By Cody Bays
SAN ANTONIO – The Arizona Hotshots used a stingy defense and a 200-yard passing night from quarterback John Wolford to down San Antonio 23-6 in Alliance of American Football action Sunday night in front of 23,504 fans at the Alamodome.
Wolford completed 17 of his 23 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown, while the Hotshots held the Commanders out of the end zone for the first time this season in a key matchup that leaves the two teams tied at 5-3 atop the Western Conference standings with two games remaining in the regular season.
San Antonio outgained Arizona 305-300, posted a 38:03-21:57 advantage in time of possession and was just two yards shy of a season high with 173 rushing yards, but the Commanders were limited to a pair of Nick Rose field goals.
Arizona struck first when Wolford found Rashad Ross, who caught four passes for a game-high 78 yards, open on a deep pass over the middle for a 58-yard TD strike with 9:18 left in the opening quarter.
The Hotshots stretched their lead to 9-0 after settling for a 25-yard field goal by Nick Folk early in the second stanza following an 11-play, 74-yard drive that took 6:34 off the clock.
Arizona then took advantage of a 38-yard interception return by Dexter McDougle to the San Antonio 13-yard line. Four plays later, Cook dashed six yards off left tackle to paydirt to make it 15-0.
Rose got the Commanders on the board in the final minute of the first half with a season-long 54-yard field goal.
Rose remained perfect on 14 kicks this season after splitting the uprights from 35 yards to make it 15-6 midway through the third quarter.
San Antonio put together a time-consuming drive that reached the Arizona red zone midway through the final quarter. Facing third down at the 18-yard line, reserve quarterback Marquise Williams dropped back to pass but was sacked and stripped of the ball by Da’Sean Downey.
Arizona then put the game away by marching 69 yards on just six plays, the last a 20-yard touchdown scamper by Cook. The two-point conversion pass from Wolford to Connor Hamlett made it 23-6 with 4:16 left to play.
San Antonio concludes its regular season home schedule on Saturday, April 6 as hosts to the Memphis Express. The game, which will start at 11 a.m. CT, will be televised on CBS.