When the San Antonio Commanders walk off the field tonight, their regular season will be half over.
If the Commanders win their road game against the Arizona Hotshots, they will be tied for the lead in the AAF West. A Commanders loss would leave them in a second-place tie but only a game above last place.
“I’m just excited for this next game,” Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside said. “We know it’s a big game, a really good opponent in Arizona. We’ll be ready to go.”
The Commanders (2-2) and Hotshots (2-2) play at 7 p.m. Central time at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.
(TV on NFL Network, radio in San Antonio on ESPN SA AM-1250)
The San Diego Fleet (3-2), playing a day head of the Commanders and Hotshots, got a field goal on the final play of the game to beat the Salt Lake Stallions and jump to the top of the West standings.
The Commanders are coming off a 12-11 road victory over the Birmingham Iron in which the Commanders got a dominating performance from running back Kenneth Farrow II. The Commanders also had the advantage in turnovers against the Iron.
The Commanders are likely to push for another big running game tonight.
“It is very important that we find the runs we need in the game,” Commanders coach Mike Riley said. “If we take care of the football and we run the ball well we have a good chance to win.”
The Hotshots’ offense is directed by quarterback John Wolford, who is completing 61.2 percent of his passes in the first four games for 780 yards and eight touchdowns with three interceptions. He will face the Commanders defense that leads the AAF in quarterback sacks.
The Hotshots’ running backs collectively average 4.8 yards per carry but have only one rushing touchdown. Jhurell Pressley is their top ball carrier with 266 yards and 4.9 yards per carry.
“They’re pretty multiple offensively,” Riley said. “They are probably more (run-pass options) than anybody that we’ll see. They have an active quarterback. He’s a good kind of a slick operator with that stuff. ”
The Hotshots’ head coach is former San Antonio Gunslingers quarterback Rick Neuheisel. This will be the fifth meating for Riley and Neuheisel as head coaches with the first four all coming in college games in the Pac-12. Both coaches have won two of those meetings.
“Rick is a great coach, a great guy,” Riley said. “I’m really proud to be in the league with him. I know they’ll have a good team, well prepared. We’re going to have to play well to beat them.”