The game could not have started worse for the San Diego Fleet vs the San Antonio Commanders in the week three AAF match up.
Fleet QB Philip Nelson, in his second start, opened the game dropping back as head coach Mike Martz wanted to take a shot deep right away. Nelson stared down his receiver as he was running a deep out but Commander CB De’Vante Bausby had excellent coverage and ran a better route as the ball never should have been thrown and the resulting interception was fait d accompli once the ball left the QB’s hand. It was a bad decision.
San Antonio QB Logan Woodside, in his first start, had no such problems as he dropped back the very next play and hit WR Mekale McKay in stride on a perfect post pattern that resulted in a 47 yard TD strike and an 8 nothing lead before the suds on your beer had a chance to get below the rim.
After a three and out by the Fleet, San Antonio marched down the field to the 14-yard line in a time-eating drive and Woodside hit his WR in the left corner of the endzone for another TD and a 16-0 lead.
Hold that thought. Upon further review … actually not a review, but an offensive pass interference penalty cost San Antonio the score as the Fleet pressure was really starting to get to the QB and this is the play where the wheels started to fall off for the Commanders.
After that play from the 14, there were multiple penalties and a sack that drove the Commanders all the way back to their own 34-yard line before the Fleet pressure defense capped off the incredible stand with a timely interception giving their offense the ball in excellent field position. The offense did not disappoint keeping it simple before striking in the right corner of the endzone Nelson to Gonzalez.
Now the game was all tied up 8-8 capping a 16 point swing due to the defensive stand. From there the Fleet took control as Nelson got in a rhythm in the second quarter, MLB Tarpley got a pick-six and the Fleet was up 22-8 at the half.
Mike Martz had his guys ready after half time as they scored a TD on their first possession. There were lots of big plays. RB Gardner ripped off an 83-yard touchdown romp and the defense just plain got after the QB sacking him 4 times, intercepting him twice and hurrying, harassing him the entire game.
It was a complete victory and the crowd was a factor able and willing to create enough noise it resulted in penalties by the San Antonio offense.
Football is back in San Diego. Winning football. The coach and talent are all in place and the team has improved each week.
Next week the team travels to Memphis.
NOTE: DE Damontre Moore injured his knee late in the 4th qtr and was reportedly able to return to the game but was held out. Asked later he stated he “would be fine.”
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over