Commanders’ defense takes away road win over Hotshots

Video from Twitter via @aafcommanders

The San Antonio Commanders’ defense produced five takeaways – including two interceptions by Derron Smith – in a 29-25 road victory over the Arizona Hotshots on Sunday in Tempe, Ariz.

The victory gives the Commanders (3-2) a tie with the San Diego Fleet (3-2) at the top of the AAF West standings. The Commanders have won two straight on the road.

Smith had two of the three interceptions the Commanders’ defense got off Hotshots quarterback John Wolford. That carried the Commanders to a 26-0 first-half lead. Wolford had thrown only three interceptions in the first four games combined but had three in the first half against the Commanders. De’Vante Bausby had the Commanders’ other interception.

Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside was sharp in the first half, completing 12 of 13 passes for 192 passes. He finished the game 21 of 27 for 290 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

The Hotshots made a game of it in the second half, outscoring the Commanders 25-3 over the third and fourth quarters. The Commanders’ defense made a final game-clinching stop when the Hotshots went for an on-side conversion in the last two minutes of the game.

The Commanders got the first big play of the game on the Hotshots opening possession. Smith intercepted a Wolford pass and returned it 66 yards for a touchdown.

The Commanders were also efficient on offense early, scoring touchdowns on their first three possession. The Commanders extended their early lead to 14-0 on a 54-yard touchdown pass from Woodside to Mekale McKay.

The Commanders’ second offensive possession of the game cashed in on a 1-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Farrow II. Woodside threw a 5-yard TD pass to tight end Stehly Reden and the Commanders lead 26-0.

San Antonio had a drive into the red zone at the end of the first half. That ended on a turnover after a miss-timed snap. The Commanders had a second-half drive in the red zone come up empty on an interception near the goal line.

The Hotshots hit back-to-back long passes on their first possession of the second half. The second of those two completions was a 45-yard touchdown from Wolford to Rashad Ross. The Hotshots added a 23-yard field goal by former Dallas Cowboys kicker Nick Folk. Wolford’s second touchdown pass went 4 yards to tight end Thomas Duarte.

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