The third week of the 2019 Alliance of American Football season is officially in the books.
The Birmingham Iron opened Sunday with a comfortable win over the Atlanta Legends, while the San Diego Fleet handed the San Antonio Commanders their second straight defeat.
Sunday represented a stark contrast from the previous day, when 12 combined points were the difference in Saturday's two games.
Week 3 Results—Feb. 24
Birmingham Iron (3-0) def. Atlanta Legends (0-3), 28-12
San Diego Fleet (2-1) def. San Antonio Commanders (1-2), 31-11
Birmingham Iron 28, Atlanta Legends 12
Birmingham pulled away from Atlanta in the second half on the strength of an 11-point third quarter.
Although he threw for 328 yards, Legends quarterback Matt Simms had a day to forget. His three interceptions proved costly as Atlanta's offense struggled to find a groove. The Legends ran for 43 yards as a team, with Simms responsible for 27 of those.
Atlanta's inability to establish the run differed slightly from Birmingham. Trent Richardson led the Iron with 46 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries, and Ladarius Perkins chipped in with 26 yards on the ground.
Richardson's first score came on a five-yard run with 2:39 left in the second quarter to put Birmingham ahead 9-3.
Richardson punched it in again from one yard out in the final seconds of the third quarter to make it an 18-6 game.
Having settled for a pair of field goals in the second quarter, Atlanta got its first touchdown in the fourth quarter. It came too late to make any real impact on the game, though. Simms hit Montay Crockett for a 23-yard touchdown with 1:41 left in regulation, but the Legends failed on their two-point conversion.
Seantavius Jones kept the comeback attempt alive when he made a juggling catch on Atlanta's onside attempt, which requires the offensive team to convert on 4th-and-12.
Simms threw an interception on the Legends' next play, which erased any doubt about the outcome.
The Legends will hope to get their first win in Week 4 when they play the Arizona Hotshots. The Iron, on the other hand, will put their perfect record on the line against the Commanders.
San Diego Fleet 31, San Antonio Commanders 11
Ja'Quan Gardner played a starring role as the Fleet suffocated the Commanders with their running game en route to a win.
Gardner only carried the ball 12 times but gained 122 yards and found the end zone on one occasion. He showed off his speed in the third quarter when he found a hole up the middle and exploded through the San Antonio defense for an 83-yard scamper.
That's the longest play in AAF history to date. NBC San Diego's Fernando Ramirez shared Gardner's reaction upon hearing that fact:
The Commanders ultimately came out on the losing end, but they couldn't have envisaged a better start to the game.
De'Vante Bausby intercepted a Philip Nelson pass on the first play from scrimmage. On the very next play, Logan Woodside connected with Mekale McKay for a 47-yard touchdown.
The offense quickly dried up for the Commanders, who finished with 291 yards but had two costly turnovers. San Diego took a 12-8 lead at the 10:56 mark of the second quarter on an A.J. Tarpley pick-six.
San Antonio's defense didn't have an answer for the Fleet offense, either. After his interception, Nelson settled down and went 17-of-25 for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Terrell Watson also gave San Diego a dynamic threat on the ground, going for 73 yards on 13 carries.
The Fleet will play the 0-3 Memphis on Saturday.
Unless otherwise noted, statistics courtesy of the league's official site.