AAF Week 2 scores, highlights: Apollos come back to beat Commanders in shootout, Fleet top Legends
Both Sunday games featured comeback wins, as Orlando improved to 2-0 and San Diego evened its record at 1-1
Week 2 of the AAF season is officially in the books. If nothing else, the games were far closer this time around than in Week 1. We also got the early candidate for game of the season thanks to a fun shootout between the Orlando Apollos and the San Antonio Commanders. The Sunday afternoon game featured 66 points, the first 300-yard passer of the season (Orlando's Garrett Gilbert) as well as the first 100-yard receiver of the year (Charles Johnson).
That game was followed by the Atlanta Legends traveling on the road for the second-straight week as they took on the San Diego Fleet. In a downpour, the Fleet finally scored their first touchdown of the season and were able to pull away from the Legends, 24-12.
CBS Sports was with you every step of the way. Here's a look at Sunday's highlights and storylines.
Orlando Apollos 37, San Antonio Commanders 29
San Diego Fleet 24, Atlanta Legends 12
Birmingham Iron 12, Salt Lake City Stallions 9
Arizona Hotshots 20, Memphis Express 18
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How in the heck was this a completed pass?
Week 2 was full of highlights, but perhaps no play to date has been as improbable as this completion from San Diego quarterback Phillip Nelson to tight end Gavin Escobar. It was a classic completion of the "no no no no no no no ... yes!" variety. Nelson wasn't even looking in the right direction of Escobar when he threw it. And, yet, it counted all the same. What's more is that the Fleet scored later on the drive -- their first touchdown on the season -- in what would be a 24-12 victory. Better to be lucky than good, apparently.
Legends look much better than in Week 1
The Atlanta Legends scored more points in the first quarter Sunday than they did in their entire opening game. It started with a Younghoe Koo field goal, then the Legends got the ball right back after picking off an ugly pass from San Diego Fleet quarterback Philip Nelson. From there, Atlanta QB Matt Simms found Malachi Jones for the first Legends touchdown of the season and a 9-0 first-quarter lead.
Quick two-touchdown swing gives Orlando the lead
The Apollos have been playing from behind all day, but a quick two-touchdown swing has Orlando on top. First, quarterback Garrett Gilbert hit Jalin Marshall for a touchdown to tie the game at 29. The two-point conversion was no good. At the time of the score, Gilbert had 393 yards passing and a pair of touchdown passes, one to Marshall and one to Charles Johnson.
Then, on San Antonio's next possession, defensive back Keith Reaser picked off Logan Woodside and returned it all the way to the house for a touchdown. The Apollos' defense has been flirting with an interception all day, and you're not going to find a bigger one than that.
Mbu gives the AAF its first large human being touchdown
The shootout between Orlando and San Antonio now has everything thanks to a defensive touchdown by way of large person Joey Mbu. The Commanders' defensive lineman picked up a sack-fumble from Apollos quarterback Garrett Gilbert and ran it in for a touchdown to give the Commanders a double-digit lead. It's not the first defensive touchdown in the AAF, but it has been the most entertaining one so far.
Charles Johnson proving he's a mismatch
It's not just Jalin Marshall who's stretching the field for the Apollos' passing attack. Charles Johnson has been the most impressive player on the field. He's come up with some huge catches, including a late second-quarter touchdown to put his team up 17-15 over the Commanders. Johnson has flashed some excellent route running, including this double move for the score.
Apollos make a comeback with vertical passing game
Orlando might have the most exciting deep passing game of any team in the Alliance. The connection between quarterback Garrett Gilbert and receiver Jalin Marshall has been exciting to watch and already the two are hooking up for big plays against the commanders. This 57-yard deep strike over the middle led to a field goal that pulled the Apollos to within three points.
Marquise Williams takes over at QB for Commanders
Remember, the AAF is a development league, and San Antonio coach Mike Riley is taking that term literally. Riley replaced starting quarterback Logan Woodside with former North Carolina signal caller Marquise Williams during the second quarter to give Williams some reps. While making such a change when Woodside had just led two scoring drives seems counterintuitive, Riley has maintained he's liked what he's seen from Williams in practice. And, sure enough, Williams showed off his wheels on some big-time scrambles to keep the chains moving. San Antonio's initial drive with Williams at the helm ended in a 50-yard field goal.
Kenneth Farrow leaps in for San Antonio's first touchdown
When you're a brand new football league, scripted drives aren't something to be taken for granted. And, yet, the Commanders' first offensive possession went exactly to script. San Antonio showed tremendous balance against Orlando, capping off the scoring drive with a highlight run and leap by running back Kenneth Farrow. The drive had a little bit of everything: some inside running, some outside dishes, a little zone read. With a second touchdown at the end of the first quarter, the Commanders lead 12-0.
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