Commanders Win Fourth Straight and Apollos Clinch Playoff Spot in Alliance Week 7 Action
March 23, 2019 - Alliance of American Football (AAF) News Release
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - In week seven of The Alliance of American Football, the Orlando Apollos became the first team to clinch a playoff spot following a dominating 36-6 win over The Legends. In the night game, the record-breaking San Antonio crowd witnessed a tight 19-15 win over The Stallions that kept the team atop the Western Conference.
"It was another historic start to the weekend for The Alliance," said Charlie Ebersol, co-founder & CEO, The Alliance. "The Orlando Apollos earned the first playoff spot in league history, an amazing feat seven weeks into the season. Coach Spurrier has the team performing at a high level and they will now have a shot to be the first-ever Alliance champion. San Antonio continues to show how much passion they have for football and their Commanders, with a record 30,000 plus fans pushing the team to a late win over The Stallions. It was a tremendous environment, and now The Commanders are on the brink of the playoffs. A really amazing day for The Alliance, its fans and its players."
In the fastest game in league history (2:15), The Orlando Apollos became the first team to clinch a playoff spot with a convincing home win over The Atlanta Legends. The league's top-ranked offense put up 372 total yards and scored touchdowns on four of seven possessions. Apollos RB De'Veon Smith rushed for three touchdowns and QB Garrett Gilbert threw for 217 yards and a touchdown to WR Charles Johnson, his fourth touchdown catch of the year.
The Apollos defense supplemented the well-rounded offensive attack with two third quarter interceptions, one returned 65 yards for a touchdown by Apollos CB Deji Olatoye to give the Apollos a 28-6 lead. Legends QB Aaron Murray drove The Legends back down the field, but an interception at the one-yard line by Apollos CB Cody Riggs prevented a score.
Apollos CB Deji Olatoye has taken a long road to The Alliance, playing for five different NFL franchises in his six year professional football career, including an appearance in Super Bowl LI with the Atlanta Falcons. After not playing football in 2018 Olatoye signed with The Alliance but was designated to the insured reserve for the first month of the season. Deji is positioning himself to be a key contributor to the Apollos' secondary as the team gears up for a run at an Alliance Championship.
Legends QB Aaron Murray finished 16 for 22 for 135 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions before being replaced by Matt Simms in the fourth quarter. The Legends fall to 2-5 on the season.
The San Antonio Commanders defeated The Salt Lake Stallions in front of the largest crowd in Alliance history (30,345). In a defensive battle, an interception returned for a score by DB De'Vante Bausby on a two-point conversion attempt by The Stallions when down 17-15 sealed the game. Commanders backup QB Marquise Williams replaced an injured QB Logan Woodside in the fourth quarter and connected with RB Trey Williams on a 36-yard, game-winning touchdown pass with 5:25 left.
Stallions K Taylor Bertolet connected on three field goals, two over 50 yards, and the league's top ranked defense sacked Commanders QB Logan Woodside six times and tallied an interception to keep the game close throughout. After The Commanders took a 17-9 lead late in the fourth quarter, Stallions QB Josh Woodrum led a touchdown drive capped with a 21-yard pass to RB Trey Newby to cut the lead to 17-15 with 1:54 remaining. The two-point conversion attempt to tie the game was intercepted and returned for a score, and The Commanders were able to run out the clock.
The game marks San Antonio's fourth straight win and keeps them at the top of the Western Conference standings.
Tune in tomorrow for a battle for sole ownership of second place in the Western Conference between The Fleet and The Hotshots. In the night game, The Iron will look to maintain their hold on second place in the east.
Sunday, March 24 - San Diego @ Arizona 4pm CBS Sports Network
Sunday, March 24 - Birmingham @ Memphis 8pm NFL Network
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Alliance of American Football Stories from March 23, 2019
- San Antonio Commanders Score Late to Beat Salt Lake 19-15 - San Antonio Commanders
- Commanders Win Fourth Straight and Apollos Clinch Playoff Spot in Alliance Week 7 Action - AAF
- Apollos first in The Alliance to clinch a playoff spot after 36-6 rout of Legends - Orlando Apollos
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