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Utah Will Play First-Round Game at EnergySolutions ArenaSALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Blaze (6-10) captured their third consecutive playoff berth on Saturday night with a 62-45 victory over the Arizona Rattlers (8-8). Utah will play their first-round AFL playoff game at the EnergySolutions Arena. The Blaze victory was witnessed by 13,542 fans at US Airways Center. “I felt that once we won one game we could really go on a run and that's exactly what has happened,” said Blaze head coach/general manager DANNY WHITE. “We're just going to keep doing what we've been doing as we enter the playoffs.” For the first time since May 18, 2007 (Utah vs. Las Vegas) the Blaze held their opponent scoreless in the first quarter. Utah entered the second quarter on top 14-0 with their two touchdowns strikes coming from Blaze QB JOE GERMAINE (6-2, 238, Ohio State) to WR JJ MCKELVEY (6-3, 227, Clemson) and WR HUEY WHITTAKER (6-5, 228, South Florida). The Blaze tallied the first score of the second quarter with another McKelvey touchdown. Arizona turned the ball over on downs on their next possession, setting Blaze K STEVE VIDETICH (6-2, 228, North Carolina State) up for a successful 19-yard field goal, bringing the score to 24-0. Arizona recorded their first score of the evening on their next possession with a 37-yard touchdown reception by former Blaze WR SIAHA BURLEY (5-10, 185, Central Florida). A Utah fumble gave the Rattlers another opportunity to score when Ironman of the Game, another former Blaze player, FB/LB CHRIS ROBINSON (6-3, 272, New Hampshire) found the endzone on a one-yard touchdown run. A missed Arizona extra point coupled with two Blaze touchdown receptions by WR AARON BOONE (6-3, 208, Kentucky) kept Utah on top, 38-13, at the half. Arizona outscored the Blaze 19-0 in the third quarter, but Utah still held onto a 38-32 lead entering the final quarter of play. With twenty-two seconds remaining in the final quarter of play, the Blaze sealed their 62-45 victory after Videtich nailed a 22-yard field and Defensive Player of the Game LB KELVIN MORRIS (6-3, 236, Clemson) returned an interception for 39 yards and a touchdown. Morris ended the game with 5.5 total tackles, one pass breakup and one interception. Germaine finished the night 23-of-34 passing for 324 yards and six touchdowns, earning Offensive Player of the Game honors. McKelvey led all receivers with 11 receptions for 146 yards and two touchowns. The Blaze will return home next week for the first round of playoffs. A date and opponent will be announced soon.
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. Tickets are available by logging onto http://www.utahblaze.com or by calling (801) 257-3111. The Blaze are owned and operated by the Ken Garff Automotive Group – http://www.kengarff.com.