SPOKANE (ABC 4 Sports) – The Utah Blaze (9-5) left the Spokane Shock (7-6) stunned after earning an improbable 58-55 last-moment victory at Spokane Arena. The win completes a season series sweep of the Shock for Utah, who retains a firm hold on the fourth and final playoff spot in the National Conference race.
In first quarter action, the Blaze held Spokane to a four-and-out in the red-zone on their opening drive of the game, then took only two plays to score on a 38-yd pass from QB Tommy Grady to WR Tysson Poots. After the Brotzman missed PAT and kickoff, Spokane responded with their own two-play drive and score on a 24-yard TD pass from QB Kyle Rowley to WR Steven Black. The Shock would stumble offensively a second time as Kyle Rowley was intercepted by Blaze DB William Mulder in the end-zone, leading to another Utah score. Utah Blaze WR Tysson Poots made his presence known in the first quarter for the Blaze as he collected six receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
The second quarter would bring the Shock back into the game. QB Kyle Rowley found Rod Harper for a 15-yd touchdown on a dig route to bring the game back within one score. On Utah’s next possession, QB Tommy Grady would be intercepted by Shock DB Josh Ferguson in the end zone setting up a three play drive, capped off by a one yard TD run by Shock LB Terrance Moore from the FB position.
The third quarter would open with yet another connection between Blaze QB Tommy Grady and WR Tysson Poots on a six yard TD pass, Poots' third of the game. Spokane would respond with an 11 play drive eating up just over six minutes of the clock before Kyle Rowley would connect with Steven Black for a six-yard TD pass. Utah wouldn’t take long to strike back. In only two plays, Blaze QB Tommy Grady would find WR Aaron Lesue for a 30-yd TD strike. On the point after attempt, Utah attempted a trick play and pitched the ball to Kicker Kyle Brotzman. Shock DT Jonathan Williams saw pitch and leveled the Utah kicker before he could return to the line of scrimmage. The third quarter would come to a close with Utah leading 32-27.
After another Shock TD from QB Rowley to WR Harper, Utah took possession on their own three yard line and QB Tommy Grady would have the ball knocked from his hand by DL Mike Alston which was recovered and returned for a TD by Shock LB Terence Moore. The Blaze, now playing from a two score deficit, pushed the ball downfield and score on a six yard TD pass from Grady to Tysson Poots. On Spokane’s ensuing possession, LB Terence Moore would cap his Ironman performance and score from the FB position for the second time in the game, taking a four-yard sweep around the edge for the TD. Using all but the last 3.6 seconds of the game, Utah would drive the length of the field trailing by three points and score the final TD of the game on a pass from QB Tommy Grady to his favorite target of the night, WR Tysson Poots. In an attempt to tie, Spokane downed the kick return in the end zone and attempted a final field goal which fell short, resulting in Utah winning by a final score of 58-55.
Shock QB Kyle Rowley would finish the game completing 21 of his 38 pass attempts for 298 yards and 5 TDs with one INT. Steven Black would lead the receiving effort for Spokane, hauling in 7 catches for 128 yards and 2 TDs. Terence Moore contributed on the ground for Spokane, scoring twice from the FB position. Defensively, Josh Ferguson recorded an INT for Spokane and Mike Alston added a sack and forced fumble that would result in Terence Moore returning the fumble for a TD.
Utah QB Tommy Grady completed 34 of his 49 pass attempts for 366 yards and 9 TDs with only one INT. WR Tysson Poots had an MVP performance, hauling in 15 receptions for 206 yards and 5 TDs. WR Aaron Lesue would add 9 receptions for 86 yards and 3 TDs. Defensively, DB William Mulder recorded one interception.