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AAFL Week 8: Arizona Hotshots vs. San Antonio Commanders

The final game of Week 8 in the AAF pits the top two teams in the Western Conference against one another when the Arizona Hotshots take on the San Antonio Commanders. These two teams have already met this season in Week 5, a 29-25 Commanders victory in Arizona. Sunday, March 31, 2019, at 8:00 ET at Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas

The Hotshots enter this contest as winners of two straight after defeating the San Diego Fleet last weekend, 32-15. San Antonio is the hottest team in the AAF, winning four straight games, including a 19-15 victory over Salt Lake last weekend.

Hotshots Defense Shoots Down Fleet

The Arizona Hotshots found themselves locked in a 9-9 tied coming out of the first quarter in their battle against the San Diego Fleet on Sunday. However, to second quarter touchdown tosses by quarterback John Wolford and stifling defense helped lead Arizona to a 32-15 victory. The Hotshots defense did allow 411 yards of total offense the San Diego, but held firm in a bend but not break philosophy.

Wolford finished an impressive 15 of 19 passing for 212 yards and two touchdowns. He also gained 44 yards on the ground, including a 35-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Jhurell Pressley led the team in rushing with 64 yards on 15 carries and Rashad Ross made three receptions for 53 yards to lead the team.

Wolford continues to be one of the top three quarterbacks in the AAF. He has completed 62.1% of his passes for 1400 yards and leads the league with 13 touchdown tosses. He does have seven interceptions as well. Pressley leads the team in rushing with 407 yards on 90 attempts, a 4.5 yards per carry average. Ross leads the team in receiving with 32 catches for 505 yards and six touchdowns.

The defense for Arizona has been solid but not impressive. They have recorded 12 sacks this season and nine turnovers. Stephen Johnson leads the team and interceptions with three, including one this last weekend.

Two-Point Interception Return Seals Commanders Victory

The San Antonio Commanders found themselves clinging to a two-point lead after a Salt Lake Stallions touchdown made it a 17-15 game. However, with Salt Lake going for two, De’VanteBausby stepped in front of a Josh Woodrum pass at the 1 yard line, picking it off and racing 99 yards to seal the Commanders 19-15 victory.

The defense had an impressive day, holding Salt Lake to just 263 total yards, including only 49 on the ground. However, the Commanders offense was not much better. Logan Woodside completed 13 of 19 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown, and the leading rusher for San Antonio was the Williams combo – Trey and Marquise – who each rushed for 19 yards on six carries. Evan Rodriguez led the team in receiving with three catches for 71 yards.

Woodside is having a solid season, but he has not been impressive by any stretch of the imagination. The San Antonio quarterback has completed 58.3% of his passes for 1353 yards. He has thrown seven interceptions as well as seven touchdowns this season. Kenneth Farrow II leads the team in rushing with 344 yards and four touchdowns on 95 carries. Despite only having one catch in the last contest, Mekale McKay still leads the team in receiving with 22 catches for 375 yards and four TDs.

The Commanders defense has been outstanding. They have recorded 21 sacks this season, led by Javrone Elliot who has 6.5. Bausby leads the team and interceptions with four with Derron Smith right behind, recording three picks this season.

The Winner Prediction

This is likely a playoff preview, as it would not be surprising to see these two teams meeting once again about seven weeks from now. The Commanders would clearly like to make a statement that they are the top team in the Western Conference and that the road to the championship goes through San Antonio. Arizona has looked better the last two weeks, but they have not been the invincible force that many thought they would be when the season began. The Commanders are red-hot and are at home. There is no reason to believe they can cover a 1.5 spread.

The Pick: San Antonio Commanders (-1.5) (-110)

 

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