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.

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  • Pregame scene at the Alamodome
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    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’ Greg Ward Jr. named special teams player of the week

    Commanders receiver Greg Ward Jr., returning a punt in practice Tuesday at the Alamodome, was named the AAF special teams player of the week. - photo by Joe Alexander
    Commanders receiver Greg Ward Jr., returning a punt in practice Tuesday at the Alamodome, was named the AAF special teams player of the week. – photo by Joe Alexander
    San Antonio Commanders wide receiver Greg Ward Jr. scored on a league-record 79-yard punt return Sunday. The explosive play came in a 37-6 road victory over the Atlanta Legends.

    Ward was named the Alliance of American Football special teams player of the week.

    Here are the other players of the week from an AAF news release:

    Offensive player of the week:
    Birmingham WR L’Damian Washington.

    Washington had four receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns in The Iron’s 32-29 week six win. The performance marks team single-game records in receiving yards and touchdown catches, while Washington became the first player in Alliance history with at least 125 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions in the same game.

    Defensive player of the week:
    Salt Lake DE Karter Schult.

    Schult tallied five total tackles, two sacks and four QB hits in The Stallions’ 22-9 victory last week. Schult, who leads The Alliance with seven sacks this season, anchored a Salt Lake defense that held Memphis to nine points and 239 total yards while racking up seven team sacks in the win.

    Nick Temple trying to make big impression with Commanders

    Former University of Cincinnati lineback Nick Temple at San Antonio Commanders training camp. - photo by Joe Alexander
    Former University of Cincinnati lineback Nick Temple at San Antonio Commanders training camp. – photo by Joe Alexander
    A first glance at Nick Temple doesn’t make you think linebacker.

    He might more easily pass for a running back or a safety.

    But the 5-foot-10, 216-pounder from the University of Cincinnati has made an impression at San Antonio Commanders camp.

    “I like Nick. He brings a ton of energy,” Commanders coach Mike Riley said. “He’s got some unique skills as far as his quickness on the edge and his ability to see stuff happen and make plays.

    “He’s a little bit shorter but he’s not small. He’s pretty well put together. He’s got a lot of compensating factors for not being 6-5.”

    Since his college days, Temple had a look from the Cincinnati Bengals and spend time with two CFL teams.

    With the Commanders, Temple is focusing on his tackling and making more plays.

    “I’m not the biggest guy, but I do know how to work my strengths and I work on my weaknesses,” Temple said. “I work on my weaknesses more. It all equals out here on the field.”

    Temple’s player bio at Cincinnati:
    247sports.com

    Temple’s player bio from CFL
    cfl.ca

    Temple’s tryout with Bengals
    cincinnati.com

    Training camp report: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019

    After a day off from practice Friday, the team returned to the field at Central Catholic High School under clear blue skies and temperatures in the 60s.

    Commanders quarterback Dustin Vaughan at training camp on Saturday. - photo by Joe Alexander
    Commanders quarterback Dustin Vaughan at training camp on Saturday.
    Quarterback competition

    It looks like Dustin Vaughan is the leader in the four-way quarterback competition. Riley said not so fast. There is no depth chart yet and nobody has publicly been named the starter or first quarterback.

    “At this point we’ve got a group of players, it’s a first-year team, a beautiful thing to see take place,” Riley said of the competition in training camp. “I just want to leave the door open so that all of these guys can think of it as an opportunity. The real depth chart doesn’t have to take place for a while.”

    Former NFL coach Jeff Fisher was on the sidelines during Saturday's Commanders practice. - photo by Joe Alexander
    Former NFL coach Jeff Fisher was on the sidelines during Saturday’s Commanders practice.
    Faces on the sidelines

    Alliance of American Football (AAF) co-founder Charlie Ebersol and former Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher visited Commanders training camp on Saturday.

    Two new players

    The Commanders have added offensive lineman Mason Gentry from SMU and wide receiver Greg Ward Jr. from Houston to the roster. The Commanders also terminated the rights of defensive back Tre Dickerson.

    From the Commanders daily news release:

    Mason Gentry

    Appeared in 45 career games at Southern Methodist University along the defensive line … transitioned to
    offensive line after college … made 107 tackles in college, including 8.0 for loss, 4.5 sacks and four passes
    defended … undrafted in 2018 NFL Draft.

    Greg Ward Jr.

    Played in 49 career games at the University of Houston … played wide receiver and quarterback as a freshman
    before switching to quarterback full time as a sophomore … amassed 11,080 yards and 93 total touchdowns at
    Houston … 2015 Earl Campbell Award winner … ranked third in total yards, fourth in passing yards and 10 in
    rushing yards at Houston … member of the Super Bowl LII champion Eagles’ practice squad in 2017 …
    undrafted in 2017 NFL Draft.