The San Antonio Commanders’ 12-11 victory over the Birmingham Iron on Sunday did more than snap the team out of a two-game losing streak.
The Commanders are now 1-1 on the road and 2-2 overall, putting them in a tie for the lead in the AAF West.
“There’s three of in the West that are 2-2,” Commanders coach Mike Riley said. “Every victory right now is really kind of important for that inching ahead.”
The Commanders earned their victory over the Iron by running the ball and putting together some long drives. Having to string together drives came in large part because they were often taking over the ball around the 10-yard line. The Commanders got their first possession at the 9, and drove far enough to get a Nick Rose field goal and a 3-0 lead.
“The first drive of last week, we didn’t get a touchdown but we came away with three points,” Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside said. “We held the ball for a while. I think that’s good for us because it gets our defense a chance to rest.
“The punter did a really good job. He had a really good leg. It’s tough but we had to start from the 10-yard line a few times. It’s just up to the offense to make plays and not make mistakes and go down and try to put points on the board.”
The offense chewed up the clock largely on the 30 carries for a league-record 142 yards by running back Kenneth Farrow II. Trey Williams also saw a little action at running back and ran for a touchdown.
“I think we came out and established the run game,” Woodside said. “The O line and Ken (Farrow) did a great job throughout the game and really made it easy on me. I was really happy and proud of those guys and proud of Ken for sure.
“I just had to do my job. I can’t control how the plays are called. When they are just execute them to the best of my ability. Had to make a few checks throughout the game in the run game. I think that helped us out, so it was good. I think that’s something I pride myself on during the week is getting the right looks and getting the run game because that can really help us out a lot.”
The Commanders’ defense held the Iron to one touchdown and also came up with critical turnovers. The turnover battle, which had hurt the Commanders in the their two losses, worked out on San Antonio’s side on Sunday.
“We were running the ball. It was really close to the vest,” Riley said. “One mistake by either team was probably going to lose the game. That’s what happened. They turned the ball over to over and we won the game.”
Wednesday’s practice at Central Catholic was the first for the team since Sunday’s game. The positive feeling from the victory seemed to carry over into practice.
“It was hard and we had to fight to win and everybody feels good when that happens,” Riley said. “It was a good football team, very, very solid Birmingham. So it took everything to beat them. I think they feel good about that because they know our team prepared well and we played hard – really hard – in that game.”