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Alliance of American Football 2019 Results: Iron Clinch Playoffs in Week 8 Recap

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2019

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - MARCH 31:  Running back Trent Richardson #33 of the Birmingham Iron carries the ball during the second half of an Alliance of American Football game against the Atlanta Legends at Legion Field on March 31, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama.î (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
Butch Dill/Getty Images

Plenty was at stake on Sunday in Week 8 of the Alliance of American Football's inaugural season.

The Birmingham Iron had the opportunity to clinch a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a victory over the Atlanta Legends, while the top two teams in the West—the Arizona Hotshots and San Antonio Commanders—squared off for postseason positioning.

Here is a look at the scores and the action.

            

AAF Week 8 Sunday Scores

Birmingham Iron 17, Atlanta Legends 9

Arizona Hotshots 23, San Antonio Commanders 6

             

Birmingham Iron 17, Atlanta Legends 9

The Iron are going to the playoffs, and they can thank their stout defense.

Birmingham prevented Atlanta from finding the end zone and held quarterback Matt Simms to 13-of-22 passing for 135 yards and one interception. It also kept replacement signal-caller Aaron Murray in check, as the former Georgia Bulldogs playmaker finished 6-of-13 for 100 yards and a pick.

The defense was needed because Iron quarterback Luis Perez was a mere 10-of-24 for 65 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. Former Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson provided 83 yards on the ground and the lone offensive touchdown.

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Birmingham forced two turnovers in the fourth quarter and stuffed Murray on a 4th-and-goal run from the 3-yard line in the third quarter. The late turnovers came when cornerback Chris Davis forced a fumble on a hard hit and when Joe Powell intercepted Murray.

The Alliance @TheAAF

BOOM! 💥 @aafiron defense forces fumble late in the 4th quarter. #ATLvsBHM https://t.co/nzKlB6ll8R

The Alliance @TheAAF

.@aafiron defense stops Atlanta on 4th and goal ‼️ #ATLvsBHM Watch live: https://t.co/xoJ2fiq0hy https://t.co/l3vL0i2K2f

However, the Iron didn't wait until crunch time to set the tone defensively. They recovered a fumble from Dwayne Hollis in the second quarter and set the offense up from the Atlanta 1-yard line.

Richardson punched it in and provided enough offense for Birmingham's defense to do the rest and secure its spot in the first AAF postseason.

           

Arizona Hotshots 23, San Antonio Commanders 6

Arizona sent a message on the road in arguably the most hostile environment in the league.

Ben Kercheval of CBSSports.com noted San Antonio packed more than 30,000 fans into the Alamodome for its last home game and entered this contest with a four-game winning streak, but it was no match for the Hotshots on either side of the ball.

Wide receiver Rashad Ross started the scoring by hauling in a rainbow from quarterback John Wolford for a 58-yard touchdown. The Commanders didn't have a chance to keep up with his speed, and the perfectly placed pass set the tone for the rest of the game.

The Alliance @TheAAF

John Wolford launches one to @RocketRoss_19, 58 yards for the score! 🔥 @aafhotshots | #AZvsSA https://t.co/uo5Y8Iiid7

Running back Tim Cook put the exclamation point on the win with his second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter with ankle-breaking jukes from 20 yards out.

The Alliance @TheAAF

Make that ✌️ TDs for @DreamBigBeBig20! 🔥 @affhotshots | #AZvsSA https://t.co/RpB4vcw3EP

San Antonio replaced quarterback Logan Woodside (4-of-9 for 32 yards and an interception) with Marquise Williams, but the latter was unable to muster much offense without the injured Mekale McKay at wide receiver. The Commanders had a chance inside the red zone and down nine in the fourth quarter, but Williams lost a fumble and the best opportunity to spark a comeback.

Williams finished 17-of-23 for 130 yards but didn't find the end zone, while no San Antonio receiver had more than 48 yards through the air.

On the other side, Wolford completed 17 of his 23 passes for 216 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions, while Cook had 30 yards and two scores on just three carries. Ross finished the game with four catches for 78 yards and the score.

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