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Arena football: Newcomer sparks Utah vs. San Jose

Published May 21, 2011 11:50 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When the week started, Chris Bocage had just finished spring football at Louisburg College in North Carolina, where he serves as receivers coach.

Saturday night, he did most of his work in the end zone at EnergySolutions Arena.

Signed Thursday to help shore up an injury-riddled Utah Blaze receiving corps, Bocage scored four touchdowns and recovered an onside kick in the final minute to help the Blaze to a 76-68 victory against the San Jose Sabercats.

"I sent my film out to every team in the country," said Bocage, who caught six passes for 75 yards and three of Tommy Grady's nine touchdown passes. "Coach [Ron James] gave me a chance to come out and help this team through these last 10 weeks and help this team win a championship.

"I was pleased, coming out and having a good time. It was awesome."

The Blaze (5-4) avenged a 75-55 loss at San Jose (5-5) in early April. The victory was preserved when Caesar Rayford blocked an extra-point attempt with the Blaze clinging to a 69-68 lead.

"It just opened up, and I made the play. … It was phenomenal," Rayford said.

Bocage returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the third quarter after scoring three touchdowns in the first half.

The 144 total points were the second-most in a Blaze game this season, topped only by the 145 scored in a victory against Georgia on May 6.

The Blaze were without receivers Aaron Boone (knee) and Aaron Lesue (ankle), who had combined for 39 of Tommy Grady's 60 touchdown passes through eight games.

But Grady connected with Ernie Pierce for three scores and found Alvance Robinson for two more touchdowns. Grady also scored on an 8-yard run with 4.4 seconds remaining in the game.

While the points came fast and furious all evening, so did the penalty flags. The teams combined for 30 infractions, 15 by the Blaze for 101 yards. —

In short

R Tommy Grady throws nine TD passes and newcomer Chris Bocage scores four TDs as the Blaze improve to 4-1 at home.

• Utah's Caesar Rayford blocks an extra-point attempt in the final minute.