San Antonio Commanders Host San Diego Fleet in Inaugural Game on Saturday, February 5
San Diego Fleet (0-0)
San Antonio Commanders (0-0)
Saturday - 7 p.m.
San Antonio, Texas - Alamodome
San Antonio Commanders' complete game release attached as .PDF
- The San Antonio Commanders and San Diego Fleet will take the first offical snap of the Alliance of American Football on Saturday, February 9 at the Alamodome. The game will be televised on CBS with Spero Dedes, Tiki Barber, Trent Green and Jamie Erdahl on the call.
Five key storylines
- HEAD COACHES: San Antonio's Mike Riley and San Diego's Mike Martz will be opposite of each other for just the second time on a professional football field. The two head coaches last met on Oct. 1, 2001 with Riley coaching the San Diego Chargers and Martz the St. Louis Rams. The Rams prevailed 57-31 that day in St. Louis. Quarterbacking the teams in the meeting were current University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh (Chargers) and NFL Hall of Fame inductee Kurt Warner (Rams).
- FIRST-GAME JITTERS: This will be the first live game action in more than a season for all but two Commanders. Cornerback De'Vante Bausby played in six games in the 2018 NFL season with the Philadelphia Eagles, while kicker Nick Rose played with the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC Divisional Round at New England.
- San Antonio's Defense vs. San Diego's Offense: Mike Martz coached teams have been known for their offensive prowess -- after all, he coached the Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis. The key for the Commanders' defense, coordinated by Jim Grobe, will be the matchups in the secondary as San Antonio deploys its 3-4 scheme. The Commanders have an experienced secondary with six players having spent time in the NFL.
- TWO-POINT CONVERSIONS: With The Alliance eliminating the PAT, all teams must attempt a two-point conversion after scores. Two-point attempts will be a must-watch play with added pressure on both the players and coaching staffs.
- BALL CONTROL: One of the best ways to stop a high-powered offense is to keep it off the field. San Antonio will look to do just that as it deploys its balanced offensive attack. Look for physical running backs Kenneth Farrow II and David Cobb to shoulder much of the load in the running game to sustain drives.
Texas Produced ...
- Twenty-one (21) players of the Commanders 52-man active roster come from a Texas based university. TCU (WR #18 John Diarse , RB #22 Aaron Green, TE #83 Cole Hunt, FS #24 Nick Orr) and Houston (WR #14 De'Marcus Ayers, RB #20 Kenneth Farrow II, DT #90 Joey Mbu, WR #84 Greg Ward Jr.) both produced the most active players with four. Texas A&M (TE #85 Cam Clear, LB #54 Shaan Washington, RB #35 Trey Williams), Baylor (OL #70 Mo Porter, OL #73 Cyril Richardson, FS #28 Orion Stewart) each have three alums. Texas (CB #21 Duke Thomas, K #9 Nick Rose) features two players. Incarnate Word (P #6 Joseph Zema), SMU (OL #57 Mason Gentry), Texas A&M-Kingsville (TE #89 Stehly Reden), UTSA (WR #80 Josh Stewart) and West Texas A&M (QB #10 Dustin Vaughan) each have one.
... and Texas Raised
- Twenty-four (24) overall players have ties to the state. On top of the 21 active players from Texas based colleges, both former Oklahoma CB's Zack Sanchez (Fort Worth) and Jordan Thomas (Klein) as well as RB David Cobb (Killeen) all were raised and played high school football in Texas.
Army (& Air force)-Navy game at the pro level
- The Commanders and Fleet team names were derived from the military presence in their respecive cities and for good reason as San Antonio is home to Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) which is a joint base of the United States Army Fort Sam Houston, the United States Air Force Randolph Air Force Base, United State Air Force Lackland Air Force Base and United States Army Martindale Army Airfield. San Diego is home to United States Naval Base San Diego, the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet.
- On the collegiate level the Army-Navy game have been played 119 times with Navy leading 60-52-7. Although Army has won each of the last three meeting to snap Navy's 14-game win streak from 2002-15.
Rose's up and back
- From the beginning, The Alliance officials said if a player received a contract offer from the NFL, the player's Alliance contract would be terminated and the player would be permitted to return to The Alliance once his NFL contract was complete. Commanders kicker Nick Rose did just that in January as the Los Angeles Chargers signed the former Texas Longhorn for their AFC Divisional Round game at New England. Rose was released from his contract with the Commanders on Jan. 10, kicked off three times for the Chargers against New England on Jan. 13, was released by the Chargers on Jan. 15 and returned to the Commanders' active roster on Jan. 19.
The Big 12 and B1G in San Antonio
- Based on The Alliance's geographic collegiate allocation process to build its eight teams, it is no surprise that the Big 12 is the most represented collegiate conference on the Commanders' roster with 12. However, the second-most represented conference in the San Antonio locker room is the Big 10 with nine. Most schools in the B1G were unallocated to Alliance teams, meaning their players were allocated based on previous professional experience. The Commanders professional allocation from the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chief, Philadelphia Eagles and Saskatchewan Roughriders led to the nine former B1G players. (Complete roster breakdown by college is on page four.)
How do i know that name ...
- Rose was a four-year player at Texas and appeared in 51 games for the Longhorns between 2012-15. Once his college career finished, he spent time with the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins and Los Angeles Chargers.
- A three-year starter at quarterback for West Texas A&M, Vaughan threw for more yards and TDs than anyone in school history. He was active with the Dallas Cowboys in the 2014 season and also signed with the Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. The Commanders protected Vaughan in the 2018 'Protect or Pick' QB Draft.
- Wide Receiver De'Marcus Ayers was a two-time first team All-American Athletic Conference player while playing at Houston. In 2015, Ayers led the Cougars in receptions and finished sixth in the country with 98 catches on the year. After a strong performance in the NFL combine, Ayers was drafted in the 7th round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Diarse played in 25 games at LSU before transferring to TCU for his last two years of college. He led the Horned Frogs in receiving yards in 2017 en route to a Valero Alamo Bowl victory in San Antonio. Diarse went undrafted but quickly signed with the Denver Broncos as an UDFA.
Kenneth Farrow II
- A Texas native, Farrow II ran for over 2,900 yards at Houston, good for fourth in Cougar history. After being named to multiple national award watch lists in college, Farrow II was immediately signed by the San Diego Chargers after the 2016 draft and was named to the active roster as a rookie. After a shoulder injury he was waived before being signed by the New England Patriots during the 2018 season and then signed with the Commanders in December 2018.
- Green is a San Antonio native and played high school football at Madison High School before beginning his college career at Nebraska and finishing at TCU. He was named to the All-Big 12 second team in 2014 and in 2015 he ran for over 1,200 yards, including 101 in the 2015 Valero Alamo Bowl win over Oregon. After going undrafted, Green signed with the Los Angeles Rams and has also spent time with the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills.
- Another Texas native, Sanchez played three years at Oklahoma and finished his career with 15 interceptions, second most in the Big 8/Big 12 since 1976. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers but was waived in 2017 after an injury.
- The opposite cornerback on the 2015 Oklahoma team was Jordan Thomas. The Klein, Texas, standout finished sixth in school history by breaking up 28 passes in his career. Thomas racked up the accolades in Norman, being named All-Big 12 First Team by ESPN in 2015 and All-Big 12 First Team by the league's coaches and AP in 2016. After going undrafted he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles but wasn't named to the 53-man roster.
- The Iowa State star quarterback turned star linebacker joined the Commanders after an impressive college career. After starting at quarterback for the Cyclones in 2015 and 2016, Lanning switched to linebacker where he excelled. He led Iowa State in tackles and was selected as a first team All-American as a senior. He signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent before joining the Commanders in October.
Greg Ward Jr.
- Ward Jr. was the starting quarterback at Houston from 2014-16 and led the Cougars to an AAC championship and Peach Bowl victory in 2015. He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017 and remained on the Eagles' practice squad through their Super Bowl run.
- Quarterback Marquise Williams started 33 games at North Carolina and his 10,423 yards rank eighth all-time in ACC history. He was the reason 2017 NFL No. 1 pick Mitchell Trubisky only spent one season as a starter in Chapel Hill. Williams spent time with the Green Bay Packers and Saskatchewan Roughriders before signing with the Atlanta Legends of the AAF. He was drafted by the San Antonio Commanders in the second round of the 2018 'Protect or Pick' QB Draft.
- The former Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans practice squad member was selected in the third round of the 2018 'Protect or Pick' QB Draft after a record-setting career at Toledo. Woodside led the NCAA in TD passes in 2016 (45) and finished fifth all-time in MAC history with 93. He was named the 2017 MAC Offensive Player of the Year after leading the Rockets to a 10-2 record.
Prince's Unique route to football
- Wide receiver Darius Prince did not play football in college after electing to play basketball at Penn State-Beaver, then Penn State-Allegheny. Upon graduation, Prince tried for a basketball career overseas, but when that did not work, he decided to give football a shot.
- After years of work he caught on with the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks of the National Arena League. He played two seasons for the Steelhawks before getting a workout with the Philadelphia Soul in the Arena Football League. The Soul signed him and in his second AFL game, he was named the Arena Bowl XXX MVP after his nine catches for 103 yards and three touchdowns. Prince led the Soul in receiving stats with 89 catches for 1,076 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2018 before signing with Philadelphia Eagles as a member of their 90-man roster in August 2018.
Commanders and Fleet Team President Connection
- San Antonio Commanders' team president Vic Gregovits and San Diego Fleet team president Jeff Garner share a unique connection as both are alums of Robert Morris University. Gregovits is a 1986 graduate from RMU and Garner is a 1999 graduate. Both are members of the Robert Morris Sports Management Hall of Fame.
- The two have a friendly wager for the game with the losing team president wearing the winning team's jersey pregame in the rematch on Feb. 24 in San Diego. In addition, the losing president will donate $500 to a military organization in the city of the winning team
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