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White Pleased With Team's Effort PHILADELPHIA – The Utah Blaze (0-6) failed to pick up their first victory of the season in a tough contest with the undefeated Philadelphia Soul (6-0). The 64-56 loss came in front of 16,390 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum on Saturday night. “Compared to last week, this was a night and day difference in terms of energy,” said Blaze head coach/general manager DANNY WHITE. “I am very pleased with the effort put forth tonight. If we keep playing like this, we will win games this year.” The Blaze defense stepped up big to start the game as DL VAKA MANUPUNA (6-1, 305, Colorado) sacked Soul QB MATT D'ORAZIO (6-4, 230, Otterbeinon) early in the game resulting in a fumble and a possession change. It didn't take long for Blaze QB JOE GERMAINE (6-2, 238, Ohio State) to connect with WR HUEY WHITTAKER (6-5, 228, Clemson) on a 15-yard touchdown pass to open up scoring for the evening. Philadelphia answered back with a touchdown of their own on a 13-yard pass from D'Orazio to Offensive Player of the Game WR CHRIS JACKSON (6-2, 200, Washington State). Jackson led all receivers with 13 receptions for 138 yards and five touchdowns. Both teams traded scores before Philadelphia closed the first quarter with a safety by Defensive player of the game DL BRYAN SAVE (6-1, 300, Colorado State) putting the Soul on top, 16-14. Philadelphia outscored Utah 20-14 in the second quarter with all three Soul touchdowns coming as a result of receptions by Jackson. Utah entered the locker room at halftime on the losing end of a 36-28 score. Both teams traded scores to open the second half, but a forced fumble by WR LARRY BRACKINS (6-4, 221, Pearl River CC) and a recovery by Ironman of the Game DB MIKE BROWN (6-0, 190, Charleston Southern) on a Blaze kick return resulted in an instant Philadelphia touchdown. Brown finished the night with 3.0 total tackles, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup. Utah answered with their own touchdown as FB RODNEY FILER'S (6-2, 266, Iowa) 1-yard TD run kept the Blaze within eight to end the third quarter, 50-42. Both teams exchanged two scores a piece in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough as Philadelphia came out on top, 64-56. Germaine ended the night 21-of-28 passing for 250 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. Filer had a big night for Utah finishing with six carries for 49 yards and three touchdowns. Utah will continue road play next week to when they travel to Los Angeles to take on the Western Division foe in the Staples Center. The Blaze and the Avengers are set to kickoff on Saturday, April 12 at 8:30 p.m. (MT).
ABOUT THE UTAH BLAZE
The Utah Blaze were recipients of the Best Support Staff Award for the 2006 and 2007 seasons as recognized by the Arena Football League. The Blaze take on the Los Angeles Avengers on Friday, April 12 at the Staples Center. Season Tickets are available by logging onto www.utahblaze.com or by calling (801) 257-3111. The Blaze are owned and operated by the Ken Garff Automotive Group – www.kengarff.com.