San Antonio Commanders ride turnovers to win at Arizona Hotshots
The San Antonio Commanders forced four first-half turnovers and converted them into three touchdowns before holding off an Arizona Hotshots rally to win 29-25 on Sunday at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.
San Antonio moves to 3-2 to remain tied atop the AAF’s Western Conference standings. Arizona is 2-3.
The Commanders close out their four-game road trip at 3 p.m. Sunday against the Atlanta Legends.
San Antonio quarterback Logan Woodside completed 21 of 27 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns against one interception. Mekale McKay was San Antonio’s leading receiver, with five catches for 91 yards and a score.
Derron Smith pulled in the first turnover on Arizona’s opening drive, stepping in front of a desperate third-down pass from quarterback John Wolford and taking it 67 yards for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead.
Later in the quarter, Woodside threw a play-action pass deep down the middle of the field to McKay for a 54-yard touchdown. Woodside ran in the 2-point conversion for a 14-0 Commanders lead.
San Antonio linebacker Joel Lanning forced Arizona’s second turnover, stripping the ball away from Steele product Justin Stockton. Jayrone Elliott recovered for the Commanders. San Antonio drove 38 yards for a touchdown, with running back Kenneth Farrow converting a fourth-and-1 from the 6-yard line and then punching in a 1-yard run for a 20-point lead early in the second quarter.
De’Vante Bausby notched an interception for the Commanders before Smith came up with his second of the half. Woodside hit Alonzo Moore for a 57-yard gain, then capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Stehly Redden for a 26-0 halftime lead.
Arizona got on the board when Wolford connected with Rashad Ross for a 45-yard touchdown late in the third quarter. Nick Folk’s 23-yard field goal pulled the Hotshots within 26-11 early in the fourth quarter.
Nick Rose kicked a 23-yard field goal to give the Commanders a 29-11 advantage, and the Hotshots’ Wolford threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Duarte with 3 minutes, 34 seconds remaining.
The Hotshots appeared to convert the Alliance’s onside conversion play with a 20-yard pass from Wolford to Marquis Bundy, but the Commanders’ Elliott ripped the ball away from Bundy for Arizona’s fifth turnover of the day.
Arizona continued to push, forcing a punt and then driving 80 yards for Tim Cook’s 1-yard touchdown run with 1:20 remaining.
Elliott sacked Wolford on the ensuing onside conversion attempt to seal San Antonio’s win.