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 third in the AAF in points allowed per game at 19.333.
While that puts the Commanders in the top half of the league, their number are more impressive during their three-game road win streak.
The Commanders defense has nine takeaways on the last two games. The Commanders are allowing 13.0 points over the last three games – victories over Birmingham, Arizona and Atlanta.
“It’s a good group,” Commanders coach Mike Riley said. “Very conscientious. Work hard. They know you can’t let the other team run. They know how important it is to disrupt the passer, so that’s another big key to our winning.”
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 hit the practice field Saturday morning with two weeks left until the season opener.
The Commanders open Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. against the San Diego Fleet at the Alamodome.
“It was pretty smooth as far as everybody just kind of getting assignments, getting plays called,” Commanders coach Mike Riley said.
The team’s sessions on Sunday and Monday are not open to the public.
“We’re still kind of in training camp mode,” Riley said. “We have a preseason game coming up which will be good for us. But we are really just still trying to do what we need to do for camp.”
Wide receiver Alonzo Moore, who played for Riley at Nebraska, took part in his first practice since being signed by the Commanders. The team had a roster spot open after offensive lineman Jared Machorro was waived (injured) on Thursday.