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AFL: Blaze waiting for good luck to return

Published June 2, 2013 4:30 pm

Arena football • Utah visits San Antonio with chance to climb back to .500.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When will the breaks start rolling the way of the Utah Blaze?

Coach Ron James is waiting.

"Last year, they were going our way," he said.

Heading into a rare Monday night game against the San Antonio Talons, the Blaze, at 4-5, are waiting for that key moment that momentum can be built upon. They'll have a chance in the Alamodome.

A week after coming off a heartbreaking 35-34 loss to division rival San Jose in the Bay Area, the Blaze aim to get back to .500 against the Talons, a team James said has been "a quarterback carousel" since the beginning of the season. Five quarterbacks have been behind center this year, something the Blaze must take advantage of.

"If we want to get better," James said, "this is the week to do it."

But more than likely, the two defenses — the top two in Arena Football — will determine the outcome of the game.

Utah has surrendered just 44 points per game in its last five outings, while San Antonio's strength is its defensive line, headlined by 2012 Defensive Player of the Year Joe Sykes, who set an AFL record for sacks in a season with 16 last year.

Now halfway through the season, the Blaze must start making their own luck in order to make a run toward the playoffs and into contention in the toughest division in the AFL.

James said the breaks should come, but it's hard not to look back on the few games that slipped away.

"Those close ones hurt," he said. "We get those right now, we're 6-3 and the second half of the season looks a little bit better." —

Utah atSan Antonio

P Monday, 6:30 p.m.