The Orlando Apollos remain undefeated despite the best efforts of the Birmingham Iron and new quarterback Keith Price. Price entered the game midway through the first half and gave the Iron some much-needed momentum to close an early 17-point deficit. However, at the end of the day, the powerful wave of the Orlando Apollos offense was too much to contain. Garrett Gilbert was his usual efficient self and De’Veon Smith steamrolled over Birmingham’s stout defense. With the 31-14 win, the Orlando Apollos advance to 5-0 while the Iron drop to 3-2.
AAF Week Five Recap: Birmingham Iron’ Keith Price Not Enough to Stop Orlando Apollos
This game was billed as the best offense in the league facing off against the best defense, but early on this was nothing but a blowout. Gilbert and the offense methodically strolled down the field on the opening possession, cumulating in a 21-yard touchdown pass to Scott Orndoff.
Birmingham couldn’t answer with Luis Perez under center. The embattled starting quarterback had a rough day, completing just three of his seven pass attempts for four yards. The self-trained quarterback struggled to read pressure and closed out his night by throwing a pick-six to Keith Reiser.
Once seen as one of the more promising quarterbacks in the league, Perez was benched for backup quarterback Keith Price. Facing an early 17-0 deficit, Price finally got the Iron on the board before halftime. While Trent Richardson punched the ball into the endzone, Price completed the two-point conversion on a beautiful throw to Quinton Patton.
Birmingham’s two-point conversion fell short, and Orlando got the ball back with 1:35 left before halftime. Gilbert carried the team down into the redzone, looking to add another touchdown before halftime. While Orlando couldn’t make it into the endzone, Elliot Fry connected to give the Apollos a 20-8 lead entering halftime.
After both teams exchanged punts to start the second half, Birmingham got back on the board. Efficiently and methodically driving down the field, Price capped off the drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Ross. This touchdown was Birmingham’s first touchdown pass of the entire season, making it a 20-14 game and putting some serious pressure on Orlando.
However, the Apollos offense simply couldn’t be stopped. De’Veon Smith was a monster on the ground, breaking multiple tackles and showcasing his unique blend of size and speed. Gilbert, meanwhile, but on a clinic through the air, throwing another touchdown and a two-point conversion. In a blink of an eye, Orlando held a 31-14 lead and essentially eliminated any chance of a Birmingham comeback.
Gilbert finished his night with 286 passing yards, two touchdowns, and two separate two-point conversions. Price, meanwhile, accounted for an efficient 235 passing yards, one touchdown, and one two-point conversion. De’Veon Smith led the way on the ground, recording 119 yards on just 14 carries. Orlando held Trent Richardson to just 21 yards, although he did have a touchdown run.
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