The Hotshots added a field goal, making it 26-11, but time became a factor in their comeback attempt. Their cause wasn't helped by San Antonio's next drive, which got those three points back. Nick Rose was good from 21 yards, making it 29-11.
Things got interesting after that, as the Hotshots scored again and added two, making it 29-19 and tried an onside conversion attempt with 3:30 left. The Commanders held, but went three-and-out on their next drive.
Arizona turned that into six more points, but the onside conversion attempt failed and the Commanders were able to finally run out the clock.
After three, the Commanders lead 26-8.
We won't see a shutout tonight. A 45-yard pass put Arizona on the board with 5:41 left in the third. They added the two-point conversion, too.
At halftime, the Commanders lead 26-0.
Switching sides of the field? No problem. The Commanders took over inside the Arizona 40 and cashed in with a Kenneth Farrow II TD run. The two-point attempt failed, so it was 20-0 with 12:30 left until halftime.
The next Hotshots drive ended with another interception, the second of the night for Derron Smith. The Commanders then drove the length of the field for 6, making it 26-0 with 3:36 left in the half.
After one, the Commanders lead 14-0.
What a start! Commanders defensive back Derron Smith picked off an Arizona pass and returned it 67 yards for a Commanders touchdown. San Antonio failed the two-point conversion, but led 6-0 after 3 minutes.
The Commanders' first offensive possession resulted in more points. Quarterback Logan Woodside found Mekale McKay wide open deep down the middle of the field for a 54-yard strike. The QB then rushed in the two-point conversion, making it 14-0 after 10 minutes.
The ensuing Hotshots drive ended on a fumble, recovered by San Antonio deep in enemy territory. Things are shaping up nicely for the Commanders in the desert tonight.
After this game, we still might not be any closer to knowing where the Commanders fit in the Alliance of American Football hierarchy. When this one’s over, the league’s inaugural season will be halfway done, and either the Commanders or Arizona Hotshots would have a case to be the league’s second-best team.
The Western Conference showdown is the first of two meetings this year between San Antonio and Arizona. The rematch is slated for Sunday, March 31 in the Alamodome.
The Commanders are 2-2 after an impressive 12-11 win at previously-unbeaten Birmingham last week. The Hotshots started 2-0, but lost their two most recent games to teams that are otherwise winless. San Antonio has already played the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, while Arizona has played neither the Apollos nor the Iron.
The San Diego Fleet sit atop the Western Conference standings with three wins in five games. The winner of tonight’s game will join them at 3-2. The Commanders split with the Fleet, while the Hotshots still have to play both of their scheduled games against San Diego.
Next up for the Commanders is their fourth consecutive away game. San Antonio visits the Atlanta Legends at 3 p.m. next Sunday.