SaberCats fall to 5-5 with 76-68 loss to Utah Blaze

SaberCats fall to 5-5 with 76-68 loss to Utah Blaze
May 22, 2011, 5:50 pm
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May 21, 2011SABERCATSPAGE

SALT LAKE CITY -- The SaberCats suffered their third consecutive loss at the hands of the Utah Blaze (5-4), 76-68 in front of 8,815 at EnergySolutionsArena as the Blaze were led by Russell Offensive Player of the Game QB Tommy Grady who threw for 319 yards on 23-of-32 passing and nine touchdowns. The loss dropped San Jose to 5-5 on the season.OwnerHead Coach Darren Arbet was looking forward to his team getting things on course. Anytime you lose, you want to get it going in the right direction and win the football game. Nothings changed there and were just going to have to get better on the practice field and keep going after it.The two teams opened the game with an offensive assault, scoring on all five drives in the first quarter. SaberCats QB Mark Grieb, who threw for 323 yards and seven touchdowns, found WR Ben Nelson on San Joses first offensive play from scrimmage on a 13-yard pass while FBLB Chad Cook continued his outstanding play of late with another rushing touchdown, pushing his total to 21 on the season. Blaze QB Tommy Grady threw for 123 yards in the opening stanza on 10-of-12 passing for three touchdown passes, putting Utah ahead 21-14 early on.San Jose and Utah continued to exchange scores in the second quarter with the two quarterbacks continuing their impressive play. Cook once again showed his ability to get into the end zone with another rushing score while Nelson posted another touchdown grab. The Blaze responded with two touchdowns of their own as WR Chris Bocage hauled in touchdown passes from QB Tommy Grady. With the SaberCats driving with under a minute remaining in the half, Riddell Defensive Player of the Game DB Brandon Taylor intercepted a pass before the San Jose defense responded when DL Francis Maka recovered a bad snap for the second consecutive game giving the SaberCats the ball back. The offense scored on the following drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Grieb to WR Burl Toler to knot the game at 35 heading into the half.The SaberCats opened the second half with a score as QB Mark Grieb found WRDB Mervin Brookins for his first career touchdown reception on a 21-yard strike. Utah scored on their ensuing drive with a 23-yard pass to WR Ernie Pierce from QB Tommy Grady before Brookins hauled in another score on a 23-yard toss from Grieb. The Blaze were ignited by a 56-yard kickoff return by WR Chris Bocage on the ensuing kickoff. FBLB Chad Cook ran it in for his third rushing touchdown of the game before Grady spread the ball around to his receivers in the final quarter with WR Ernie Pierce (18 yards), OL Jason Boone (3 yards) and Alvance Robinson (47 yards) all recording touchdown receptions. WR Ben Nelson recorded two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter with the final grab putting San Jose down by one with 29 seconds remaining. The Blaze special teams came through in the clutch, however, blocking the ensuing extra point before Grady ran the ball in on an eight-yard scamper with five seconds remaining on fourth down after San Jose turned the ball over on downs to seal the victory for the Blaze.The loss snapped San Joses six-game winning streak against Utah. San Jose QB Mark Grieb posted his 44th career 300-yard passing game while WRDB Mervin Brookins notched career highs with 13 receptions for 152 yards and two touchdown catches in only his second game at wide receiver for the SaberCats. WR Ben Nelson posted single-game season-highs with nine receptions for 107 yards and a team-leading four touchdown grabs. FBLB Chad Cook upped his rushing touchdown total to 23 on the season.The SaberCats (5-5) return home to face the Georgia Force (6-4) on Saturday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m. PDT at HP Pavilion where they will look to snap their three-game losing streak.
Courtesy SaberCats media services

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