Salt Lake Stallions Post Game Notes & Quotes
Team captains for the Stallions were No. 6 QB Josh Woodrum, No. 57 LB Gionni Paul, No. 85 TE Nick Truesdell and No. 96 DL Sealver Siliga.
Woodrum finished the game completing 21/32 passes for 155 with two interceptions. His 50.9 passer rating is a career low and the first game since Week 4 being held to under 200 yards passing.
The low scoring affair came at the hands of both clubs trading three turnovers each, accounted from two interceptions and a fumble recovery on each side. The typical stout defensive performance by the Stallions remained in full force, holding the Fleet offense to only 54 total yards rushing on the night. However, it was the first game in the season where Stallions did not account for a single sack.
After a decisive opening drive into the Fleet redzone, Woodrum would sail a pass down the right sideline to trigger an exchange of posessions to keep the game scoreless at the end of the first quarter. With under two minutes in the second quarter, the Stallions took the lead on a botched center exchange on the Fleet goal line, causing RB Joel Buoagnon to shoot an inadvertent gap to find the endzone. On the ensuing 2-point conversion, Woodrum would find WR Jordan Leslie in the back of the endzone to put the Stallions up 8-0 heading into the half.
The second half would mirror the first, with missed opportunities on both sides. Following an exchange of possessions, the Fleet would find a rhythm driving the ball deep into the Stallions endzone, only to find Fleet K Donny Hageman missing a 25- yard field goal wide left. Third down efficiency proved to be a struggle, as both clubs combined converted only 1/9 third down attempts.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Fleet would kickstart another drive to move the ball deep into Stallions territory, only to stall and hit a 29-yard field goal to narrow the score to 8-3, with under 11 minutes to play in the game. Penalties would extend the ensuing Stallions drive, however an exchange of punts would follow a Fleet three-and-out with nearly five minutes left in the game.
Mirroring the first matchup in Week 5, it would be the Fleet who would aim to mount a two-minute drive to potentially take the lead with little time on the clock. Bercovici would convert a game-deciding 4th and 12 with a 23-yard pass to Fleet TE Marcus Baugh to put the Fleet in prime position with under a minute left in the game. But on the a 2nd -and-10 on the Stallions 30-yard line, Bercovici would throw his second interception of the night down the right sideline intended for Fleet WR Brian Brown. Stallions seal the victory with a final score of 8-3.
TE Anthony Denham led the Stallions in receptions, grabbing 4/6 of balls targeted. WR De'Mornay Pierson-El averaged 9.7 yards per reception catching all three of his targets on the night. Week 8 marks the first game TE Nick Trusdell did not catch every target thrown, ending the night 2/4 for 14 yards.
DB CJ Smith and DB Will Davis continue to be the most targeted defensive backs in the Allance, however, both defensive backs accounted for two of the three turnovers on the night (1 interception and 1 fumble recovery). DB Steve Williams grabbed his first career interception to give the Stallions secondary its first game causing 3 or more turnovers in a single game.
SALT LAKE HEAD COACH DENNIS ERICKSON On the team's performance: "Well, we had a lot of opportunities and we had a lot of challenges too. I think defensively, we're one of the better teams in the league [being] real physical up front. In the second half, they were unbelievable. And offensively, we were good the first part of the game and then we had a turnover and played terrible the rest of the way. That was probably the worst offensive game we've played all year. The good thing is we won."
On the turnovers: "We work on [turnovers] every week. But unfortunately, I've been through this a couple other times in the last 50 years. The one was a quarterback sneak and we weren't that far from the goal line. I don't know, it blows my mind to be very honest with you and we've got to just keep harping on it. We've got to find a way [to eliminate them]."
On any intent to play certain players with NFL promise: "Well, I try to do that with everybody. That's part of our job to get them out there and show their abilities. I'm also responsible to win football games and that's the number one responsibility. A lot of those guys are getting looks right now [from the NFL] because they're in this league and this league is so good. You take [DE] Karter [Schult] for example - great pass rusher and he's playing well. There's other guys out there that because of this league, they're probably going to have an opportunity to have another shot."
On the fumbled snap exchange on the goal line: There's no excuse [for it to occur]. But, from what I understand the snap was a little bit to the left which was really weird. He went in like he scored and then all the sudden, [the ball] just kind of went out to the left. I've seen it all this year. But, I didn't think at 72 years old, I would see anything quite like the game today. And the last three or four games. It's interesting.
On QB Josh Woodrum's performance: "Josh didn't have his best game by any means. He made some mistakes that he has not made this year because he's played pretty good. But today was not his best deal. We stayed with him. We thought about taking him out, but I didn't want to do that. We have two other quarterbacks that were there [and ready to play], but I felt [Woodrum] was the one who would give us the best chance [to win]. How he played today is not what he's about, as far as I'm concerned. So hopefully, he'll be better starting on Monday or Tuesday."
SAN DIEGO HEAD COACH MIKE MARTZ
Statement: "I don't know if I have ever seen anything like that [performance tonight]. We practiced probably the best that we ever have this week on offense and then to come out there and play like that? It boggles my mind. I'm upset. Obviously, you will be upset when you lose, but I'm upset at the opportunities we had that we failed to make. I am upset about missing a field goal from the 5-yard line. I am upset about guys going the wrong way, a dropped ball - these things should not be happening. We are too far in the season for good players to be doing this.
Defensively, I thought we battled [the Stallions] pretty [well]. Obviously, when you're keeping them to eight points, you should be able to win the game. We have to look at what we did here today, and right now, I don't have the answers. What I watched out there makes me angry."
SALT LAKE QUARTERBACK JOSH WOODRUM
On the win against San Diego: "It means that technically we're still alive in the playoff race. If some stuff works out and chaos happens, I think we can get in at 5-5. So, it's huge."
On struggles in the redzone: "I turned the ball over three times and two of them were in the red zone. Actually, all three of them might have been in the red zone. With the quarterback sneak, I just have to hold onto the ball. The first throw early, I just got locked onto [TE Nick] Truesdell and should have [looked] off him. The second interception, I don't think Truesdell really saw me and then I threw it behind him and it [was] deflected. So, I just have to get that [throw] out in front of him."
On the fumble at the goal line: "When you're with one [center] the whole [season], you get used to how they snap the ball. That's on me. I just have to hold in there a little longer with [C] Austin Davis. He's my roommate - so we're going to take some snaps tonight."
On the touchdown: "With the snap, I should have just secured [the ball] first. It kind of went to the left , so I just picked it up and we were kind of running a dive to the left, so I just turned and gave it to [RB] Joel [Bouagnon] and he did the rest."
On the struggles of the offensive: "I just think we need to make plays. We drove the ball right down their throat the first two drives and I threw a pick in the red zone on the post route to [TE Nick] Truesdell. And then fumbled it. If I had thrown the corner route to [TE] Anthony Denham, it would have been a touchdown and that would have been 16 points right there. I have to take it upon myself to play better. I did not play well at all tonight and that's not going to get us a win these next two games."
On the team's motivation: "When you're a professional, you play this game because it's your job. We're not just going to go out there and lay down. As a professional football player, I'd like to think everyone on this team is a competitor. Every game we're going to go out there and do our best, regardless if we're 1-9 or 10-0. I think you always want to go out there and
give it your best. You always need a goal to work towards. At 5-5, if some stuff happens with these other teams, I think it'll be good enough to get us in the playoffs. Right now, we're all focused on Atlanta and getting that second win in a row."
On the Stallions defense: "They're the best defense in the league. We've known that this whole year and our offense has not been able to put up as many points and yards as we wanted to. But, our defense has kept us in almost every single game. When it's all said and done, they're the reason why we're going to have success. We just have to start playing complimentary football. If we score on those [opening] drives, it's 16-0. [The San Diego Fleet would then start] to throw and [panic] because they want to run the ball and they get out of their game plan. You've got guys like [DE] Karter Schult who can just tee off and get another 5 sacks. Our defense is just outstanding."
SAN DIEGO SAFETY RYAN MOELLER
On the Fleet's defensive performance: "It was tough. I think as a defense, we always want more. We definitely could have done better on third downs and not being on the field so long after the first half. I think we just need to take a tough look at the film and see where we go from there. I think if you think that you have made it or can't improve, you're kidding yourself. So, we will take a hard look at that and get back at it next week."
On the turnover battle: "It felt good to be on the ball again. It always feels good to make plays for your team, but I want to do more. I always want to do more. I want to be there for my teammates and I don't want anyone to fall behind because of my effort. So, I think the production could have been better from the defense. We will just look at the tape and see what we can do to make more plays and see the moments where we could have made plays. But, we didn't [make plays].
On the impact of low-scoring games: "Sometimes, there are a lot more points on the board and sometimes the points are a lot lower like they were tonight. But, just because there are more points or less points on the board doesn't mean [we didn't fight] any [less]. I can definitely say that we fought and so did the Stallions - [but] they came out on top.
On the week of preparation: "Our coaches do a great job about giving us a game plan and breaking down tendencies with us. We're coming together and collaborating on things on the field or from things we hear. It's a multitude of things. Everyone is coming together. Everyone is ready in the preparation. I think this week it helped get a lot of us in situations to make plays and capitalize on it. I just wish we could have done more."
On any frustration with the offensive performance: "It's always frustrating when you don't get any points. But, sometimes it's part of the game. We have to be better at getting more points. We can't leave points on the field, otherwise we would have come out with a win and we didn't."
On the mood inside the locker room following the loss: "It's pretty somber. It doesn't feel good. I know for me personally it hurts. I never like to lose. I like to think about what I could have done better. I will definitely be pretty critical on myself and my teammates will be of themselves too."
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