The San Antonio Commanders’ hopes of clinching a playoff spot were put on hold Sunday night.
The Arizona Hotshots dominated defensively in a 23-6 victory over the Commanders at the Alamodome.
The Commanders could have wrapped up not only a playoff berth, but the home field in the first round with a victory.
The Commanders did not score a touchdown. Their points came on field goals of 54 and 35 yards from Nick Rose – who has not missed a field-goal attempt this season.
Hotshots quarterback John Wolford passed for 216 yards including a 58-yard touchdown to Rashad Ross. The Hotshots Tim Cook ran for touchdowns of 6 and 20 yards.
Logan Woodside started at quarterback for the Commanders. He completed 4-of-9 passes for 32 yards and an interception and was sacked once.
Marquise Williams came in at quarterback late in the first half. He led both Commanders scoring drive. Williams completed 17-of-23 passes for 130 yards with no interceptions and was sacked three times.
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.
The San Antonio Commanders are getting ready to do something they haven’t done in a month – play a home football game.
Commanders linebacker Nick Temple identified the key difference this weekend.
“The fans really,” Temple said. “The community here is amazing. They’re behind us. It’s Texas football.”
The Commanders are leading the league in attendance, but haven’t broken the 30,000 attendance mark yet. That will likely change Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Commanders play in the Alamodome against the Salt Lake Stallions.
“We love it when we come back home. It’s always rocking in here,” Temple said. “The last game we had almost 30,000. It’s going to be good.”
The Commanders currently sit at the top of the AAF West with a 4-2 record. The Commanders have a three-game win streak with all three victories coming on the road.
“From defense, offense and special teams, we’re playing in all three phases,” Temple said. “For us to come in and win those games, it’s always tough to win on the road. Any time you win on the road and come back home, it’s always going to be big.”
The Commanders have four games remaining in the regular season. They are one game ahead of the San Diego Fleet and Arizona Hotshots (both 3-3) in the West. Salt Lake is 2-4. The top two teams in each conference advance to the playoffs.
“Everybody in the league is close,” Temple said. “Everybody is good. Right now the No. 1 team is not far from the No. 2 team. Us winning can just boost our momentum going into the playoffs.”
The San Antonio Commanders recorded their first defensive touchdown in franchise history in Week 2.
Here is the scene Sunday:
The Commanders had just boosted their lead to 21-17 over the Orlando Apollos in the third quarter after a Nick Rose field goal. The Apollos have a second-and-16 at their own 19-yard line.
Apollos quarterback Garrett Gilbert drops back in an obvious passing situation. Commanders linebacker Jayrone Elliott gets to Garrett from his backside, hitting Garrett in the right shoulder and arm. Garrett, who was set to throw, has the ball jarred up in the air.
Joey Mbu, moving in from his defensive line position, gets around the pile of Garrett, Elliott and Apollos offensive lineman Aaron Evans. The 332-pound Mbu scoops up the ball and takes off for the end zone – setting off a celebration in the Alamodome.
The touchdown and the successful two-point conversion gave the Commanders a 29-17 lead with 8:10 left in the third quarter.
That, however, was the last time the Commanders scored. The Apollos put up 20 points in the fourth quarter to take a 37-29 victory.
The San Antonio Commanders went through Sunday’s training camp practice in pads. That gave them the chance to do some hitting.
Linebackers went through some drills where they took on blocks from running backs and tight ends.
Here are the 12 linebackers currently on the training camp roster:
58 Arthur Brown, Kansas State
98 Jayrone Elliott, Toledo
56 Danny Ezechukwu, Purdue
50 Kennan Gilchrist, Appalachian State
43 Joe Lanning, Iowa State
53 Austin Larkin, Purdue
51 Robert Myers, Minnesota State-Mankato
59 Aamir Petrose, Wesley
52 Ed Shockley, Villanova
55 Nick Temple, Cincinnati
54 Shaan Washington, Texas A&M
40 Jaboree Williams, Wake Forest
Note: The Commanders announced today that Kennan Gilchrist changed numbers from 47 to 50.