Week Six of the Alliance of American Football saw the Birmingham Iron coming in on a two-game skid, and the San Diego Fleet coming off a big win featuring the AAF’s first game-winning field goal with no time left. This game gave us our second such ending, only this time the Fleet were on the losing side of it. The Iron snapped their two-game skid and got a 32-29 win over the Fleet.
San Diego Fleet vs Birmingham Iron AAF Week Six Recap: Iron Boot Fleet Late for 32-29 Win
In typical Iron fashion, they started out somewhat slow in the first quarter. However, things changed then there was a quarterback change early on. Keith Price was the starter, but after getting hurt Luis Perez returned to the field… and threw his first touchdown pass of the year. That wasn’t the last one he threw either, as later in the first half he threw an 83-yard touchdown pass. Eventually the Iron went up 21-9 early in the third quarter.
Then the Fleet came back to life. Two touchdowns and five minutes later (in game time), the Fleet were back in the lead, 23-21. The fourth quarter then started early with another Perez touchdown pass. Then Mike Bercovici, the Fleet quarterback, led his team down for a big drive of their own. He threw the touchdown pass with just under five minutes to go to tie the game, but the team could not get the two-point conversion to take the lead. The Fleet never saw the ball again; the Iron drove the ball down the field until they got into field goal range, and then Nick Novak kicked a 44-yard field goal with three seconds left to seal the deal.
This was probably the closest to a proper quarterback duel we’ve had in the AAF thus far, since both passers threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns each. Perez, despite a couple shaky throws, still came out slightly better as he went 27-for-49, 359 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Despite the two interceptions, it was still his best game of the year–and one he needed too after getting benched recently. Elsewhere for the Iron, Trent Richardson was a touchdown machine again, getting 46 yards on 16 carries and a rushing touchdown plus a receiving touchdown. Among the actual wide receivers, L’Damian Washington stood out as he caught four passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
Bercovici’s completion percentage was lower than Perez’s, but he still had a decent stat line of his own, going 17-for-34, 311 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. The Fleet did not rely on the running game much, as their leading rusher Terrell Watson only had eight carries, though he took them for 38 yards and a touchdown. He caught a receiving touchdown as well. Their leading receiver was Dontez Ford, who had 182 yards on only three catches due in part to an explosive 72-yard catch-and-run which was almost a touchdown.
Despite all the yards given up in this game, there was still some decent defensive play as evidence by the turnovers. For the Iron, one player who did well was Bradley Sylve; he pulled in an interception, forced a fumble and also led the team in tackles with eight. No one on the Iron got a sack, but Aaron Adeoye did manage to get two tackles for a loss.
The Fleet fared a little better on the front four. Xavier Coleman and Damontre Moore each had a sack, and Moore also had six total quarterback hits. With regards to turnovers, Travis Feeney and Demetrius Wright each pulled in an interception. Kendall James led the way in tackles for the team with eight.
This was certainly a win that the Iron (now 4-2) needed after dropping two straight following a 3-0 start. They’ll still need more consistent play from Perez, but they at least have momentum on their side again. The Fleet (now 3-3) still looked generally good despite the loss. Next week they’ll face the Arizona Hotshots–a game that could go either way for either side. The Iron will have it easier as they’ll be facing the Memphis Express, who is currently in the cellar of the entire AAF.
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