Arizona Hotshots v Salt Lake Stallions – Game Recap

Salt Lake Stallions

The game started pretty rough for the Stallions only being able to keep their first drive going as a result of a defensive penalty by the Hotshots (illegal contact: R. Nelson). The Stallions were the only ones to score in the early goings of the first quarter with a 45-yard kick by Taylor Bertolet. Lot of back and forth between the two teams in the early going, might be somewhat due to the brisk 32 degree kickoff temperature. The likely low point of the first quarter was QB Jake Woodrum tripping over his left foot for what was eventually scored a 9-yard sack.

The second quarter started with a nice pass from Woodrum to Pierson-El for a touchdown, and the ensuing 2-PT attempt (remember one of the differences between the AAF and the NFL is that they must go for two) was ultimately thrown away by Jake Woodrum. After this, the Stallions had serious struggles for the remainder of the first half.

The Stallions came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders including the very first drive with an interception by Greer Martini at the 29-yard line was returned for 22 yards, putting the Stallions close to their second touchdown (at the 7-yard line). Crazy foreshadowing, but the touchdown came not much later after a few defensive penalties by the Hotshots. The Stallions offense continued to roll, with the run game finally getting into the mix. However, as the quarter rolled on the team ran into some issues between sacks on Woodrum for substantial losses and unnecessary penalties. They got back in field goal range, and Taylor Bertolet struck the right upright (pretty sure it’s still shaking).

The fourth quarter got the Stallions back on track with a 1-yard touchdown run by Joel Bouagnon originally ruled short of the goal line. After a challenge by Coach Erickson, the call on the field was overturned and the 2-point conversion was successful on a catch by Pierson-El.

Player Ratings:

QB:
Josh Woodrum (8): After a very pedestrian first quarter, Woodrum was able to get things on the right track for the Stallions. Woodrum had 22 completions on 31 attempts for a 71% completion percentage on the game. He also managed a touchdown and two 2-point conversions. Woodrum took a few hits and a couple of sacks but overall had a very good day.

RB of the game (today is Running Backs who have very similar statistics)

Joel Bouagnon (8): If I had to pick only one running back, it would be Bouagnon. He started really slow but began to gain steam as the rest of the team did. He ended up putting in some hard earned yards (including the 1-yard touchdown) and ended up with a great average (and obviously, a touchdown). His final tally was 13 rushes for 50 yards.

Branden Oliver (7): Didn’t have quite as good of a game as Bouagnon, despite getting more attempts, but still ended the game with a serviceable average of 2.7 yards per carrying (on 15 carries for 40 yards) and a touchdown.

WR of the game:

DeMornay Pierson-El (9): Good hands on a quick catch for a few yards, slowly moving into a nice game. Pierson-El showed great evasion 2 and a half minutes into the game for the first home touchdown for the Salt Lake Stallions. Pierson-El kept up his status as the dangerous playmaker for the Stallions with a bunch of catches on top of that touchdown reception.

Defense (6):

The defense started well, but they seemed to fall off towards the end of the game. Martini, Reilly, and Paul led the defense off to a great start and forced two turnovers (1 interception, one fumble recovered by the offense.

Special Teams (6):

Taylor Bertolet managed to convert 1 of 2 his two kicks but the special teams did what they needed to, and not much more.

Arizona Hotshots

John Wolford started with some completions for short yardage but the first quarter was a mixed bag for the Hotshots going 6 for 9, but there were only two big plays for the Hotshots, completions of 16- (Marquis Bundy) and a 19-yard pass (Rashad Ross). Jhurell Pressley managed five attempts in the first half for only 9 yards and was also targeted twice, with a lone catch for 3 yards.

The second quarter was much kinder to the Hotshots were they were finally able to get some offense going. They eventually punched in a 1-yard touchdown pass caught by Rashad Ross. Ross was the Hotshots player of the half. Rashad Ross who pulled down six catches (on eight targets) for 51 yards and a touchdown. The Hotshots 2-point conversion was originally ruled successful, although the replay officials quickly changed the ruling noting that the ball was fumbled and therefore was unsuccessful.

The third quarter was not kind to the Hotshots opening with a Wolford interception that was capitalized on. Although the extra attempts were unneeded, the defense didn’t help their case with penalties. The third quarter saw the starter for the Hotshots go out with a back injury (furthermore, he came into the week questionable with a right knee injury) and Trevor Knight took over. After the quarterback change, the Hotshots were able to move the ball down the field culminating in a 35-yard kick by Nick Folk.

Player Ratings:

QB:
John Wolford (6): Wolford started the game off reasonably well, but his passes were short. He did have a couple of positive runs (2 attempts for 7 yards), and a touchdown to Rashad Ross. Definitely could have ranked higher at the end of the game if he’d not been injured.

Trevor Knight (5): Knight had a rough start the third quarter coming in cold (literally and figuratively) going 0-for-3. He didn’t turn the ball over, but that’s about all he did. His long for the game was 10 yards

RB of the game:

Jhurell Pressley (6): Pressley started off hot but the consistency failed (as did the overall Hotshots offense) him in the later stages of the game. Pressley finished with 10 carries for 34 yards, which doesn’t seem particularly impressive — but the Hotshots only had 66 net rushing yards for the game.

WR of the game:

Rashad Ross (8): Ross was targeted eight times and was able to haul in 6 of them for 51 yards and a touchdown. Ross maintained good route running, but his overall game was hampered the Hotshot quarterbacks’ accuracy after the half (he made four receptions on five targets.

Defense (5):
Long story short, defense wasn’t really the Hotshots strong point after the opening quarter. Our defensive player focus (Steven Johnson) from our preview was hurt early on a kick return tackle on Kaelin Clay.

Special Teams (6):
Nick Folk: Folk (2-for-3, good from 48, 35). Folk had an average afternoon after a poor start missing an early opportunity to tie up the game with a 45-yard kick. However, he was able to convert his second attempt, a 48-yarder for the first points of the day for the Hotshots.

Last Updated: February 23, 2019

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