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.

  • When will Nick Rose have his Commanders moment?

    The Commanders field goal crew: kicker Nick Rose (from left), holder Joe Zema and long snapper Scott Daly. - photo by Joe Alexander
    The Commanders field goal crew: kicker Nick Rose (from left), holder Joe Zema and long snapper Scott Daly. – photo by Joe Alexander
    Nick Rose has been quietly perfect.

    About twice every weekend, Rose walks out on to a football field and nails a field goal.

    The former University of Texas kicker, teaming up with holder Joe Zema and long snapper Scott Daly, is 11-of-11 on field goal tries this season for the San Antonio Commanders.

    But Rose hasn’t had one of those moments to bring the San Antonio fans out of their seats.

    It’s bound to happen eventually.

    The Commanders (4-2) are on the top of the AAF West standings, one game ahead of the San Diego Fleet (3-3) and Arizona Hotshots (3-3). The Fleet have had their last two games decided on a field goal at the end – winning a game when they made a field goal and losing a game when the other team made their’s.

    The Commanders have four, five or six games left in the season. They have four regular-season games left, including today’s meeting with the Salt Lake Stallions (2-4) at 7 p.m. at the Alamodome. The fifth and sixth games, if they get there, are the conference final and AAF championship game.

    Playing on the Commanders’ home field – they are in the Alamodome for the next three games – estimate that Rose has a good chance of making it from as far out as 61 yards. That means that once the Commanders cross the opposing 43-yard line, they are in the Rose Zone.

    If and when the time comes, expect Rose to quietly walk out on the field and do his job. If he gets his moment at home, count on the fans in the Alamodome to finally make plenty of noise for him.

    Commanders wrap up road stretch with victory over Legends

    image from @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.

    Rose returns to Commanders practice

    Kicker Nick Rose, who spent last weekend kicking in the NFL playoffs, was back with the Commanders on Sunday. - photo by Joe Alexander
    Kicker Nick Rose, who spent last weekend kicking in the NFL playoffs, was back with the Commanders on Sunday. – photo by Joe Alexander
    Nick Rose spent Sunday a week ago handling the kickoff duties for the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC divisional playoffs.

    This Sunday, Rose was back at Central Catholic High School taking part in the San Antonio Commanders training camp.

    Rose, a kicker from the University of Texas, had been with the Commanders when the Chargers signed him. A week and a half later, he was back.

    The longest field goal Rose made in today’s practice was 58 yards. He was working with holder Joseph Zema, a punter from Incarnate Word, and long snapper Scott Daly.

    Training camp report: Sunday, January 20, 2019

    After spending Saturday’s practice indoors at the Alamodome, the players were back outside on Sunday. The temperature was about 58 degrees when practice started and close to 60 when it ended.

    T-shirt day

    On Saturday, the players practiced in helmets and shoulder pads. Sunday they went without shoulder pads in what was mostly a learning day. The quarterbacks did very little passing.

    Commanders passing game at Alamodome practice photo gallery

    Commanders receivers and defensive backs work on the passing game in Saturday's practice at the Alamodome. - photo by Joe Alexander
    Commanders wide receiver Josh Stewart (80) makes a catch in front of cornerback Oscar White. – photo by Joe Alexander
    The San Antonio Commanders put in a lot of time working on their passing game offense and defense at Saturday’s practice at the Alamodome.

    Commanders wide receiver Josh Stewart was used to catching passes in the Alamodome, going back to his college career at UTSA. Stewart was wearing a UTSA t-shirt under his pads and jersey on Saturday.

    “”It feels great. It’s where I played college ball at,” Stewart said. “I’m excited to be around professionals. It’s a little bit different than UTSA but it’s always great to be back in the dome.”

    Home crowd

    It was the first opportunity for the team to work out on its home field. The practice was open to the public and many fans were wearing Commanders jerseys. The team estimated the crowd at almost 900.

    New old kicker

    Later in the day, the Commanders announced the team waived kicker Sergio Castillo and added kicker Nick Rose to the active roster. Rose had previously been with the Commanders. He was signed by the Los Angeles Chargers and played in their divisional playoff game.

    Nick Rose goes from Commanders to NFL playoffs

    Nick Rose kicks a field goal on Tuesday San Antonio Commanders training camp. - photo by Joe Alexander
    Nick Rose kicks a field goal on Tuesday at San Antonio Commanders training camp. – photo by Joe Alexander
    The reason many football players flocked to the Alliance of American Football (AAF) was to get another chance of reaching the NFL.

    For San Antonio Commanders kicker Nick Rose, the road back to the NFL was a short one. Earlier this week, Rose was at Commanders training camp.

    Now Rose is with the Los Angeles Chargers – who picked up the former University of Texas kicker to handle the kickoff duties during the playoffs. The Chargers play the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional playoffs on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. Central time.

    This is the note that appeared in the Commanders’ training camp news release Thursday:

    “In transactions, kicker Nick Rose (Texas) was placed on the Reserve/Other League List. Contract terminated per authorized alternative league release.”

    Rose had played for the Chargers in the past. Here is the USA Today story: