Here we are, the midway point of the regular season. It’s Week 5 of the AAF.
The first matchup has been a long-awaited one between the high-powered offence of the Orlando Apollos going up against the steel curtain defence of the Birmingham Iron. In the first drive, you see immediately why there is a huge case for Garret Gilbert to be league MVP with him passing on every down and connecting with his big TE Scott Orndoff for 6 points in the first 3 minutes of the game. On the other side, the Iron got insanely lucky after not getting a first down, their punt is recovered after being fumbled by Apollos return man D’Ernest Johnson. For the Iron however they may have the number 1 defence but their offence fizzles out failing to hit a 30-yard field goal.
For the Iron, things got worse with Perez throwing a pass to Perkins who was nailed in the backfield. The following play Perez throws an interception to Apollos defender Reaser who then runs it in for 6 points to give the Apollos a huge early lead. This cause the Iron to make a replacement at QB bringing in Keith Price. The first points of the 2nd quarter come from an FG by Apollos K Elliot Fry to make the game 17-0. For the Iron, their first TD comes from none other than Trent Richardson, his 8th on the year to give his team 6 points. Apollos close out the half with an FG from Fry. Score at the half 20-8 Orlando’s way.
The opening of the second half continues to be a struggle for the Iron as Keith Price takes a sack from Apollos Earl Okine. A few minutes later Price takes another sack this time from Jerel Worthy forcing the punt. At the 7 minute mark of the 3rd Price used his athleticism running out of the pocket to connect with Wes Saxton for 35 yards. On the same drive, Price throws a dime to Brandon Ross for the first passing TD for the Iron. On the other side, the Apollos flex their offensive muscle with a 40 yard run from De’Veon Smith. The drive finished with another perfect kick from Fry who is now 11/11 on the year, making it a 9 point game heading into the last quarter. 6 minutes into the 4th Gilbert connects with the leading receiver Charles Johnson, then finds Marshall to complete the conversion. Unfortunately, for the Iron despite multiple offensive attempts, they failed to score.
Final score. Orlando Apollos – 31 Birmingham Iron – 14. MVP of the game. Orlando Apollos QB Garret Gilbert going 23-35 for 286 yards, 2 TDs and still no interceptions.
The 2nd game of the week a colossal matchup between the San Diego Fleet and the Salt Lake Stallions. The first TD comes from an elusive run Stallions RB Joel Bouagnon in the final 30 seconds of the first quarter, not to be left out Josh Woodrum runs it in for the 2 making it an 8 point drive. Attempting to get back in the game, Fleet QB Mike Bercovici slings it 35 yards in the air to Marcus Baugh to get the Fleet inside the Stallions 40. Sadly, for the Fleet, the drives end in a 34-yard field goal making it a 2-point game. Hoping to gain some momentum, Fleet defender Kameron Kelly picks off a hot Josh Woodrum. On that drives Bercovici once again connects with his big TE Baugh this time for a 30-yard gain. The drive ends short for the Fleet, with a turnover on downs after the Stallions flex their red zone defence and it results in no points.
On the other side of the ball, Woodrum drives the field only to be picked off once again by Kelly. Score at the half 8-6 Stallions way. Opening the 3rd Bercovici takes a huge sack on 3rd and 7 from league sack leader Karter Shult, forcing the punt. Closing in on the end of the 3rd Fleet returner Ron Brooks brings a punt back for 35 yards. Later in the same quarter Fleet, LB Frank Ginda comes up with a huge FF on Terrell Newby, which was picked up by fellow Fleet defender Jordan Martin and returned for a pivotal touchdown. On the next Stallions drive, Woodrum takes a huge sack from Damontre Moore forcing a fumble, which was recovered by himself, giving an advantage on field position. On the next play, Bercovici airs it to Ben Johnson scoring a TD.
In the 4th Bercovici throws an interception to an athletic Will Davis. Nullifying any momentum Woodrum threw another pick to Kelly, who this time returns it for the 6 points. To get the Stallions back in it they drive the entire field late in the 4th and score a TD on the legs of Bouagnon. Finally, in the 2 minutes, Woodrum throws it deep for 38 yards being taken in by Adonis Jennings. On the same drive, Woodrum whips it to Nick Truesdell for a late TD with less than a minute to go, and aids in the 2-point conversion. To start the miracle comeback Bercovici throws a rocket 45 yards down the field to Dontez Ford. Setting up a long 44 yard FG. Which K Donny Hageman nails.
Final score Salt Lake Stallions – 25 San Diego Fleet – 27. MVP of game Kameron Kelly with 5 tackles, 4 passes defended, 3 interceptions and a pick 6
Once again, I did miss a game due to some family matters I do apologise however, final score was Memphis Express – 20 Atlanta Legends – 23.
Finally it’s time for the Hotshots Hot Take. This week the Hotshots go up against the San Antonio Commanders. For the Hotshots they get off to a struggle with Wolford throwing a pick 6 to Derron Smith. Later in the quarter, the Commanders continue to run up the score with a huge 60-yard pass TD from Mekale McKay. Opening the 2nd it’s a continuous struggle for the Hotshots as Kenneth Farrow runs it for a TD making it 3 unanswered scores. Wolford then throws another interception this time to De’Vante Bausby. Finally in the midway point of 2nd the Hotshots force a turnover after sacking Woodside. Unfortunately Wolford throws ANOTHER interception once again by Derron Smith.
The Commanders then piled on the offence by throwing another TD this time is Woodside to Reden. In the 3rd quarter, it looks as if the Hotshots found their luck with Erick Dragon picking off Logan Woodside for a decent return. With that Wolford connected with Ross for Ross’ 6th TD on the year and with a 2 point conversion it makes the game 26-8 with 5 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter. Opening the 4th Kenneth Farrow does what he does best with a massive 43 yard gain on the ground to set the tone. To keep hope alive the hotshots score 6 just before the 2 minute warning with a reception by Thomas Duarte, and Ross catching the extra points. With 1:20 left in the game Hotshots RB Tim Cook runs it in for 6 points. Making it a 4-point game. Unfortunately the Hotshots got frozen.
Final score San Antonio Commanders – 29 Arizona Hotshots – 25. MVP of game the entire Commanders defence.
MVP of the week Kameron Kelly
Overview for the week.
1. These were the best games I’ve seen in the Alliance
2. Still better than the Super Bowl.
Catch me on twitter for most updates @skulzy951