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Alliance of American Football 2019 Results: Week 5 Scores from Saturday

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2019

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 09:  Ben Johnson #88 of the San Diego Fleet celebrates his touchdown with teammates during the second half of the Alliance of American Football game against the the Salt Lake Stallions at SDCCU Stadium on March 09, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/AAF/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/AAF/Getty Images

The inaugural season of the Alliance of American Football has neared its midway point, as Week 5 took center stage Saturday.

A pair of games were on the day's slate, with the other four teams in action on Sunday. A showdown between the league's top two teams, Orlando and Birmingham, got Week 5 started on an exciting note, as the Apollos' pursuit of perfection continued.

Below is a look at Saturday's action.

                   

Alliance of American Football Schedule/Results — Week 5

Saturday, March 9: Orlando Apollos (5-0) 31, Birmingham Iron (3-2) 14

Saturday, March 9: San Diego Fleet (3-2) 27, Salt Lake Stallions (1-4) 25

Sunday, March 10 at 4 p.m. ET: Memphis Express (1-3) at Atlanta Legends (1-3)

Sunday, March 10 at 8 p.m. ET: San Antonio Commanders (2-2) at Arizona Hotshots (2-2)

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Orlando Apollos 31, Birmingham Iron 14

Another week, another win for Orlando.

The Apollos showed why they have been the best team in the league through the first half of the season by jumping all over the Iron right out of the gates. They got on the board on their opening drive of the game, as quarterback Garrett Gilbert—who entered Week 5 as the AAF's leading passer—found tight end Scott Orndoff open in the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown:

The Alliance @TheAAF

First drive of the game, first points for the @aafapollos! 🔥 #ORLvsBHM https://t.co/7FnjJUFBtz

Then, it was the defense's turn to make a play. As the opening quarter neared an end, Orlando cornerback Keith Reaser picked off Birmingham quarterback Luis Perez and took it to the house:

The Alliance @TheAAF

Pick six! Keith Reaser takes it to the house for the @aafapollos! #ORLvsBHM https://t.co/yxEQhDMeV8

Just like that, it was 14-0 after one quarter of action.

Orlando would tack on a field goal to its lead as its defense continued to shut down Birmingham for the majority of the half. Eventually, though, Iron running back Trent Richardson was able to find the end zone late in the second quarter for his AAF-leading eighth touchdown of the season:

The Alliance @TheAAF

Birmingham gets on the board! Trent Richardson's 8️⃣th TD of the season! 🔥 #ORLvsBHM https://t.co/3xYvHMbE3t

Of note, no other player had more than three rushing touchdowns through four games.

Birmingham was able to make a game of it in the third quarter, thanks to its first passing touchdown of the season:

The Alliance @TheAAF

The first passing TD for the Iron this season came courtesy of Keith Price in the 3rd. 🏈 @aafiron | #ORLvsBHM https://t.co/RgV1480Zeb

However, Orlando was not going to let its perfect season go down the drain.

The Apollos defense clamped down on the Iron offense after that score, and Gilbert put the game away with just under eight minutes to play by finding his favorite target, Charles Johnson:

The Alliance @TheAAF

Garrett Gilbert to @MrInkredibleXII continues to be unstoppable! 🔥 @aafapollos | #ORLvsBHM https://t.co/iPp83yAtJb

This was a matchup that featured the AAF's top offense (Orlando, 29.5 PPG) against the league's top defense (Birmingham, 8.3 PPG). Something had to give. As strong as the Iron defense had been early on this season, there has been no stopping Gilbert and the Apollos.

PFF_AAF @PFF_AAF

Garrett Gilbert has been the best QB in the Alliance this season! https://t.co/IYrmzZ3z5m

Cole Thompson @MrColeThompson

Is it me or is Garrett Gilbert looking better some of the lower tier NFL QB’s in the NFL? I’m not saying he’ll start next year in the NFL, but he’s going to get a contract without for sure. #TakeAim🏹

Orlando has now made it halfway through the regular season unbeaten, and as a result, it is putting itself in good positioning for the playoffs. With five games to play, the Apollos own a two-game lead for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

     

San Diego Fleet 27, Salt Lake Stallions 25

While the first game of the day featured no shortage of points, the nightcap was a defensive struggle for much of the game.

In fact, the opening quarter was nearly over by the time either team managed to find the end zone. However, running back Joel Bouagnon was able to give Salt Lake the lead in the closing minute of the first quarter by powering his way to a three-yard touchdown.

Credit goes to both defenses for preventing either offense from generating any momentum all night. The low-scoring battle even gave players like San Diego cornerback Kameron Kelly a chance to shine:

San Diego Fleet @AAFFleet

Big time play by @kaetwicefrfr! #FleetFieldPass https://t.co/QUbjYyHabb

The Alliance @TheAAF

Make that ✌️ @kaetwicefrfr picks on the night! #SLvsSD https://t.co/QmFN31NLkb

Fittingly, it was the defense that put the Fleet back on top late in the third quarter:

San Diego Fleet @AAFFleet

.@HonchoJmar returns the fumble 41 yards for the score! 🎆🎆 https://t.co/BykJVGzXjR

The San Diego defense would build on that scoop-and-score, forcing another fumble on Salt Lake's next possession as well. That would set the stage for the Fleet offense to finally crack the goal line:

San Diego Fleet @AAFFleet

.@RobGronkowski would be proud of that spike. 🏈👌 @MikeBerco connects with Ben Johnson for the Fleet TD! #FleetFieldPass https://t.co/lhJutI0yzQ

Not even two touchdowns in three minutes could give San Diego any breathing room, though. A pair of failed two-point conversions kept it a seven-point game heading into the final quarter.

After the defense put the team in front, the San Diego offense appeared poised to put the game away midway through the fourth. However, as the Fleet neared the red zone, quarterback Mike Bercovici was picked off, preventing the score from getting any worse for the Stallions.

Unfortunately for Salt Lake, quarterback Josh Woodrum connected with Kelly—an opposing defensive back—for the third time in the game. And Kelly capped off the hat trick with a trip to the end zone.

The Alliance @TheAAF

.@kaetwicefrfr gets his THIRD pick of the night, this one returned for 6️⃣! 😱 @aaffleet | #SLvsSD https://t.co/2vy0fsweNQ

Incredibly, Woodrum was able to respond by bringing his team back into the game. He promptly led the Stallions on a touchdown drive on the ensuing possession and followed that up with another touchdown in the final minute. Not only that, but it was Woodrum's ability to extend the play that helped the Stallions complete the comeback with a go-ahead two-point conversion:

Salt Lake Stallions @aafstallions

IT. AINT. OVER. https://t.co/39znNDxjbU

Despite all of the turnovers, Salt Lake managed to overcome a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit and found itself in position to win the game late.

But Fleet kicker Donny Hageman would have the last word, nailing a 44-yard field goal as time expired to win the game.

After just 29 combined points through the first three quarters, the two teams put up 23 points in a wild fourth quarter. And that led to a dramatic finish.

San Diego moves into first place in the Western Conference, thanks to a 3-0 mark at home. Meanwhile, Salt Lake remains in last place and becomes the first team in the AAF to reach four losses.

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