Salt Lake Stallions Post Game Notes & Quotes
The anticipated division matchup quickly found the scoreboard when the Fleet took a 3-0 lead in the opening quarter when K Donny Hageman connected on a 39-yard field goal. Answering strongly, the Stallions countered with a 4:29 75-yard scoring drive, finished off by a three-yard rushing touchdown from RB Joel Bouagnon to extend a league-setting streak to four consecutive games with a rushing touchdown. Woodrum converted the two-point conversion with a run to put the Stallions up 8-3.
The Fleet pressed on with their own 59-yard drive, but ended short with another Hageman 34-yard field goal. This left the Stallions with a narrow two-point lead at half time.
The third quarter found a quick turn of events following K Taylor Bertolet adding a quick 44-yard field goal to put the Stallions up 11-6, only to be followed by a Fleet one-two punch of scores of a 41-yard fumble return for a touchdown and an 18-yard touchdown pass from Fleet QB Mike Bercovici to TE Ben Johnson. Both Fleet scores came off of Stallions turnovers in their own territory. A third Fleet score would be at the hands of CB Kameron Kelly 22-yard interception return for a touchdown to cap off a three-interception night for the Fleet defensive back.
The division bout continued exchanging blow as Salt Lake recovered from the 13-point deficit when Bouagnon tallied his second touchdown four-yard on another 75-yard drive with 4:02 remaining on the game. After a failed two-point conversion, the Stallions remained down by seven.
The Stallions defense would hold the Fleet to force the ball back to the Stallions with momentum to put together a 2:00 minute drive. The Stallions quickly connected on two deep shots down the field to WR De'Mornay Pierson-El and WR Adonis Jennings to put the Stallions inside the Fleet 10-yard line. With under minute remaining in the game TE Nick Truesdell caught a six-yard pass from Woodrum, followed by a Stallions followed by a late-developing play finding Woodrum scrambling away from the Fleet defense before finding WR Kenny Bell cross field to complete the two-point conversion and put the Stallions up 25-24 with :47 left in the game.
The Fleet rebounded from the one-point deficit as Bercovici completed a 45-yard pass to WR Dontez Ford, putting San Diego in field goal range with the ability to control the clock ending the game. The Fleet were successful as Hageman connected on his third field goal of the night as time expired, to give San Diego the 27-25 win over a new division rival.
The Salt Lake Stallions' set a franchise record for passing yards (386), completions (32) and attempts (51). Woodrum accounted for the majority of the passing records, going 31-48 and throwing for 380 passing yards. Woodrum also completed a franchise long 42-yard completion to WR Adonis Jennings.
LCB Will Davis recorded his first interception of the season in the fourth quarter.
WR DeMornay Pierson-El had a franchise best 130 receiving yards on nine targets and eight receptions. Pierson-El's longest reception of the game was 30-yards.
TE Nick Truesdell finished with a season high of 71-receiving yards, grabbing his second touchdown of the season. Truesdell has caught every pass targeted pass to him this season; he continued this steak by catching all six targets against the Fleet.
RB Joel Bouagnon scored a season high two rushing touchdowns, continuing his streak of four consecutive games with at least one rushing touchdown.
Davis had a strong defensive showing for the Stallions picking up his first interception of the season. Davis also had two passes defended. LB Gionni Paul grabbed nine total tackles and six solo tackles in the game.
SALT LAKE STALLIONS at SAN DIEGO FLEET
Saturday, March 9, 2019 | SDCCU Stadium | San Diego, Calif.
SALT LAKE QUARTERBACK JOSH WOODRUM On the two-point conversion to put the Stallions ahead late in the game: "We just ran trips and brought [WR] Kenny [Bell] back in motion. We were looking for a rub [route] with the running back and [the receivers] were all running slants to have the running back come back in the flat. There was nothing there and saw [WR] Kenny [Bell] in the back of the endzone. I threw it up and he made a good play."
On how optimistic he felt the game was won following the two-point conversion to WR Kenny Bell: "I mean, obviously that being a competitor - you're always going to win. It all comes down to the first half. I played awful. I turned the ball over two or three times in the first half. We were winning and you can't turn the ball over in the redzone twice, as we got zero points out of that. We need touchdowns there and it wouldn't have even been a close game."
On his connection with WR De'Mornay Pierson-El: "[The Fleet defense] was rotating [to cover] him, or sometimes were lining up in a shell and stayed in their [Cover 2, De'Moray Pierson-El] would run a bender [route] and he's really good a making people miss. I felt really good throwing him the ball. On what made San Diego CB Kameron Kelly so successful against him: "The fact that I threw it to him."
On a mental tenacity to overcome the interceptions: "I think either you have it or you don't. I don't think you can ever practice it - you can't practice anything like that. You either have it or you don't. We bounced back in the second half and almost did enough. But it shouldn't even have been close. I turned the ball over twice in the red zone and we should have had at least two field goals out of that, so I've got to do a better job of protecting the ball."
SALT LAKE HEAD COACH DENNIS ERICKSON On the team's performance: "Any time you turn the ball over five times, you aren't going to win. We gave up 14 points on turnovers offensively. Defensively, we played well and they had a great play in the end. We fought back to get the lead and they scored. Two of our turnovers went for touchdowns, and even though we had a chance at the end, the turnovers throughout the game hurt us."
On the team's defensive performance: "Our front four guys are pretty big and physical. They've been able to take the run game away from teams this year. We didn't do anything special, but the Fleet have a good offense and our [five] turnovers didn't help our defense out."
On the loss coming on the last play of the game: "There was a lot of emotions up and down in the end [of the game]. We went from thinking we would lose, to thinking we would win and then ended up losing. I've been in, well over 300 football games, and I don't believe I've ever had one end like that. The fans got what they wanted, but we didn't."
On the crowd in San Diego: "There was a lot of people here and every place we've been. I think this league has a chance to last for a long time. It is exciting for the fans and it has opportunities for young players to continue their career."
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