Friday, March 22, 2019

Fleet aims to keep postseason hopes alive at Arizona

🏈 San Diego Fleet (3-3) at Arizona Hotshots (3-3)
Tempe, Arizona (Sun Devil Stadium)
📅 Sunday, March 24th 🕐 1:00 PM (PT)
📺 CBS Sports 📻 XTRA 1360

Following a heartbreaking last-second loss to Birmingham, the San Diego Fleet heads into a three-game road slate fighting for their playoff lives. With just four games left in the regular season, every contest will be critical, beginning with the Arizona Hotshots, who currently shares a second place tie in the Western Conference.

The Hotshots should be full of momentum after knocking off the previously undefeated Orlando Apollos last week. Meanwhile, the Fleet are still looking for their first win away from San Diego.

Tale of the Tape

San Diego Fleet (3-3, T-2nd AAF West)

Head Coach: Mike Martz (56-35)
Week 6 Result: Loss to Birmingham 29-32
Points Scored: 140 (23.3 PPG)
Points Allowed: 121 (20.1 PPG)
CBS Power Ranking: #5

Arizona Hotshots (3-3, T-2nd AAF West)

Head Coach: Rick Neuheisel (90-61)
Week 6 Result: Def. Orlando 22-17
Points Scored: 131 (21.8 PPG)
Points Allowed: 123 (20.5 PPG)
CBS Power Ranking: #4

Fleet Offense vs. Arizona Defense

The status of Fleet leading receiver Dontez Ford is still up in the air after an ankle injury put him out in the third quarter of last Sunday's contest. He still managed to pull off his second straight career-high performance with three catches for a team-record 183 yards. 

Returning to his collegiate home field, Mike Bercovici will look to targets like Nelson Spruce and Brian Brown to keep the passing game going. In his two starts since replacing an injured Philip Nelson, Bercovici has gone over 300 passing yards. Last week he set the Fleet's new single-game passing record with 311.

While the San Diego run game has fallen on some hard times during the past two outings, Ja'Quan Gardner still ranks third in the league in rushing yards (309). Terrell Watson led all Fleet running backs with 55 all-purpose yards and two total touchdowns against Birmingham.

Arizona's defense made a statement last week limiting a talented Orlando offense to a season-low 17 points. The Apollos’ run game was also held to just four yards per carry. 

Erick Dargan leads the Hotshots with 38 total tackles, one shy of the AAF lead.

Fleet Defense vs. Arizona Offense

Since returning to the defensive side of the ball, Kameron Kelly has added a new spark to the Fleet secondary. Anchoring the defensive line, Damontre Moore and Shakir Soto has combined for nine of the team's 18 sacks.

The Hotshots' offense ranks second in the league in total yards, thanks to a three-headed monster made up of quarterback John Wolford, running back Jhurell Pressley, who leads the Alliance in rushing yards (343), and receiver Rashad Ross, who also tops the leader board with six touchdown catches.

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