Well, folks, our adopted team has not gotten off to the best of starts in the inaugural season of the Alliance of American Football. On Sunday night in Tempe, Arizona, the Salt Lake Stallions fell to the Arizona Hotshots by a final score of 35-22. It was a three-point game at halftime, but thanks to an untimely turnover the home team was able to pull away in the second half.
There were former Minnesota Vikings on both sidelines in this one, and a lot of them had pretty significant impacts on tonight’s contest.
The Hotshots scored first to take an 8-0 lead. . .remember, everyone has to go for two after a touchdown in the AAF. The Stallions answered, though, and the first touchdown in Stallions history was scored by. . .you guessed it. . .former Vikings’ running back Matt Asiata.
Asiata didn’t do much else on the night. . .he finished the game with four yards on four carries. . .but he did get into the end zone.
The Hotshots added another touchdown, a two-point conversion, and a 53-yard field goal by former NFL kicker Nick Folk to take a 19-8 lead, but the Stallions had an answer just before halftime. Josh Woodrum connected with former Vikings’ practice squad member Jordan Leslie, with the two-point conversion making it 19-16 at the half.
That’s how the score remained until late in the third quarter, when the Hotshots added eight more points to increase their lead to 27-16. On the Stallions’ first offensive play, Matt Linehan, who had entered the game for an injured Woodrum, threw a pass that was deflected by former Vikings’ linebacker Edmond Robinson for an interception by Steven Johnson.
On the next play, Arizona quarterback John Wolford threw his fourth touchdown pass of the night, this time connecting with former Vikings’ running back Jhurell Pressley for a 30-yard score to push the lead to 35-16.
Former Viking creating a turnover leads to a wheel route by former Viking Jhurell Pressley to catch a touchdown off a wheel route. Wolford continues to deal pic.twitter.com/87KdH6tvvt— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) February 11, 2019
The last score of the night was hauled in by another former Vikings practice squad member, tight end Nick Truesdell, who made a very nice catch on a pass from Linehan for a seven-yard score. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the score at 35-22.
A couple of other former Vikings were in this one as well. Arizona defensive tackle Will Sutton had a sack late in the game, and Arizona punter Jeff Locke had a 43.8-yard net average on four punts. You can see all of the stats from tonight’s game at the AAF Website.
Salt Lake’s next game will be on Saturday, and they’re once again on the road as they’ll head to the Deep South to take on the Birmingham Iron. The Iron won their first game on Sunday afternoon, as they shut out the Memphis Express by a final score of 26-0.
Did you enjoy the first weekend of the AAF, folks?