AAF Week Six: Top Ten Individual Performances

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This week was the week of intrigue in the Alliance of American Football. The Orlando Apollos lost for the first time to the start-and-stop Arizona Hotshots. The Birmingham Iron benched Luis Perez, had him come back in, and win at San Diego. Salt Lake finally got win number two, and San Antonio stands alone as tops in the West. Who were the sparks in these big wins? Who showed out in a losing effort? Here are the top ten individual performances for week six.

Honorable Mentions

DeMarquis Gates, Memphis Express Linebacker
Damontre Moore, San Diego Fleet Defensive End
Josh Woodrum, Salt Lake Stallions Quarterback
Nick Truesdell, Salt Lake Stallions Tight End
Tim Cook, Arizona Hotshots Halfback

10. Mike Bercovici, San Diego Fleet Quarterback
17/34 passing, 311 yards, 3 TDs, 2 interceptions, 1 2-PT

Mike Bercovici was in a game where both quarterbacks actively helped and hurt their team (more on his opponent later on in the list). Bercovici helped the Fleet keep up with the Iron by finding receivers in enough space to make big plays happen. He also was intercepted twice and was occasionally missing receivers who were relatively open. Bercovici’s receivers suffered a case of the drops as well, hurting his stat line. He may exist for the rest of the season as a boom or bust option for the Fleet from week to week.

9. Derron Smith, San Antonio Commanders Safety
3 tackles, 2 passes defended, 1 interception, 1 defensive TD

Derron Smith of the Commanders had another impactful game for his defense. Smith operates as a ballhawk on the back end of the San Antonio defense and had a huge play that swung momentum back to his team. Smith intercepted Legends quarterback Aaron Murray and returned it 87 yards to the house. Two straight weeks Smith has had an interception returned for a touchdown. Commanders fans should really enjoy Smith being on their team while it lasts, as he looks like a prime candidate to find a roster spot in the NFL.

8. L’Damian Washington, Birmingham Iron Wide Receiver
4 receptions, 128 catches, 2 TDs, 1 2-PT

The Iron had the longest reception in AAF history this week courtesy of L’Damian Washington. The former Mizzou receiver caught a pass from Luis Perez on a slant, made two Fleet defenders crash into each other, and sprinted all the way to the endzone for an 83-yard score. Washington had an impressive day when he caught the ball, adding another 23-yard score. He could have had an even more impressive day if he converted more of his targets. Washington was targeted 10 times this week and only hauled in four of them.

7. Logan Woodside, San Antonio Commanders Quarterback
17/23 passing, 164 yards, 2 TDs, 1 2-PT

Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside did command the offense for his team this week. Woodside was the benefit of some short fields because of his offense. He did a great job making good decisions with the ball. Woodside spread the ball out, throwing to eight different receivers. His stats may not pop out, but Woodside converted on the turnovers generated by his defense to secure the win for San Antonio. That’s simply effective football.

6. Steven Johnson, Arizona Hotshots Linebacker
8 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass defended, 1 interception

Steven Johnson was an integral cog in the Hotshots defense in their win against the Orlando Apollos. The former University of Kansas player intercepted Apollos quarterback Garrett Gilbert, the first time that has happened all year. It was a tremendous show of athleticism and timing to reach up and get the interception. Johnson was also stout in the run game, helping to contain the Apollo’s explosive run attack and pick up the win.

5. Karter Schult, Salt Lake Stallions Defensive End
4 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 4 QB hits

The AAF’s leader in sacks through six weeks was a force again for the Stallions. Schult shows a lot of energy in his rushes, often overpowering bigger tackles on his way to the quarterback. This week, Schult knocked Zach Mettenberger out of the game on a sack on the first play for the Express offense. He later sacked Brandon Silvers as well. Schult accrued two penalties in the game for offside, so his anticipation and timing is still something to be fine-tuned going forward.

4. Dontez Ford, San Diego Fleet Wide Receiver
3 receptions, 182 yards

Dontez Ford was a highlight reel for the Fleet against the Birmingham Iron. His three catches: 40, 72, and 70 yards. Ford was the Fleet’s answer to the longest catch in AAF history by recording the second-longest ever on the very next scrimmage play. His tremendous 122 yards after catch proved how dangerous he could be in space. Unfortunately, Ford was injured on his last catch and did not return. Fleet coach Mike Martz said after the game: “I don’t think it’s serious… we should get him back soon.” For the Fleet’s sake, let’s hope so.

3. Reece Horn, Memphis Express Wide Receiver
8 receptions, 129 yards

On the first offensive play of the game against the Stallions, Memphis Express quarterback Zach Mettenberger went down. In came Brandon Silvers, and he immediately made a connection with wideout Reece Horn. Horn became a big part of the offense with 10 targets, six more than he’s had in any other game. He made four of his eight catches on a second-quarter drive, tallying 59 receiving yards and leading to an Express field goal. If Johnny Manziel is going to start for the Express, expect Horn to be an early favorite target of his.

2. Bradley Sylve, Birmingham Iron Defensive Back
8 tackles, 2 passes defended, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble

Bradley Sylve is now the third Birmingham defensive back to make an appearance on the top ten players of the week, joining Jack Tocho and Jamar Summers. The former Crimson Tide player had his fingerprints all over the Iron’s win against the Fleet. He intercepted Mike Bercovici early in the second quarter, and registered tackles in both run and pass defense. Sylve also saved a touchdown by bringing down Dontez Ford on one of his tremendous long runs. Sylve is the latest member of the talented Iron defensive backfield to have a standout game.

1. Luis Perez, Birmingham Iron Quarterback
27/49, 359 yards, 3 TDs, 2 interceptions, 1 2-PT, 4 carries, 28 yards

Luis Perez started this game on the bench but came in after an injury to starter Keith Price. Playing close to his hometown (Chula Vista, which is a stone’s throw from San Diego) Perez was a pleasant surprise for the Iron. Perez had no passing touchdowns in his previous five weeks. This week he threw three, and they were tremendous throws. Perez still has troubles with decision making, including throwing an interception while being sacked when his Iron were trying to defend a lead. Perez is infuriating at times as a signal caller, but this week made some smart plays with his legs and his arm. The Iron now have a quarterback controversy for next week which will be worth keeping an eye on.

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1 COMMENT

  1. L’Damian Washington’s 4 for 10 looks bad, unless, you watched the game… 5 of those 10 were uncatchable balls, either a throw away from a sack, thrown out of bounds, or way over thrown… realistically, he was more like 4/5…

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