Vipers close season with a win

The Vipers took a four-point lead on former NFL and Arkansas quarterback Clint Stoerner's 27-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Grier with less than 30 seconds to play, and Eric Crosby's interception as time wound down sealed a 68-64 victory over Utah before 5,136 fans Saturday night at the Von Braun Center. Alabama ended the season at 7-9, while Utah finished 2-14.

Stoerner completed 21 of 30 passes for 210 yards and seven touchdowns with one interception in his debut for the Vipers, while Brett Elliott threw for 205 yards and five touchdowns on 21 of 30 passing with three interceptions for the Blaze.

CJ Johnson paced Alabama with 11 catches for 114 yards and three scores and also scored on a 56-yard kickoff return. Aaron Boone had 14 receptions for 97 and two touchdowns for Utah.

The Vipers led 42-28 at the half after Stoerner's 10-yard strike to Johnson and 56-35 after Vince Hill's 29-yard interception return with 8:16 remaining in the third quarter. The Blaze, however, rallied behind Elliott's arm and went ahead 61-56 on Aaron LeSue 12-yard catch with 4:57 to play in the game.

Alabama would reclaim the lead by a point on Willie Quinne's 13-yard score from Stoerner at the one-minute mark, but a 20-yard field goal by Ben Scott gave the visitors a 64-62 edge with 39 seconds to go before Grier's catch through traffic in the back of the end zone won it for the Vipers.