Commanders vs. Apollos photo gallery part 2

Commanders linebackers Jayrone Elliott and Nick Temple celebrate after a play in Sunday's loss to the Orlando Apollos. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders linebackers Jayrone Elliott and Nick Temple celebrate after a play in Sunday’s loss to the Orlando Apollos. – photo by Joe Alexander
After the first two weeks of the season, several of the San Antonio Commanders are among the league leaders.

Commanders linebacker Shaan Washington, who grabbed the league’s attention with his big hit in Week 1, is tied for the AAF lead in quarterback sacks with 3. Teammate Winston Craig is third with 2.5.

Logan Woodside is second in passing yards with 478.

Kenneth Farrow II is fourth in rushing yards with 111 despite rotating at running back with Aaron Green and David Cobb.

Mekale McKay is fifth in receiving yards with 116.

More league statistical leaders at:
aaf.com/league/stats

Joey Mbu, Jayrone Elliott give Commanders’ defense its first TD: photo gallery

Commanders defensive lineman Joey Mbu and the San Antonio fans celebrate as he scores his third-quarter touchdown on a fumble return Sunday at the Alamodome. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders defensive lineman Joey Mbu and the San Antonio fans celebrate as he scores his third-quarter touchdown on a fumble return Sunday at the Alamodome. – photo by Joe Alexander
The San Antonio Commanders recorded their first defensive touchdown in franchise history in Week 2.

Here is the scene Sunday:

The Commanders had just boosted their lead to 21-17 over the Orlando Apollos in the third quarter after a Nick Rose field goal. The Apollos have a second-and-16 at their own 19-yard line.

Apollos quarterback Garrett Gilbert drops back in an obvious passing situation. Commanders linebacker Jayrone Elliott gets to Garrett from his backside, hitting Garrett in the right shoulder and arm. Garrett, who was set to throw, has the ball jarred up in the air.

Joey Mbu, moving in from his defensive line position, gets around the pile of Garrett, Elliott and Apollos offensive lineman Aaron Evans. The 332-pound Mbu scoops up the ball and takes off for the end zone – setting off a celebration in the Alamodome.

The touchdown and the successful two-point conversion gave the Commanders a 29-17 lead with 8:10 left in the third quarter.

That, however, was the last time the Commanders scored. The Apollos put up 20 points in the fourth quarter to take a 37-29 victory.

Commanders QB Logan Woodside on loss to Apollos: photo gallery

Commanders starting quarterback Logan Woodside passed for 223 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's loss to the Orlando Apollos at the Alamodome. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders starting quarterback Logan Woodside passed for 223 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s loss to the Orlando Apollos at the Alamodome. – photo by Joe Alexander
Logan Woodside was the San Antonio Commanders’ starting quarterback for the second straight game.

And Woodside did indeed get off to a good start as the Commanders put up touchdowns on their first two possession on Sunday at the Alamodome.

But the Commanders didn’t score an offensive touchdown the rest of the game and the Orlando Apollos rallied in the fourth quarter for a 37-29 victory.

“They’re a lot of Tampa-two (defense),” Woodside said. “It made it hard on us. We really had to be patient to pick and choose our spots to take our shots and just tried to move it down the field.

“They made a good adjustment the second half. Played some zone. Dropped some guys out of there. Credit to coach Spurrier and that defensive staff for what they did. They made it hard on us.”

For the game Woodside completed 20-of-39 passes for 223 yards. He threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Evan Rodriguez. Woodside’s longest passes of the game were for 29 yards to De’Marcus Ayers and also 29 yards to Mekale McKay.

In what was the most crucial play of the fourth quarter, Woodside threw an interception that Orlando’s Keith Reaser returned 38 yards for a touchdown to put the Apollos in front for good.

“It’s off coverage. We ran a 10-yard out route, something we do every day in practice,” Woodside said. “I have all the confidence in the world to throw it to Mekale McKay. Threw a good ball, threw it on time. He just made a play.

“That’s football. I’m not going to stop throwing it because he made an interception. He just made a really good play and all credit to him.”

Marquise Williams sees time as Commanders’ QB

Commanders quarterback Marquise Williams played one series in the second quarter Sunday against the Orlando Apollos. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders quarterback Marquise Williams played one series in the second quarter Sunday against the Orlando Apollos. – photo by Joe Alexander
The San Antonio Commanders made a temporary change of quarterbacks Sunday.

Marquise Williams entered the game in the second quarterback and played for one possession in the Commanders’ 37-29 loss to the Orlando Apollos at the Alamodome.

Williams completed 2-of-4 passes for 3 yards. His completions went for a 6-yard gain and 3-yard loss. He also ran with the ball three times for 32 yards including a 17-yard gain.

The Commanders got a 50-yard field goal from Nick Rose at the end of the drive to extend their lead to 15-8.

“I think Marquise, as you saw, made some plays,” Commanders coach Mike Riley said. “We should have put him back in the second half and lost track of what was going on there when he should have gone back in. But we’ll continue to do that with him.”

Here is the official play-by-play for the Commanders’ possession with Williams at quarterback.

San Antonio Commanders at 12:53
1-10-SA 25 (12:53) (Shotgun) M.Williams left guard to SA 25 for no gain (T.Parks; E.Okine). New QB #12 Williams
1-10-SA 25(12:21) (Shotgun) K.Farrow, II right tackle to SA 27 for 2 yards (R.Davis, Sr.; G.Newberry).
2-10-SA 25(11:48) (Shotgun) M.Williams scrambles up the middle to SA 42 for 15 yards (W.Hill, III).
3-8-SA 27R11(11:08) (Shotgun) M.Williams pass incomplete deep left to D.Ayers.
1-10-SA 42(11:01) (Shotgun) K.Farrow, II left guard to SA 48 for 6 yards (T.Parks; J.Evans).
2-10-SA 42(10:22) (Shotgun) M.Williams scrambles right end to ORL 35 for 17 yards (L.Gunter).
3-4-SA 48R12(9:36) (Shotgun) M.Williams pass short left to A.Moore to ORL 38 for -3 yards (L.Gunter).
1-10-ORL 35(9:10) (Shotgun) M.Williams pass incomplete short middle to G.Ward, Jr..
2-13-ORL 38Timeout #2 by SA at 09:05.(9:05)
3-13-ORL 38(9:05) (Shotgun) M.Williams pass short left to A.Green to ORL 32 for 6 yards (L.Gunter) [A.Moten, Jr.].
4-7-ORL 32(8:24) N.Rose 50 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-S.Daly, Holder-J.Zema
ORL 8 SA 15, 10 plays, 43 yards, 4:33 drive, 6:40 elapsed

After the one possession, starter Logan Woodside returned at quarterback.

“We think that they both should play by really what they’ve done,” Riley said. “I failed on that the first game and we decided just to go put him in the third series of the game today and we should have done that the second half too.

“I’m not really suggesting too big of a drama part of this thing. I wouldn’t do it if I thought it was hurting our team. I think he’s earned that position to play. We kind of look at the bulk of the work that was done from mini-camp all the way through.”

The Commanders, who scored touchdowns with their first two possession of the game with Woodside at quarterback, didn’t score an offensive touchdown the rest of the game.

“I do think Logan is our starter. I like him,” Riley said. “But I think Marquise, as you saw, can give us a change of pace.”

Farrow’s tough running gives Commanders first TD against Apollos

Kenneth Farrow II scored the Commanders' first touchdown of the game on a 15-yard run on Sunday against the Orlando Apollos. - photo by Joe Alexander
Kenneth Farrow II scored the Commanders’ first touchdown of the game on a 15-yard run on Sunday against the Orlando Apollos. – photo by Joe Alexander
Any football team loves to make a statement early in the game by running the ball successfully.

The Commanders did that on Sunday night on the legs of Kenneth Farrow II. The Commanders’ opening drive lasted 10 plays and went for 59 yards while burning almost six minutes off the clock.

Four of those first 10 plays were runs by Farrow. He carried the ball for 4 yards on the Commanders’ first offensive play. He also had carries of 8 and 6 yards on the drive before scoring.

Farrow pounded and then hurdled his way to a 15-yard touchdown run for the first points of the game with 5:57 left in the first quarter. Farrow hit the end zone head first and had to get some assistance before walking off the field.

Farrow returned to the game and led the Commanders in rushing with 74 yards on 13 carries (5.7 yards per carry). He also caught two passes for 25 yards.

Apollos surge late to beat Commanders: Part 1

Commanders tight end Evan Rodriguez celebrates in the end zone after catching a first-half touchdown pass from Logan Woodside on Sunday at the Alamodome. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders tight end Evan Rodriguez celebrates in the end zone after catching a first-half touchdown pass from Logan Woodside on Sunday at the Alamodome. – photo by Joe Alexander
The Orlando Apollos turned a fourth-quarter interception into the go-ahead touchdown to beat the San Antonio Commanders 37-29 on Sunday at the Alamodome.

The Commanders (1-1) split their first two games of the season at home. They play the next four games on the road. The Apollos stayed undefeated at 2-0.

Orlando defensive back Keith Reason intercepted a pass and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown with 7:02 left in the game. The Apollos outscored the Commanders 17-0 in the fourth quarter.

The Commanders got the first score of the game on a 15-yard run by Kenneth Farrow II. Logan Woodside hit a 1-yard pass to Evan Rodriguez to give the Commanders a 12-0 lead in the first quarter.

The Commanders’ next three scores came on Nick Rose field goals of 50, 38 and 37 yards.

Rose’s last field goal put the Commanders ahead 21-17. San Antonio extended the lead to 29-17 after the Commanders’ defense produced a sack and fumble and defensive lineman Joey Mbu returned it 8 yards for a touchdown with 8:10 left in the third quarter.

The Apollos tied it on the fourth quarter on two field goals and a 23-yard touchdown pass from Garrett Gilbert to Jalin Marshall.

Kenneth Farrow II’s first-quarter touchdown: photo gallery
Marquise Williams sees time at quarterback: photo gallery

Commanders linemen show off their QB skills

Commanders offensive linemen Brian Folkerts (67) and Andrew McDonald (69) work on their passing skills on Friday at Central Catholic High School. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders offensive linemen Brian Folkerts (67) and Andrew McDonald (69) work on their passing skills on Friday at Central Catholic High School. – photo by Joe Alexander
The San Antonio Commanders quarterback competition got bigger at Friday’s practice.

San Antonio’s offensive linemen, apparently tired of just pushing people around, spent some time working on their passing skills.

Players like tackle Mo Porter, guard Cyril Richardson, guard Mason Gentry, center Brian Folkerts, guard Jovann Letuli, tackle Andrew McDonald and guard Fred Lauina showed they could sling the ball around.

Commanders quarterbacks Logan Woodside, Marquise Williams and Dustin Vaughan were not immediately available for comment after practice.

Commanders vs. Fleet final play: photo gallery

San Antonio's Mekale McKay (right) and Derron Smith celebrate after the Commanders stopped the San Diego Fleet on the final play of the season opener on Saturday at the Alamodome. - photo by Joe Alexander
San Antonio’s Mekale McKay (right) and Derron Smith celebrate after the Commanders stopped the San Diego Fleet on the final play of the season opener on Saturday at the Alamodome. – photo by Joe Alexander
By the time the clock was winding down Saturday night, the drama was already over.

The San Antonio Commanders had a victory in hand as they led the San Diego Fleet 15-6 with time running out.

That didn’t stop the Fleet, who didn’t score a touchdown in the game, from taking one last shot at the end zone.

Fleet quarterback Philip Nelson was on the field in the fourth quarter after the Commanders’ defensive front beat up San Diego starter Mike Bercovici earlier in the game.

Following a defensive penalty, the Fleet ended the game with an untimed down from the Commanders’ 35-yard line. Nelson threw a high arcing pass into the end zone intended for 6-foot-4 tight end Marcus Baugh.

The pass got through to Baugh’s hands – but that wasn’t the end of the story. MeKale McKay, the Commanders’ 6-foot-3 receiver, was back in the defensive secondary on the play. McKay, safety Chase Dutra and safety Nick Orr all sandwiched Baugh as he went up for the ball.

McKay got his right hand in and helped wrench the ball away from Baugh.

And with a little help from one of San Antonio’s starting receivers, the Commanders’ defense finished the night without giving up a touchdown.

Commanders vs. Apollos: Thursday injury report

San Antonio Commanders helmet from image released by the AAF @theAAF on Twitter.SAN ANTONIO COMMANDERS

Pos Player Injury Thurs. Participation
TE Cole Hunt Knee Limited
OL Fred Lauina Knee Full
S Orion Stewart Back Full
CB Duke Thomas Thigh Limited
RB Trey Williams Foot Limited

ORLANDO APOLLOS

Pos Player Injury Thursday Participation
OLB Ryan Davis Sr. Ankle Full
CB LaDarius Gunter Knee Full
CB Mark Myers Jr. Head Full
DT Leon Orr Knee DNP
CB Cody Riggs Hamstring Full
CB D’Joun Smith Knee Full

DNP = Did Not Participate in Practice

Commanders’ De’Vante Bausby makes key interception vs. Fleet: photo gallery

Commanders cornerback De'Vante Bausby returns a third-quarter interception in the season opener against the San Diego Fleet on Saturday at the Alamodome. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders cornerback De’Vante Bausby returns a third-quarter interception in the season opener against the San Diego Fleet on Saturday at the Alamodome. – photo by Joe Alexander
San Antonio Commanders defensive backs made three interceptions in Saturday’s 15-6 victory over the San Diego Fleet at the Alamodome.

Two of those came near the goal line or in the end zone to potentially keep the Fleet from scoring.

De’Vante Bausby’s interception was near the middle of the field. But two snaps after the cornerback from Pittsburg State produced his turnover, the Commanders scored the only touchdown of the game.

“Short fields are critical,” Commanders general manager Daryl Johnston said. “It’s the one way you can come out on top and it’s the one way you can find yourself on the short end of a score afterword.

“To have your defense not only take away an opportunity for points to go on the board for your opponents, but to provide you with an oppornity for points on the board is a huge flip.”

Here is the scene:

The score is tied 6-6 late in the third quarterback. Fleet quarterback Mike Bercovici completes a first-down 17-yard pass to Brian Brown just across midfield to the Commanders’ 47-yard line.

The next play, Bercovici throws a pass intended for Gavin Escobar, the former Dallas Cowboy. Bausby steps in front, intercepts the pass and returns it 19 yards.

Commanders coach Mike Riley looks for a big offensive play when San Antonio takes over. Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside hits Alonzo Moore for a 46-yard gain on the final play of the fourth quarter.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Commanders running back Kenneth Farrow II scores the only touchdown of the game from 3 yards out and the Commanders lead 12-6.