Commanders fall to Hotshots – photo gallery part 2

Commanders cornerback Duke Thomas (21) breaks up a pass intended for Hotshots wide receiver Rashad Ross on Sunday at the Alamodome. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders cornerback Duke Thomas (21) breaks up a pass intended for Hotshots wide receiver Rashad Ross on Sunday at the Alamodome. – photo by Joe Alexander
The San Antonio Commanders’ four-game win streak ended Sunday with a home-field 23-6 loss to the Arizona Hotshots at the Alamodome.

The Commanders turn around with a short week. They play the Memphis Express on Saturday at 11 a.m. (Central) at the Alamodome. The Express are coming off a 34-31 loss to the Orlando Apollos.

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.

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.

  • Commanders wrap up road stretch with victory over Legends

    image from Twitter.com @aafcommanders

    Editor’s note: This story was updated Sunday night after the Birmingham Iron beat the San Diego Fleet 32-29

    The San Antonio Commanders wrapped up the dreaded four-game road stretch of their schedule with their third straight victory and return home at the top of the standings.

    The Commanders defense came up with a series of big plays for the second week in a row as they knocked off the Atlanta Legends 37-6 on Sunday at Georgia State Stadium.

    The Commanders (4-2) went 3-1 on the road stretch of the schedule. They play at the Alamodome on Sunday at 7 p.m. (Central) against the Salt Lake Stallions (2-4). The Commanders have sole possession of first place in the AAF West. San Diego and Salt Lake are both 3-3.

    “We just finished 3-1 on the road on a four-game road trip, which I think is pretty impressive for us,” Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside said. “We’ve got a chance to go back and play a really good Salt Lake team back in San Antonio. We’re excited about going back and playing in the Dome.”

    Commanders defensive backs De’Vante Bausby, Zack Sanchez and Derron Smith all came up with interceptions. Smith had an interception return for a touchdown for a second straight week. Duke Thomas added a first-half fumble recovery.

    The Commanders scored touchdowns after their first three takeaways.

    “We’ve got some good players and they made plays today,” Commanders coach Mike Riley said. “They’re athletic and they’re savvy. Derron Smith is a very unique football player.
    (Zack) Sanchez made another interception. Those guys, if you make a mistake around them, they’re going to make you pay. They play with a lot of confidence.

    “Getting turnovers is one thing. Being able to capitalize with points, that was really the game today. We got the ball in some good situations for our offense. We did take advantage of it and made it count got a good early lead because of it.”

    Greg Ward Jr. gave the Commanders a special teams score when he returned a punt for a league-record 79-yard touchdown. The Commanders’ offense did not have any turnovers.

    “I was really proud of our team today,” Riley said. “I think we kind of stayed on top of it. It was fun to see basically all the parts of our team, offense, defense, and special teams all contribute to winning the game. It was definitely a team win, a team effort.”

    Woodside completed 17 of 23 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns.

    “I think it’s just another week with this offense and these guys,” said Woodside, who was the AAF offensive player of the week last week. “I just tried to take it personal to study more and try to do everything I can in practice to make myself better. Obviously with the defense we have it have makes it tough on us in practice. So it always good to to go against those guys every week.”

    Wide receiver Mekale McKay and tight end Evan Rodriguez had the Commanders’ touchdown catches. Tight end Cam Clear led the team in receptions with five for 45 yards.

    “What we hoped to do is run the ball OK. We didn’t really run the ball as well as we wanted to today,” Riley said. “But we ran. We like to run.

    “Then we like to have play-action passes that go down the field. Then we need some ball-control passes. One of the best things about our game at least early in the game, we hit some consistent ball-control routes that got some first downs for us. We kept the ball for a long time in the first half.”

    Commanders running back Kenneth Farrow scored the first touchdown of the game to make it 6-0 in the first quarter. That was set up by Thomas’ fumble recovery.

    The Legends tried to get even on their next drive when they went for a deep pass. The Commanders’ Smith and Bausby were there to break it up.

    Sanchez had his interception later in the first quarter. That set the stage for Woodside’s touchdown pass and two-point conversion pass both to McKay to make it 14-0. The Commanders kept that drive going when Woodside completed a fourth-down pass to Clear.

    The Commanders defense came up with its third takeaway of the first half on Bausby’s interception. This time Woodside threw a touchdown pass to Evan Rodriguez and the Commanders led 20-0.

    The Legends scored a touchdown late in the first half for what turned out to be their only points of the game.

    Ward’s punt return for the touchdown extended the Commanders’ lead to 26-6 with 1:00 left in the half.

    Nick Rose, who has not missed this season, kicked a field goal on the Commanders’ first possession of the second half to make it 29-6.

    Both offenses were held in check the rest of the way. The final touchdown of the game came on Smith’s 87-yard interception return with 8:40 remaining.

    Fleet hand Commanders second straight loss

    Video from Twitter via @aafcommanders

    The San Antonio opened their first road game of the season with two big plays – a turnover by the defense and a long touchdown pass by the offense.

    The rest of the night belonged to the San Diego Fleet.

    The Fleet outscored the Commanders by four touchdowns after the opening seconds of the game to beat San Antonio 31-11 on Sunday night in San Diego.

    The Commanders have lost two straight since beating the Fleet in the season opener in the Alamodome. The Commanders play their next three games on the road against the Birmingham Iron (3-0), Arizona Hotshots (2-1) and Atlanta Legends (0-3).

    “It’s still early. It’s only Week 3,” Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside said. “We’ve got to continue to get better on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Those are huge days for us. Then when we come out and play just try to execute to the best of our ability.

    “Obviously against a team like San Diego you don’t want to have turnovers and penalties. Thinking back to the first quarter, we had a touchdown pass called back. We could have been up 16-0. I don’t think we ever recovered from that.”

    The night had a promising start for the Commanders.

    On the very first play of the game, Commanders defensive back De’Vante Bausby intercepted a pass and returned it 18 yards. The next snap, the Commanders’ first offensive play, Woodside hit Mekale McKay for a 47-yard touchdown. Woodside passed to Evan Rodriguez for the two-point conversion and the Commanders led 8-0.

    But the early magic faded into the Southern California night.

    What looked like it was going to be the Commanders’ second touchdown came on a 14-yard pass to Greg Ward Jr. that was wiped out on a holding penalty.

    For the game, Woodside passed for 151 yards – meaning he only passed for 104 yards after his first throw. He was 12-of-23 with the one touchdown and threw two interceptions. He was also sacked three times.

    “They have a really good defensive line,” Woodside said. “They did a great job all night. Some of that’s on me. They made it tough. They were coming hard all four quarters.”

    For the second week in a row, Woodside threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Fleet linebacker AJ Tarpley returned an interception 27 yards for a score.

    Fleet quarterback Philip Nelson, who came in off the bench when these teams met in the season opener, passed for 193 yards and two touchdowns. He stayed free of interceptions after the first play of the game.

    The Fleet also got 122 yards rushing from Ja’Quan Gardner. He helped put the game out of reach with a league-record 83-yard touchdown run.

    “We’re obviously disappointed with the outcome of the game tonight,” Commanders coach Mike Riley said. “We had real high expectations coming in and expected a good game and had an interesting start to the whole game.

    “The turnover touchdown and the big play later on in the second half were major, major parts of the game.”

    Video from Twitter via @aafcommanders

    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.