Rough outing for Force in trip to Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Blaze outscored Georgia 21-3 in a decisive 2nd quarter on way to a 61-38 win over the Force Saturday night in an Arena Football League contest at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.

The Force took a 7-6 lead late in the first quarter on a 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bryant Moniz to Michael Johnson. Utah bounced back with three touchdowns in the second quarter, while holding the Force to a field goal, to take a 27-10 lead at the half.

The Force was able to pull within 10 points of Utah twice in the second half, the latest coming in the fourth quarter when Jeremy Grier scored on a 1-yard toss sweep to make the score 41-31, but that was as close as the Force (7-8) would come to catching the Blaze (10-5).

Moniz completed 27 of 47 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns. His top receiver was C.J. Johnson, who caught 11 passes for 127 yards. Georgia’s top receiving threat, Larry Shipp, was held to only two catches for 9 yards and one touchdown.

Utah quarterback Tommy Grady completed 25 of 28 passes for 306 yards and 8 touchdowns. His final TD pass, with 14 seconds left in the game, marked his 118th touchdown pass of the season, a new AFL single-season record.

The Force return home next weekend to battle their division rivals, the Orlando Predators (2-12), on Sunday, July 1 at 3 p.m. at the The Arena at Gwinnett Center.