Commanders vs. Hotshots injury report for Wednesday

Derron Smith. The Orlando Apollos beat the San Antonio Commanders 37-29 on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, at the Alamodome. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders safety Derron Smith, making a tackle Saturday against Salt Lake, did not participate in practice on Wednesday at the Alamodome.

From Commanders news release

SAN ANTONIO COMMANDERS

Pos Player Injury Wed. Participation
OL Fred Lauina Ankle DNP
LB Austin Larkin Head DNP
WR Mekale McKay Ankle DNP
S Derron Smith Ankle DNP

ARIZONA HOTSHOTS

Pos Player Injury Wed. Participation
LB Obum Gwacham Hand LP
LB Carl Bradford Ankle LP
WR Rashad Ross Shoulder LP
OL Patrick Lewis Knee LP
RB Jhurell Pressley Wrist LP
OL Brant Weiss Ankle LP
OL Malcolm Bunche Foot LP
DB Robert Nelson Knee DNP

Did Not Participate in Practice (DNP)
Limited Participation (LP)=less than 100% of a player’s normal reps

Commanders QB Logan Woodside on physical game vs. Stallions

Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside passed for 164 yards and a touchdown and was sacked six times and threw one interception in Saturday's 19-15 victory over the Stallions. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside passed for 164 yards and a touchdown in Saturday’s 19-15 victory over the Stallions. – photo by Joe Alexander
Word around the San Antonio Commanders last week was that the Salt Lake Stallions had a defensive front as good as any in the AAF.

Logan Woodside got a first-hand look at the Stallions’ defense and pass rush on Saturday. The Stallions caught up to Woodside at times and the Commanders’ quarterback was on the sidelines at the end of the game with a sore left shoulder.

Marquise Williams was in at quarterback when the Commanders scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter of a 19-15 victory.

“I think I got like kind of a stinger,” Woodside said. “And it was lucky. It’s a good thing we had Quise come in, make some plays and help us go down there and score and win that game for sure.”

Woodside was sacked six times for 37 yards in losses. Mike Purcell, a 327-pound defensive tackle, led the Stallions with two sacks.

“It was tough man,” Woodside said. “The whole (AAF) West side, all of the D lines and defenses are really tough. So it was a big challenge for us. I tried to do the best I could to escape from the pocket and make some plays down field. But they were getting at us pretty quick. I’ve just got to do a better job of getting it out quicker.”

Woodside completed 13-of-19 passes for 164 yards with one interception. He threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Mekale McKay in the first quarter to give the Commanders a 6-3 lead.

Commanders defense vs. Stallions photo gallery

Commanders defensive back De'Vante Bausby celebrates a play during Saturday's victory over the Salt Lake Stallions at the Alamodome. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders defensive back De’Vante Bausby celebrates a play during Saturday’s victory over the Salt Lake Stallions at the Alamodome. – photo by Joe Alexander
The San Antonio Commanders defense allowed only one touchdown for the second week in a row in Saturday’s 19-15 victory over the Salt Lake Stallions at the Alamodome.

The Stallions scored their lone touchdown in the final two minutes of the game.

While Salt Lake quarterback Josh Woodrum rallied his team for the late score, the Stallions didn’t have a lot going on offense for much of the game. The Commanders held the Stallions to 49 yards rushing.

Woodrum passed for 229 yards but was sacked twice and officially threw one interception. He was also intercepted on a crucial two-point conversion after the Stallions touchdown (that does not count on the statistics as an interception because it was on the conversion).

Duke Thomas had the Commanders’ interception with a 24-yard return. De’Vante Bausby had the interception on the conversion and returned it the distance to give the Comanders two points.

Commanders linebackers Jayrone Elliott and Danny Ezechukwu both caused fumbles. Elliott and Austin Larkin recorded quarterback sacks.

AAF honors Commanders punter Joseph Zema

The Commanders' Joseph Zema punts against the Stallions on Saturday at the Alamodome. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Commanders’ Joseph Zema punts against the Stallions on Saturday at the Alamodome. – photo by Joe Alexander
San Antonio Commanders punter Joseph Zema was named the AAF special teams player of the week.

From the AAF news release:

Special teams player of the week:
San Antonio P Joseph Zema.

In a tightly contested battle, Zema punted five times for a 46.6-yard average with a long of 54 yards and placed one punt inside the 20. Zema also had two tackles in the game, one of which stopped a potential punt return touchdown, and helped secure a 19-15 victory for The Commanders.

Offensive player of the week:
Arizona QB John Wolford.

Wolford completed 15 of 19 passes (78.9 percent) for 212 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for a 126.3 passer rating and added 44 yards rushing, including a 35-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run that helped lead The Hotshots to a 32-15 victory. Wolford, who also earned offensive player of the week honors in week one, is the first player in Alliance history to win multiple player of the week awards. Photo

Defensive player of the week:
Memphis LB DeMarquis Gates.

Gates led The Express and tied for the league lead in week seven with 10 tackles, including one tackle for loss, and had two quarterback hits in Memphis’ 31-25 overtime victory. Gates, who leads the league with 46 tackles this season, also contributed by blocking a punt which was returned 50 yards for a touchdown in the second half. Photo

Commanders punter Joseph Zema takes the field before Saturday's game against the Stallions at the Alamodome. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders punter Joseph Zema takes the field before Saturday’s game against the Stallions at the Alamodome. – photo by Joe Alexander

Trey Williams soars in with Commanders’ winning touchdown

Commanders running back Trey Williams celebrates with the fans near the end zone after scoring the winning touchdown. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders running back Trey Williams celebrates with the fans near the end zone after scoring the winning touchdown. – photo by Joe Alexander
It’s something that the San Antonio Commanders talked about since training camp.

Trey Williams has explosiveness.

If you get the ball to the former Texas A&M running back in space, magical things can happen.

Saturday night the Commanders got the ball to Williams in space. Winning things happened.

The Commanders and Salt Lake Stallions were tied 9-9 at the Alamodome with less than six minutes left. Commanders quarterback Marquise Williams had the ball in a run-pass option and threw the ball out to Trey Williams.

Commanders receivers Greg Ward Jr. and De’Marcus Ayers made blocks on the outside. Tight end Evan Rodriguez got off the line and made a block.

After that, Stallions defenders kept chasing Trey Williams – but the outcome of the play was already set. He headed down the right sideline and dove into the end zone to make it 15-9. The Commanders led the rest of the way.

Commanders quarterback Marquise Williams against the Stallions

Commanders quarterback Marquise Williams against the Stallions
Commanders quarterback Marquise Williams in the fourth quarter against the Salt Lake Stallions on Saturday at the Alamodome. – photo by Joe Alexander
Marquise Williams had seen some playing time at quarterback this season for the San Antonio Commanders.

But not much, and not in a while.

That changed on Saturday night as the Commanders took on the Salt Lake Stallions in an AAF West matchup at the Alamodome.

With the Commanders struggling on offense in the second half and starting quarterback Logan Woodside taking a hit on his shoulder, Williams got the call in the fourth quarter.

Williams – and the Commanders offense – responded in what turned out to be a 19-15 Commanders victory.

“Our guys kind of just brought it together enough to make a great drive and win the game,” Commanders coach Mike Riley said. “Marquise was so poised going into the game. Logan had hurt his shoulder a little bit. (Williams) went into the game and did a nice job obviously and just kept his poise and made plays and it was a beautiful thing to see.”

Williams used his feet to make things happen. He had an 8-yard carry that picked up a first down.

The former North Carolina quarterback completed 2-of-3 passes for 49 yards.

“I was thankful that Marquise had been in the games,” Riley said. “We played him early on. We’ve said from the beginning we really liked our quarterback room. He kind of just proved everbody right tonight, including himself.”

The key play was a screen pass from Williams to running back Trey Williams with less than six minutes left in the game. Trey Williams broke it for a 36-yard touchdown with 5:25 remaining. That broke a 9-9 tie and gave the Commanders a six-point lead.

Marquise Williams passed to Greg Ward Jr. for the two-point conversion, putting the Commanders in front 17-9.

“He has won a lot of games in his career as a quarterback,” Riley said. “To go in there in those circumstances as hard as it was to do anything, I was really, really impressed that he made some plays to help us win the game.”

Pregame at the Alamodome for Commanders vs. Stallions

Getting ready for the Commanders vs. Stallions game on Saturday night at the Alamodome. - photo by Joe Alexander
Getting ready for the Commanders vs. Stallions game on Saturday night at the Alamodome. – photo by Joe Alexander
Things slowly build up on game day for more than an hour before the first play.

The Alamodome starts out quiet with just a few people moving around.

Players, coaches, team staff and members of the media slowly fill in.

As game time approaches, there is the national anthem and then players take the field.

And as the San Antonio Commanders took on the Salt Lake Stallions on Saturday night, the Alamodome roared as players holding the Commanders flag and Texas flag charged onto the field.

De’Vante Bausby’s interception wraps up Commanders’ victory

Commanders defensive back De'Vante Bausby intercepts a pass and returns it the distance on the Stallions' two-point conversion attempt with 1:54 left in the game. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders defensive back De’Vante Bausby intercepts a pass and returns it the distance on the Stallions’ two-point conversion attempt with 1:54 left in the game. – photo by Joe Alexander
The San Antonio Commanders took the lead for good in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 19-15 victory over the Salt Lake Stallions.

But the Stallions scored a late touchdown that cut the lead to two points and had a chance to tie the game with a two-point conversion.

Here is the scene:

The Commanders take a six-point lead on a touchdown pass from Marquise Williams to Trey Williams, breaking a 9-9 tie. The Commanders make the two-point conversion to stretch the lead to eight points at 17-9.

The Stallions needed to do the same – score a touchdowna and get the two-point conversion. They got their touchdown on a 21-yard pass from Josh Woodrum to Terrell Newby with 1:54 left in the game.

On the Stallions’ conversion, Woodrun tried to throw the ball out to the left to DeMorney Pierson-El. Commanders defensive back De’Vante Bausby, who entered the weekend leading the AAF in interceptions, swooped in front of Pierson-El to make the pick. Bausby returned it all the way in the other direction – depriving the Stallions of their needed two points and giving the Commanders two more points for the final margin.

Marquise Williams rallies Commanders past Stallions

Commanders running back Trey Williams scores the go-ahead touchdown on a 36-yard pass from Marquise Williams with 5:25 left in the game. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders running back Trey Williams scores the go-ahead touchdown on a 36-yard pass from Marquise Williams with 5:25 left in the game. – photo by Joe Alexander
When the San Antonio Commanders needed the cavalry to ride to their rescue, Marquise Williams answered the call.

The Commanders’ backup quarterback entered the game in the fourth quarter and drove the team to the go-ahead touchdown on a 36-yard pass to running back Trey Williams. That broke a 9-9 tie.

Marquise Williams passed to Greg Ward Jr. for the two-point conversion to extend the Commanders’ lead to 17-9 with 5:25 left in the game.

The Commanders (5-2) finished with a 19-15 victory and extended their win streak to four in their first game in the Alamodome after a month on the road. A season high 30,345 fans gave the Commanders their loud support.

  • De’Vante Bausby’s interception wraps up victory
  • Pregame scene at the Alamodome
  • Rock concert crowd breaks out at Commanders game

    Even after the late touchdown, the Commanders still needed a key play on defense to wrap up the win. The Stallions scored a late touchdown and had a chance to tie the game with the two-point conversion. But on the conversion play, Commanders defensive back and turnover machine De’Vante Bausby intercepted a pass and returned it the distance the other way – not only keeping the Stallions from adding two points, but giving the Commanders two points when he crossed the goal line.

    Logan Woodside started at quarterback for the Commanders and played most of the game. Marquise Williams came in to start the touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. He immediately gave the offense a spark with his running. The touchdown to Trey Williams was a short dumpoff that Trey broke for the touchdown.

    The Williams-to-Williams touchdown was the first time the Commanders scored in the second half.

    The Commanders led 9-6 at halftime. The Stallions tied it 9-9 with a field goal in the third quarter.

    The Commanders took their halftime lead on a Nick Rose 23-yard field goal with five second left in the second quarter. The Commanders had gotten to the 1-yard line on a drive that included three big penalties on the Stallions – one a roughing the passer penalty that wiped out a Stallions interception.

    The Commanders’ Duke Thomas had a key interception when the Stallions were driving. The score was tied 6-6 at the time, so Thomas’ pick kept Salt Lake from grabbing the lead.

    The Stallions moved the ball on the opening possession of the game and kicked a field goal to take a 3-0 lead.

    The Commanders went in front 6-3 when Woodside hit Mekale McKay for a 21-yard touchdown pass.

    The Stallions’ second field goal tied it 6-6.

  • Rock concert crowd breaks out at Commanders game

    Fans light up the Alamodome at the Commanders vs. Stallions game on Saturday night. - photo by Joe Alexander
    Fans light up the Alamodome at the Commanders vs. Stallions game on Saturday night. – photo by Joe Alexander
    There were pyrotechnics.

    There were bright lights.

    There was cheering.

    There was the wave.

    But most of all there were 30,345 fans having a good time on Saturday night as the San Antonio Commanders took on the Salt Lake Stallions.

    The crowd at the Alamodome, which has hosted big musical acts from Guns N Roses to One Direction, had the feeling of a concert crowd at times.