Blaze Face Heated Division-Rival at HomeMay 1, 2012 - Arena Football League (AFL) Utah Blaze
Utah is riding a three-game winning streak and remains in a tie atop the West Division following a 61-58 victory over the Milwaukee Mustangs in Week 8. Spokane sits at the bottom of the division, but has won its last two contests, including a 56-48 win over Jacksonville this past Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM (MT).
After struggling to find consistency during the first few weeks of the season, the Blaze offense has undoubtedly hit its stride. Led by QB Tommy Grady, the unit has produced 309.7 aerial yards per contest, ranking first in the AFL. Grady has been on an absolute tear, throwing for 36 touchdowns in his last three games. He's currently the league leader in total offensive yards (2,253), total offensive touchdowns (51), passing yards (2,198) and passing touchdowns (51).
Utah's offense will have a strong opportunity to continue its rapid pace against a Spokane defense that ranks at the bottom of the league in total defense (327.0 ypg) and 16th in passing defense (304.5 ypg). However, the Shock has been stingy in the red zone, allowing scores on just 76.7 percent of opponent's opportunities to place fifth in the AFL.
"Spokane is a very talented ball club," said President & Head Coach Ron James. "We are excited about challenging ourselves early in the season with another top-flight divisional opponent."
On offense, Spokane has given up 14 sacks on the season, tying for 13th in the AFL. That bodes well for a Blaze defensive line that ranks second in the League with 21.0 sacks on the year. Utah has been susceptible to the opponent's aerial attack in the past, but the Shock has averaged 252.7 passing yards per game, placing 15th in the Arena Football League.
Still, Shock QB Kyle Rowley has proven himself capable of winning games. He's brought more stability to the offense since arriving in Spokane three games ago, and has thrown for 11 touchdowns while leading the Shock to wins in its last two contests. Spokane's main receiving threat is WR Adron Tennell, who has posted 47 receptions for 558 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.
"The Shock has an explosive offensive led by a quarterback who has won a championship in this league," said James. "With the receiving corps they have, and the way they have been playing as of late, we will have to be ready for one heck of a game. We will need the entire Blaze Nation behind us throughout the evening to give us the energy to prevail in this contest."
The Utah Blaze vs. the Spokane Shock will air live on KMYU (Dish/DirecTV channel 12, Comcast channel 22), with Mychal Clanton (play-by-play) and Kevin White (color commentary) calling all the action. You can also view the game online through the Arena Football League's exclusive partnership with Ustream, the leader in live and interactive video streaming. Visit www.UTBlaze.com/LIVE to stream the game live and at no cost! Saturday's game coverage can be heard in the Salt Lake City area on The Zone 1280 AM/97.5 FM, the radio home of the Utah Blaze.
Arena Football League Stories from May 1, 2012
- 05.01.12 Blaze Assigned Former Shock WR Kauleinamoku - Utah Blaze
- Blaze Face Heated Division-Rival at Home - Utah Blaze
- Philadelphia Continues to Pick up Record Pace - Philadelphia Soul
- Predators' Bobby Sippio Named AFL Russell Athletic Offensive Player - Orlando Predators
- SaberCats Defensive Lineman Joe Sykes Named Riddell Defensive Player of the Week - San Jose SaberCats
- VooDoo Dolls Ayesha, Brittney L., Daina, and Keina Visit Tulane Hospital for Children - New Orleans VooDoo
- Sharks' Holman Named JLS Ironman of the Week - Jacksonville Sharks
- SaberCats Weekly Update - San Jose SaberCats
- Sippio, Sykes and Holman Earn Week 8 Honors - AFL
- AFL Week 9 Power Rankings Announced - AFL
- Earnest Graham and Tampa Bay Storm Assistant Coach Dave Wilson to Coach Badge Bowl - Tampa Bay Storm
- Command Fail to Weather Storm, Fall to Tampa Bay 63-46 - Kansas City Command
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.