3, 220, NW Missouri State) to WR TIGER JONES (5-11, 165, Louisville). The quarter ended scoreless for the Blaze, resulting in a 28-49 Georgia lead.
Both teams exchanged three scores a piece in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough as Utah was on the losing end of a 49-70 score at the final horn.
Germaine ended the night 31-of-48 passing for 356 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions. DB EDDIE CANONICO (6-1, 195, Sacramento State) played his first game in a Blaze uniform where he recorded 5.0 total tackles, one interception and two pass breakups. Boone led all receivers with 14 receptions for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
Tonight's game also celebrated the life of fallen Blaze player Justin Skaggs. In honor of Skaggs, the Blaze were pleased to announce to the Skaggs family the retirement of his jersey number (3).
The Blaze will hit the road next week to take on the Philadelphia Soul on Saturday, April 5th at Wachovia Complex in Philadelphia. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. (MT).