It’s that time again, we have finally hit week 2 of the AAF with games between Salt Lake Stallions vs Birmingham Iron.
Week 2 kicked off with the Stallions vs the Iron. First thing I noticed in this game was the Stallions took my advice and put Matt Asiata on the field a bit more. Which unfortunately meant, Asiata made me eat my words with an early fumble just 9 yards away from the end zone. Costing the Stallions an early lead. However, with a consistent rotation of running backs, the Stallions eventually broke the tie, allowing Joel Bouagnon to break through the trenches late in the 2nd quarter to put the Stallions up by 6. On the Iron side of the ball, this team looked completely different to last week.
On offence it’s easy to put the blame on QB Luis Perez, which to an extent, would be correct, with multiple over throws to receivers or should I say receiver. As it appeared the only person, he ever saw was Quinton Patton who just quite couldn’t get to the ball, on what felt like every 2nd attempt. The final factor for the Stallions, aside from obvious QB play, was their long snapper Colton Taylor. first failing to get the length to the kicker on a field goal, his second error was not getting the snap off in time for a 49 yard field goal which Stallions kicker Taylor Bertolet absolutely nailed but after the penalty missed wide on the extra 5 yards. Come the 4th quarter the Stallions took their foot off the pedal, to which Iron capitalised with a late TD in the final 5 minutes.
Final score Stallions – 9 Iron – 12
MVP of game. Stallions DE Karter Shult with 2 sacks 6 tackles 1 forced fumble
Will save the second game until last for the Hotshots Hot Take.
The third game for this week was a clash of giants between the Orlando Apollos vs San Antonio Commanders.
The opening drive got off to a rocky start for the Apollos’ with QB Garret Gilbert looking as nervous as if it was his first day at a new school, letting the defence get control of his mentality. Almost immediately down the other end of the field, you see Commanders RB Kenneth Farrow running through a gauntlet of defenders with a majestic leap into the end zone for 6 points. Early in the 2nd quarter, something must have been said to Gilbert as he connected with fellow Apollo Charles Johnson for a 54-yard gain through the air. On the same drive, RB De’Veon Smith broke through the defenders to get the Apollos’ on the board and in the game, with a touchdown and running in for the 2-point attempt getting the Apollo’s 8 points at the begging of the 2nd.
To continue the huge plays Gilbert then lollipops to uncovered Jalin Marshall for a 57-yard gain giving the Apollo’s perfect field position just inside the redzone. But fortunately for the Commanders, the defence holds, allowing only 3 points at the end of the drive. In the final 2 minutes of the first half, Gilbert connects with his new best friend Charles Johnson for a TD to gain the lead.
The next big score came in an upsetting fumble return by the big guy DL Joey Mbu for the Commanders. Who returned the fumble a massive 8 yards to give the Commanders a 10-point lead. The 4th quarter got off to an exciting start with a 10-yard sack by the Commanders on a beaten up Garret Gilbert. With 8 minutes left, the unsung hero Gilbert once again finds the end zone on a 33-yard pass to Jalin Marshall to tie the game 29-29. The final points of the game come off an interception by Apollos CB Keith Reaser picking off Commanders QB Logan Woodside and taking it all the way back for 6.
Final score Orlando Apollos – 37 San Antonio Commanders – 29
MVP of game. Apollos QB Garret Gilbert with 2 TDs 393 Yards and 0 interceptions.
I apologise for missing a game due to time constraints with myself but I will do my best to tackle all games so as for the final game of the week the score was set as, San Diego Fleet – 24 Atlanta Legends – 12.
Time for the Hotshots Hot Take.
This week the Arizona Hotshots faced off against the Memphis Express who were coming off a disappointing first game with 0 points scored and looking to change that. The beginning of the game saw the Express pull an early lead with a field goal. They followed this up with an interception returned for 6 points. The Hotshots ended the half with 3 critical turnovers. It wasn’t until the end of the third quarter that the Hotshots decided to show up. A much-needed touchdown from none other than Reshad Ross using his speed and elusiveness to get the 6 points. The 4th quarter opened with a touchdown run by Memphis QB Christian Hackenberg to make the game 6-18. Then it started to turn thanks to a 45 yard run to the house from Hotshots RB Justin Stockton. The Hotshots didn’t take the lead until the middle of the 4th with a touchdown in the red zone. Unfortunately, for the Express in the end, Hackenberg couldn’t get it done.
Final Score. Arizona Hotshots – 20 Memphis Express – 18
MVP of game. Hotshots RB Justin Stockton with 54 yards rushing, 5 carries, 1 TD
MVP of the week was Garret Gilbert.
Overview for the week.
1. Linebackers control this game.
2. All running backs need to work on their ball control, too many fumbles.