Week two of the Alliance of American Football was a solid sequel to week one for the new league. Some teams managed to maintain momentum from their opening games. Three teams moved to 2-0 (Birmingham Iron, Arizona Hotshots, and Orlando Apollos). Three teams are still searching for their first win in the league (Memphis Express, Atlanta Legends, and Salt Lake Stallions). Who were the key players in their teams victories? Who had impressive performances in defeat? Let’s look at the 10 best individual performances from week two of the AAF.
Tim Cook, Jhurell Pressley, & Justin Stockton, Arizona Hotshots Halfbacks
Luis Perez, Birmingham Iron Quarterback
Keith Reaser, Orlando Apollos Cornerback
De’Marcus Ayers, San Antonio Commanders Wide Receiver
10. John Wolford, Arizona Hotshots Quarterback
14/22 passing, 194 yards, 2 TDs, 2 interceptions, 7 rushes, 25 yards.
The Arizona Hotshots came back from a 12-0 halftime deficit against the Memphis Express to notch their second win of the season. Wolford, last week’s AAF Offensive Player of the Week, helped orchestrate the offensive drives in the second half to get the Hotshots back into it. He tightened his game up after two first-half interceptions, throwing two touchdowns in the second half. Wolford’s talented trio of halfbacks carried the load and earned an honorable mention as well.
9. Will Davis, Salt Lake Stallions Cornerback
5 tackles, 3 passes defended
Salt Lake cornerback Will Davis was one of the key cogs that kept the Stallions in their game against the Iron. Davis, the former NFL third-round pick from 2013, helped keep Iron quarterback Luis Perez from getting any good looks deep downfield in the passing game. Iron wideout Quinton Patton led the league in receiving last week with 104 yards. This week: three catches on seven targets, just 44 yards. Davis was a big part of limiting Patton and keeping the Stallions in the game.
8. Channing Stribling, Memphis Express Cornerback
5 tackles, 3 passes defended, 1 INT
Even in defeat, Channing Stribling shined for the Express. The former Michigan Wolverine helped contain the Arizona Hotshots passing game, notching an early interception on John Wolford. Stribling allowed only 19 yards receiving in coverage and was a big help in the run game as well. Stribling was injured in the third quarter, but hopefully isn’t going to miss any time. The Express defense would miss his ball-hawking talents if he was out for long.
7. Kenneth Farrow II, San Antonio Commanders Halfback
13 carries, 74 yards. 1 TD, 2 receptions, 25 yards
Commanders halfback Kenneth Farrow II established himself this week as one of the hardest guys to bring down in the league. He finished with 99 total yards, and it seemed like he fought hard for each and every one of them. Farrow broke multiple tackles, and sacrificed his body while diving for the endzone on a first-quarter touchdown run. While his Commanders came up short, Farrow has made himself a feature back in the San Antonio offense.
What a tough run by Kenneth Farrow. pic.twitter.com/c2D8wQ7m4S
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) February 17, 2019
6. Jeremy Faulk, Birmingham Iron Defensive End
4 tackles, 1 tackles for loss, 2 passes defended, 1 sack, 2 QB hits
The Birmingham Iron have a claim to having the best defense in the league. Last week it was Jamar Summers (who returned a fumble for a touchdown this game) and Xzavier Dickson. This week they were lead by Faulk, a big man up front who was involved defending the run and the pass. Faulk tipped two third-down passes in the fourth quarter, stopping the Salt Lake offense in their tracks and allowing the Iron to complete their comeback. His sack also came on a third down, proving Faulk to be a clutch player on an elite AAF defense.
5. Zac Stacy, Memphis Express Halfback
19 carries, 101 yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 8 yards
Last week I mentioned that Stacy looked strong, even if his stats didn’t pop out at you. This week, the former Vanderbilt Commodore notched the first 100 yard rushing game in AAF history and looked like a feature back. Stacy put the team on his back, providing some rushing consistency while quarterback Christian Hackenberg still didn’t impress. Stacy ran hard and showed great vision, especially on a 49 yard scamper in the third quarter.
Zac Stacy 50-yard run pic.twitter.com/qGkDd7Nh0m
— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) February 17, 2019
4. Karter Schult, Salt Lake Stallions Defensive End
6 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 4 QB hits, 1 forced fumble
Birmingham Iron quarterback Luis Perez had some issues getting in a rhythm early against the Stallions, and Schult was a big factor. The reason was simple: Schult kept getting in Perez’s face. Schult had two sacks in the first quarter, forcing a fumble as well. Schult, a Northern Iowa product, also had a hand in stopping a fake punt near the end of the first half. For his efforts in disrupting the Iron offense and sparking the Stallions defense, Schult finds a spot on this list.
3. Ja’Quan Gardner, San Diego Fleet Halfback
15 carries, 104 yards, 2 TDs, 1 reception, 7 yards
After showing promise in limited carries in week one, San Diego’s Ja’Quan Gardner exploded in the Fleet’s 24-12 win over Atlanta. Gardner scored the first touchdown in team history in the fourth quarter to take the lead for the first time in the game. He would add one more in the fourth to put it out of reach and secure the Fleet’s first ever win. Gardner has the ability to find space and carve out large chunks of yards. He could fill the Marshall Faulk-role in Mike Martz’s San Diego offense going forward.
And now he breaks off a 31-yard run pic.twitter.com/aeLqrQhKzU
— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) February 18, 2019
2. Garrett Gilbert, Orlando Apollos Quarterback
19/28 passing, 393 yards, 2 TDs, 1 2-PT
Make it two straight weeks that Apollos QB Garrett Gilbert has occupied the number two spot on this list. Gilbert oversees the leagues best-scoring offense through two weeks, and was able to rack up a ton of yardage on his throws (14 yards per attempt). The Apollos QB shows a great ability to put the right amount of touch on his throws, and has lead his team to a 2-0 start. Out of all the quarterbacks starting their second game in the AAF, Gilbert showed the most consistency and put up the most passing yards in the league so far. Gilbert did have some help from one target in particular…
1. Charles Johnson, Orlando Apollos Wide Receiver
7 receptions, 192 yards, 1 TD
Apollos wideout Charles Johnson made Gilbert’s day that much easier. Johnson, a former receiver for the Minnesota Vikings for three seasons, was a deep threat with sure hands against the San Antonio Commanders. Johnson had catches of 54, 45, 25, and 21 yards. The 21 yard catch was for his only touchdown of the day. With such a prolific performance in week two, Johnson now has the record for the most receiving yards in a game for the AAF. Only two weeks into the season, it looks to be a record that will be hard to top.
— ZRN (@TakeAimApollos) February 17, 2019