After explosive start, San Antonio Commanders routed by San Diego Fleet
After San Antonio cornerback De’Vante Bausby hauled in an interception down the left sideline, Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside hooked up with Mekale McKay for a 47-yard touchdown on the team’s first offensive snap.
Following a successful two-point conversion, San Antonio had an eight-point lead just 19 seconds into Sunday’s game. But San Diego took control from there, ripping off 28 unanswered points en route to a 31-11 win at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego.
The Fleet (2-1) avenged a 15-6 loss to the Commanders (1-2) in Week 1.
San Antonio struck first on Sunday. After the Commanders yielded 393 passing yards in a 37-29 loss to the Orlando Apollos last week, Bausby intercepted Sunday’s first pass attempt. San Antonio’s offense wasted no time, as Woodside faked an end-around handoff and found McKay behind the defense on a post route. Tight end Evan Rodriguez hauled in the two-point conversion pass.
Fleet quarterback Philip Nelson rebounded from the early misstep, completing 17 of 25 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns against the one interception.
He connected with Nelson Spruce for a 3-yard touchdown late in the first quarter to put San Diego on the board.
San Diego tallied again in the second quarter, when Woodside threw his second pick six in as many weeks. Attempting to find De’Marcus Ayers on a curl route, Woodside stared down his receiver and missed his mark on the throw, allowing AJ Tarpley to step in front for an interception. After a 27-yard return, San Diego had a 14-8 lead.
The Fleet extended their advantage before halftime. San Diego drove 84 yards in 11 plays, capped by an 18-yard touchdown pass from Nelson to Spruce for a 22-8 lead.
San Diego’s Ja’Quan Gardner broke loose for an 83-yard touchdown run up the middle to give the Fleet a 28-8 lead midway through the third quarter.
The Fleet ran for 202 yards in the game, including 122 on 12 carries from Gardner. The Commanders allowed 165 rushing yards during their first two games but were playing Sunday without two injured starters: defensive tackle Matt Godin and linebacker Shaan Washington.
Woodside finished 12-of-23 passing with 151 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, while Marquise Williams was 4-for-4 passing for 21 yards and ran five times for 33 yards. San Antonio’s quarterbacks were under consistent pressure, as San Diego racked up five sacks.
Commanders running back Trey Williams, playing for the first time after missing the season’s first two games with a leg injury, ran seven times for 75 yards.
Home teams are 9-3 through three weeks of the Alliance of American Football. Sunday’s game was the first of a four-game road trip for San Antonio, which travels to face the Birmingham Iron at 3 p.m. Sunday.