AAF Week 3 scores, highlights, updates: Fleet, Iron both win easily; Trent Richardson gets three more TDs
After a surprising Saturday, favored San Diego and Birmingham had little trouble on Sunday
The first two games of Week 3 gave us surprises, but Sunday's action was more lopsided as both favorites won easily. The Birmingham Iron got things off to a dominating start with a 28-12 victory at Atlanta. The Legends dropped to 0-3 on the year and are in serious trouble of failing to find an identity. Then in the second game of the evening, the San Diego Fleet got revenge for their Week 1 loss to the San Antonio Commanders with a 31-11 victory. The Fleet have now won two games in a row while the Commanders are on a two-game slide.
Saturday had featured the first real "upset" of the season with the Salt Lake Stallions, a 4.5-point home dog, getting their first win of the year over the Arizona Hotshots. Then, with quarterback Zach Mettenberger coming off the bench, the Memphis Express gave the Orlando Apollos everything they could handle in covering both the massive 15.5-point spread and forcing the under, though the Apollos did improve to 3-0.
CBS Sports was with you every step of the way through Sunday's games. Be sure to check below for the latest scores, highlights and updates.
Birmingham Iron 28, Atlanta Legends 12 (Final)
San Diego Fleet 31, San Antonio Commanders 11 (Final)
Salt Lake Stallions 23, Arizona Hotshots 15
Orlando Apollos 21, Memphis Express 17
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Gardner's 83-yard run puts the Fleet up three touchdowns
After mustering just six points in Week 1, San Diego's offense has started to find itself. The Fleet pulled away from the Commanders thanks to a monster 83-yard run from Fleet running back Ja'Quan Gardner. Already up 22-8, Gardner shot up the middle through a massive hole through which you could have driven an 18-wheeler. San Antonio's defense has now given up 51 points in the past two games.
A.J. Tarpley's pick-six pulls the Fleet ahead
If you missed the fascinating story of San Diego Fleet linebacker A.J. Tarpley, who gave up the NFL and spent two years on Wall Street, you can read it above in the links section. Against the Commanders, Tarpley is showing why he's giving professional football another go. Tarpley, a team captain, perfectly read Logan Woodside's pass and picked it off, returning it all the way for a touchdown. The two-point conversion gave the Fleet a 14-8 lead.
INT, long bomb gives San Antonio the early lead
You can't get off to a much better start than San Antonio did against the Fleet. After an early interception on defense, Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside capitalized with a long bomb to Mekale McKay for a quick touchdown. The two-point conversion made it 8-0. It was a heck of a call right off of the turnover by San Antonio and the kind of start this team needed after an emotional loss to Orlando in Week 2.
Another Richardson touchdown gives the Iron some padding
Trent Richardson continues to be a work horse for the Iron offense. His one-yard touchdown at the end of the third quarter, plus catch out of the backfield for a two-point conversion, gave Birmingham a 20-6 lead. That marked Richardson's fifth touchdown on the season, and he later added a sixth, his third of the game -- so anyone with him on their fantasy team is pretty happy. The game went exactly how the Iron wanted: slow, steady suffocation that feels impossible from which to come back. And after a late Atlanta TD, the Iron improved to 3-0.
Trent Richardson pulls Birmingham ahead
Truth be told, the Iron were outplayed by the Legends in the first half, but a big-time defensive pass interference penalty against Atlanta flipped the field and gave Birmingham's offense great field position. After getting the ball into the red zone, the Iron leaned on running back Trent Richardson to barrel ahead for his fourth touchdown on the season. Richardson hasn't been breaking away on big runs, but he's continued to move piles and get tough, necessary yards.
Iron goal-line stand sets the tone
You're not going to believe this, but the Iron and Legends are in a rock fight. The line for this game opened at 40 and even went down a couple of points. That still might be a generous point total. Though the Legends have thoroughly won the time of possession and generally moved the ball well, the "Iron Curtain" came through in the first quarter with a huge goal-line stand to keep the Legends off the board. Truth be told, Atlanta quarterback Matt Simms had Bug Howard open in the end zone if he made the throw sooner, but as it was, the Legends took off nearly 10 minutes before coming up empty.
One of Legends' leading rushers ruled inactive
Atlanta will play its first home game of the season without leading running back Tarean Folston, who is listed as inactive (reason not disclosed) for today's matchup against the Iron. Folston leads the team with 18 carries and is the second-leading rusher with 52 yards. With Folston listed as inactive, expect the Legends to go with a heavy dose of Akrum Wadley and Lawrence Pittman.
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