It's a new season for the Pittsburgh Power, but so far the storyline from last year remains the same.

Once again Pittsburgh (0-1) found itself on the wrong side of the turnover margin and fell 64-33 at home to the Utah Blaze (1-0) in from of 8,390 fans at Consol Energy Center.

Power rookie quarterback Jordan Jefferson was under siege from the Utah Blaze defensive line all night long. He was sacked four times, intercepted twice, and lost a fumble. A second fumble was ruled a safety by AFL rules. He finished the game 19 of 34 for 196 yards and five touchdowns.

Mike "The Joystick" Washington had a strong game for the Power with eight catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Christian Wise also added two touchdown grabs.

The Power defense held Tommy Grady, the reigning league MVP, under 200 yards passing but he did throw for five touchdowns and an interception. His favorite target of the night was Mario Urrutia who finished the game with seven receptions for 76 yards and four touchdowns.

Utah won the battle of the trenches on both sides of the ball. The Power could not give Jefferson anytime to make his progressions. One of his interceptions came off a deflected pass at the line. Pittsburgh's inability to get to the quarterback gave Grady all night to find his open receivers. One can only wonder how much worse things could have been if Utah's top receiver Aaron Lesue had not been inactive with a hamstring injury.

Pittsburgh's kickoff coverage allowed several big returns by Brandon Thompkins, who averaged 27.5 yards per return. He also had a kickoff return touchdown wiped out by a facemask penalty.

After the game, Head Coach Derek Stingley expressed his disappointment. "This is not the result we were looking for as a team. We had too many unforced errors. We knew they'd get their plays, we just wanted them to have to earn them."

Stingley also mentioned the offensive line struggles as a key contributor to the loss. "We just need to do a better job protecting our quarterback."

Jefferson admitted after the game that he could play better. "We had a few turnovers we wish we could have back. We need to build chemistry as a team."

Pittsburgh will try to make some adjustments in preparation for their game. The Power take on the Jacksonville Sharks (1-0) at Consol Energy Center on Friday March 29th.

Scoring Summary
First Quarter:
Blaze: Stallings 2 yard run [Adrian Trevino kick good] 7-0 11:46
Power: Washington 12 yard pass from Jefferson [Josh Czajkowski kick good] 7-7 5:21
Blaze: Urrutia 35 yard pass from Grady [Trevino kick good] 14-7 2:20

Second Quarter:
Power: Washington 9 yard pass from Jefferson [Czajkowski kick good] 14-14 14:11
Blaze: Urrutia 17 yard pass from Grady [Trevino kick good] 21-14 12:57
Blaze: Deadder 1 yard run [Trevino kick no good] 27-14 9:06
Blaze: Marsh 3 yard fumble recovery [Trevino kick good] 34-14 7:42
Power: Wise 24 yard pass from Jefferson [Czajkowski kick no good] 34-20 4:02
Blaze: Castile 18 yard pass from Grady [Trevino kick good] 41-20 1:36
Power: Wise 16 yard pass from Jefferson [Czajkowski kick good] 41-27 1:00

Third Quarter:
Blaze: Stallings 1 yard run [Trevino kick good] 48-27 0:53

Fourth Quarter:
Blaze: Safety 50-27 13:53
Blaze: Urrutia 9 yard pass from Grady [Trevino kick good] 57-27 7:48
Blaze: Urrutia 7 yard pass from Grady [Trevino kick good] 64-27 0:03
Power: Baker 14 yard pass from Jefferson 64-33 0:00

Posted in College Sports

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