BIRMINGHAM – A week after the San Antonio Commanders delivered their worst defensive performance of the season, they came back and showed why they have one of the top defenses in The Alliance.
Trey Williams’ 12-yard touchdown would be the difference as the Commanders held on for a 12-11 victory over the Birmingham Iron (3-1) at Legion Field on Sunday afternoon.
The victory snaps a two-game losing streak for San Antonio, who is in the middle of a season-long four game road trip. The win also marked their first victory on the road in franchise history.
“The Iron are very hard to score against in the red zone,” Commanders head coach Mike Riley said. “Everyone had to fight to the end and I was really proud we won the game.”
San Antonio opened the scoring with a 39-yard field goal from Nick Rose, putting the Commanders up three. Just before halftime, Birmingham added a field goal of their own to knot the score going into the second half.
For the majority of the game, it was the defense who told the story. Zack Sanchez intercepted a pass from Iron quarterback Luis Perez at the Commanders 29-yard line and would hold Birmingham to just three points until the final moments of the game.
“We just about tried it all,” Riley said. “We’ll go back and look at it but Birmingham is a really solid defensive team as you saw.”
The game would stay tied until the Commanders marched down the field and scored on Williams’ first touchdown of the season. San Antonio would not be able to convert the two-point conversion and would lead 9-3 going into the fourth quarter.
San Antonio had multiple chances to ice the game with the ball on the Iron’s goal-line but five straight stops by Birmingham would see Rose come out to convert a field goal to make it 12-3 Commanders with 3:56 to play.
Birmingham responded by going down the field 75 yards thanks to seven Commanders penalties and score eight points to make it 12-11. An onside conversion attempt would see Perez throw an interception to end the game.
Perez finished the game with 202 yards, completing 19 of 39 passes in the loss. Trent Richardson scored the lone touchdown for the Iron, making it his seventh of the season.
Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside completed 11 of his 25 passes for 106 yards. Kenneth Farrow II ran for an Alliance record 142 yards in the win.
The Commanders are now 2-2 on the season and will return to the field next Sunday when they travel to face the Arizona Hotshots (2-2) at 7 pm Central Time.