Orlando Surprises With Shutout In AAF Opener
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The first week of the inaugural season for the Alliance of American Football is in the books.
A new league with new rules that made a splash on televisions and social media pages across the United States.
The league consists of four teams in the Western Conference and four teams in the Eastern Conference that will compete for a spot in the postseason and the ultimate prize of a championship.
It is also the gateway to get players back to the NFL.
Here is the first edition of the AAF Power Rankings from the first week of the season:
1. Orlando Apollos (1-0)
Result: Win over Atlanta Legends 40-6 at home.
Recap: The Apollos had a great inaugural game as they dominated the Atlanta Legends 40-6. They scored 22 points in the second quarter and 15 points in the fourth. Atlanta scored all six points in the first half.
Former SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert led Orlando with 227 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Akeem Hunt had 70 yards on the ground. Wide receiver Charles Johnson collected 60 receiving yards.
Previous Ranking: 1
Next Up: at San Antonio Commanders (1-0), Sunday at 2 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
2. Arizona Hotshots (1-0)
Result: Win over Salt Lake Stallions 38-22 at home.
Recap: Arizona scored first before Salt Lake tied the game at 8 in the second quarter. The Hotshots added a field goal and a touchdown, with Salt Lake striking last before halftime as Arizona held a 19-16 lead. The Hotshots had two touchdowns in the third quarter to take a commanding lead to help them pick up the win.
Former Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford threw for 275 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wide receiver Rashad Ross grabbed five catches for 103 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Previous Ranking: 2
Next Up: at Memphis Express (0-1), Saturday at 6 p.m. on the NFL Network.
3. Birmingham Iron (1-0)
Result: Win over Memphis Express 26-0 at home.
Recap: Birmingham’s defense came to play against Memphis as they pitched a shutout in their first ever game. They held the Express to just 99 yards passing and 103 yards on the ground, while forcing 3 turnovers.
Quarterback Luis Perez had 252 yards passing, while former No. 3 overall pick Trent Richardson had 58 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.
Previous Ranking: 3
Next Up: vs. Salt Lake Stallions (0-1), Saturday at 12 p.m. on TNT.
4. San Antonio Commanders (1-0)
Result: Win over San Diego Fleet 15-6 at home.
Recap: San Antonio and San Diego was the first ever AAF game played but fans had to wait until the second quarter to see any points on the scoreboard. Both teams made two field goals to go into the locker room tied at 6. The Commanders scored the only touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter and added a field goal to pull out the 15-6 win.
Former Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside had 255 passing yards, but threw two interceptions. Wide receiver Mekale McKay had 80 receiving yards.
Previous Ranking: 4
Next Up: vs. Orlando Apollos (1-0), Sunday at 2 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
5. Salt Lake Stallions (0-1)
Result: Lost to Arizona Hotshots 38-22 on the road.
Recap: The Stallions couldn’t overcome the two quick touchdowns late in the third quarter as they fell to the Arizona Hotshots.
Former Liberty quarterback Josh Woodrum had 103 yards and 1 touchdown in the first half before missing the second half due to injury. Running back Branden Oliver had 40 yards on the ground but former Ute Matt Asiata scored the teams’ first ever touchdown. Former BYU wide receiver Jordan Leslie caught the first touchdown pass in team history.
Previous Ranking: 5
Next Up: at Birmingham Iron (1-0), Saturday at 12 p.m. on TNT.
6. San Diego Fleet (0-1)
Result: Lost to San Antonio Commanders 15-6 on the road.
Recap: The Fleet could only hit field goals but never found the end zone. They scored all 6 points in the second quarter.
Former Arizona State quarterback Mike Bercovici had 176 yards passing and 2 interceptions. Wide receiver Brian Brown and tight end Gavin Escobar each had 66 receiving yards.
Previous Ranking: 6
Next Up: vs. Atlanta Legends (0-1), Sunday at 6 p.m. on the NFL Network.
7. Atlanta Legends (0-1)
Result: Lost to Orlando Apollos 40-6 on the road.
Recap: Atlanta scored first with a field goal before the Apollos did their damage in the second quarter with two touchdowns. The Legends added their final score of the game in the second quarter with another field goal. Orlando scored a touchdown with 6 seconds left in the first half to carry the momentum into the second half, finding the end zone two touchdowns and two field goals.
Former Tennessee quarterback Matt Simms threw for 126 yards and 2 interceptions for Atlanta.
Previous Ranking: 7
Next Up: at San Diego Fleet (0-1), Sunday at 6 p.m. on the NFL Network.
8. Memphis Express (0-1)
Result: Lost to Birmingham Iron 26-0 on the road.
Recap: Not only did Memphis not find the end zone, but they couldn’t put any points on the scoreboard. Former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg had just 87 yards and 1 interception through the air. Former NFL running back Zac Stacey had 58 yards on 12 carries.
Previous Ranking: 8
Next Up: vs. Arizona Hotshots (1-0), Saturday at 6 p.m. on the NFL Network.