Week 1 of the 2019 American Football Alliance is finally in the books. Even with an average of nearly 3 million viewers For the first two games of Saturday night, there were two other games today to keep the party going.
The Memphis Express at Birmingham Iron was the first game on CBS Sports Network, making it the ugliest game of the weekend. This was followed by a more entertaining shootout between the Salt Lake City Stallions and the Arizona Hotshots. Among the big names of the day are Iron Trent Richardson and quarterback Luis Perez, as well as Hotshots receiver Rashad Ross.
Thank you for staying with CBS Sports throughout the afternoon and evening, as we have presented you with the latest and most interesting highlights, scores and intrigues as they have been developed.
Birmingham Iron 26, Memphis Express 0
Arizona Hotshots 38, Salt Lake City Stallions 22
Orlando Apollos 40, Atlanta Legends 6
San Antonio Commanders 15, San Diego Fleet 6
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Hotshots move away behind Wolford and Ross
What was a tight match at half-time ended up being a big win for Arizona. The Hotshots scored a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter to lead 35-16 as part of a 38-22 win. The relationship between quarterback John Wolford and receiver Rashad Ross was remarkable as Ross is 103 yards through the best of his team and two touchdowns. The pass from Wolford to Jhurell Pressley made it a 19-point game and the Hotshots took control for the rest of the game.
Arizona and Salt Lake shootout
The score was a bonus for most teams this weekend, which is not so unexpected. However, the Hotshots and Stallions embark on what looks like a good old #AAFterDark. Arizona started the race with an easy pitch and caught by quarterback John Wolford at the tight end Gerald Christian. Then the Stallions equalized with a touchdown of the offensive midfielder Matt Asiata to bring the score to 8-8. But after a kickoff by Salt Lake, the Hotshots have again capitalized to raise the score to 16-8 thanks to this superb pass depth of Wolford. With Salt Lake adding a late touchdown to take the score to 19-16, the first half was a lot of fun.
Trent Richardson overcomes a slow start with two touchdowns
It was supposed to be Richardson's return, but the former running back of the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts took a slow start with eight runs for 17 yards in the first period. His third quarter did not look better with a breakaway lost on one of his best points of the day. However, Richardson finally found the end zone in the fourth quarter to set the Iron 15-0 and score the two-point conversion score. He also had a touchdown late in the game, his second of the day, to finish with 56 yards in a 26-0 win.
The day was tough for Richardson, who is trying to get back to the club. NFL – his yardage per race was always less than 3.0 – but at least it was better than it started.
Iron stopped Express with intense defensive effort
Similar to Saturday's defensive fight between San Antonio and San Diego, Memphis-Birmingham was a fierce fight for about three quarters of the period. Ireland led 9-0, but was absolutely solid in defense. One of the best pieces of the day was intercepted by Express quarterback, Christian Hackenberg, who struggled to find some consistency in his career after his freshman year in New York.
The united combo of today for Memphis – Birmingham: Icy White vs.. Black
The AAF has flashy uniforms, but there is a more classic look for Memphis and Birmingham. The Express will play in his Icy White uniforms while the Iron will sport, unsurprisingly, his sharp and black united. It may not be the loudest, but there is something to be said for the more subtle appearance that will be on display at Legion Field on Sunday.