One of the two teams in the AAF that is still undefeated three weeks into the season will look to continue with their winning ways when they travel to take on the Salt Lake Stallions on Saturday evening. The Orlando Apollos remain undefeated after beating the Memphis Express 21-17 last Saturday evening. Meanwhile, Salt Lake looks to earn their second straight victory after upsetting the Arizona Hotshots last weekend, 23-15. Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 8:00 ET at Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama
Apollos Hold Off Late Rally to Down Express, 21-17
The Orlando Apollos jumped out to a 9-0 halftime lead over the Memphis Express on Saturday, and looked like they would roll to victory behind a dominating defense. However, a quarterback change at halftime helped spark Memphis as Orlando would have to hang on for the 21-17 victory.
Garrett Gilbert would have a solid afternoon, completing 14 of 28 passes for 207 yards. Gilbert through for a touchdown and provided the winning touchdown with a 21 yard scamper in the fourth quarter. D’Ernest Johnson rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Rannell Hall had four catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. The Orlando defense recorded two sacks and two interceptions.
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Orlando has been the best team offensively in the AAF this season. Gilbert has thrown for 827 yards, completing 59.3% of his passes. He leads the league with five touchdown throws and has yet to throw an interception this season. His primary target has been Charles Johnson, who has 14 catches for 305 yards, a 21.8 yards per reception average. Johnson is 26 carries for 171 yards, a 6.6 yards per carry average. The team has 386 yards rushing through their first three weeks of the season.
It was expected when the season began that Terence Garvin would be a difference maker, and he is proving to be just that. Garvin is first on the team in total tackles with 21 and has three interceptions this season as well.
Stallions Gallup to Victory in Home Opener, 23-15
The first professional football team in Utah history had their home opener on Saturday, and they sure made the most of it as the Salt Lake Stallions upset the Arizona Hotshots, 23-15. Salt Lake would jump out to a 9-0 lead behind a 54 yard field goal by Taylor Bertolet and a 25 yard touchdown pass by Josh Woodrum. Arizona would battle back to tie the score just before the half, but Salt Lake would regain the lead with a pair of touchdown runs in the second half to earn the victory.
Woodrum had his best game of the season, completing 22 of 31 passes for 178 yards. The running attack for the Stallions had just 95 yards on 31 carries, but scored two touchdowns. De’Mornay Pierson-El had eight catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Woodrum has completed 60.4% of his passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns. He looks to be the starter moving forward for Salt Lake. Joel Bouagnon leads the team in rushing with 39 carries for 154 yards. He has scored twice. Branden Oliver follows close behind with 37 carries for 139 yards and a score. Pierson-El leads the team in receptions with 13 for 125 yards.
The defense has struggled to generate turnovers this season, creating just two. Greer Martini leads the team in tackles and has the Stallions only interception this season.
The Winner Prediction
It may have seem like a disappointing crowd for Salt Lake that they drew just a little under 11,000, but that group made a difference in the Stallions victory over Arizona. No doubt they can have a dramatic impact on this game as well, but the big difference here is that Orlando has the most consistent offense in the league. College Legend Steve Spurrier has done an amazing job in assembling this team, and they are likely only going to get better with each passing week. It may be cliché, but you go with the undefeated team until somebody proves they can beat them.
The Pick:Orlando Apollos (-4.5) (-110)
The total is set for 41.0 for this game, and we believe that that total is going to go way over. Orlando is averaging nearly 350 yards per game of offense, and they are facing a Salt Lake team that is having trouble pressuring the quarterback and creating turnovers. That means Orlando will get a full complement of opportunities to score in this game. Salt Lake looks so much better with Woodrum as the quarterback. He’s not going to be able to generate enough firepower to win this game, but he’ll put up some points. Look for the Orlando Apollos to remain undefeated with a 31-21 victory.
The Pick: Over 41.0(-110)