SALT LAKE CITY — So far, the Utah Blaze's 2013 season has been riddled with turnovers and mental errors in untimely situations.
Those, once again, were the culprits Saturday evening at EnergySolutions Arena.
Chicago’s Jose Martinez booted a 25-yard field goal as time expired to give his team a 59-56 win after Utah allowed the Rush to overcome an early deficit with costly turnovers. The loss closed out Utah’s three-game homestand with an 0-3 record.
Chicago had just taken the lead with 2:57 remaining when Blaze quarterback Tommy Grady’s pass was deflected into Kelvin Morris’ welcoming arms for a pick-six.
Utah quickly responded with a 45-yard touchdown reception by Brandon Thompkins, but with limited time, it had to attempt an onsides kick to remain in contention. However, Chicago pounced on the kick following a fortuitous bounce, which allowed it to run the clock down to 0.3 seconds.
Early on, the Blaze (1-3) put themselves in a favorable position on the opening drive after forcing Chicago (3-2) into a four-and-out. That allowed Utah to play clock management in anticipation of receiving the opening kick to start the second half.
It appeared that strategy was wheeling forward when Aaron Lesue broke cleanly on a post route with 2:05 in the first half to give Utah a 28-21 lead. With enough time on the clock it was plausible the Blaze could add another score at the end of the half.
Chicago eventually knotted things up with 27.7 seconds remaining in the half. Utah’s next drive moved to midfield before quarterback Tommy Grady was sacked with 0.7 seconds left. Rather than attempt the field goal, the Blaze elected to try for six, which eventually ended in an interception. The squandered opportunity for a two-possession lead ultimately proved costly.