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Iron Pounce on Salt Lake Mistakes to Stay Perfect

by Paul Reeths
February 16, 2019 - Alliance of American Football (AAF) - Birmingham Iron

The Birmingham Iron (2-0) broke through late for a 12-9 victory over the visiting Salt Lake Stallions (0-2) before 17,319 at Legion Field Saturday afternoon.

After falling behind 9-0 and with Birmingham looking listless on offense for much of the game, a crucial fumbled punt return was recovered in the endzone by Iron linebacker Shaheed Salmon with 2:36 left in the third. Running back Trent Richardson scored the game-winner on a two-yard burst up the middle with 4:36 left in the fourth.

Birmingham quarterback Luis Perez connected on 24 of 38 attempts for 184 yards, helping make up for a running game that managed just 47 yards all day. Richardson ran for 41 yards and a score, his third in two weeks.

"Offensively, we just grounded it out," said Birmingham head coach Tim Lewis. "They were a big, strong team and it did not shock me. (Head) Coach (Dennis) Erickson is a heck of a coach. They brought a really big, salty team in here. They had lost their game to Arizona, and they were meaning to do business to us. We stood up to the challenge. They brought their team in ready to do their thing and they had us down 9-0 at halftime. We had to find a way to grind it out so my hats off to him and his staff and his players for putting up a heck of a game. They are a big, strong, tough team and they kept everything in front and inside, and they did a really heal very many points against us."

Stallions kicker Taylor Bertolet suffered a miserable game in the loss. After connecting on a 53-yard field goal to give Salt Lake a 9-0 advantage in the second quarter, he missed three second half field goals, including a potential game-tying kick with under a minute left. Another field goal attempt was crushed by a bad snap.

The Salt Lake rushing attack amassed 151 yards on the ground, led by Joel Bouagnon with 70 yards on 11 carries. Stallions quarterback Austin Allen, seeing his first action of the season, completed 15 of 31 passes for 114 yards.

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