After a successful debut, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) entered week two of their inaugural season with San Diego and Memphis in their home openers.
San Diego Fleet 24, Atlanta Legends 12
Professional football returned to San Diego as 20,000 fans welcomed the Fleet in their home opener. The Legends jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the sloppy weather conditions but the Fleet stormed back as running back Ja’Quan Gardner scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns and the Fleet gained a total of 185 yards on the ground. Gardner finished the game with 15 carries for 104 yards and two scores.
Arizona HotShots 20, Memphis Express 18
The HotShots spoiled the Express home opener in Memphis. The Express dominated for the majority of the game, including taking a 12-0 lead into halftime with the AAF’s first ever 100-yard rusher in Zac Stacy, who led all teams with 101 yards on the night. However, Arizona got their game together to shut down the run. The Hotshots got a 4-yard touchdown pass from John Wolford to running back Tim Cook with 7:07 remaining to take the lead. Justin Stockton had scored on a 45-yard run four minutes earlier to kick start the Hotshots offense.
Orlando Apollos 37, San Antonio Commanders 29
Apollos’ Quarterback Garrett Gilbert hit Jalin Marshall for a touchdown to tie the game at 29. Defensive back Keith Reaser then picked off San Antonio quarterback Logan Woodside and returned it for a touchdown to give Orlando the lead and the win to keep Steve Spurrier’s team undefeated. Gilbert had 393 yards passing and two touchdowns in the win for the Apollos.
Birmingham Iron 12, Salt Lake City Stallions 9
Iron running back Trent Richardson looked good again this week. He scored on a two-yard run with 4:48 remaining as Birmingham overcame a 9-0 deficit. Richardson finished with a total of 91 yards in the game.
AAF News and Notes:
- I was surprised to learn that the AAF was already facing some financial issues but apparently they were bailed out with a $250 million investment from Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon. Some reports had indicated that the AAF might miss their payroll this week.
- Salt Lake City running back Joel Bouagnon had 11 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown in the Stallions’ loss to Birmingham.
- Orlando wide receiver Charles Johnson had seven receptions for 192 yards for the Apollos.
- San Diego Fleet quarterback Philip Nelson made an incredible no-look pass in the game against the Atlanta Legends. Watch it here.
Week 2 AAF Standings:
- Eastern Division
- Orlando Apollos (2-0)
- Birmingham Iron (2-0)
- Atlanta Legends (0-2)
- Memphis Express (0-2)
- Western Division
- Arizona Hotshots (2-0)
- San Antonio Commanders (1-1)
- San Diego Fleet (1-1)
- Salt Lake City Stallions (0-2)
Week 3 Schedule:
- Arizona at Salt Lake City
- Memphis at Orlando
- Birmingham at Atlanta
- San Antonio at San Diego