Arizona Hotshots off to hot start in new Alliance of American Football
TEMPE — There’s a new brand of football in Arizona, and at least for one night, it’s a winner.
The Arizona Hotshots hit big plays and flashed a dominant passing game on Sunday night at Sun Devil Stadium, beating the Salt Lake Stallions 38-22 in the season opener of the Alliance of American Football.
Hotshots quarterback John Wolford was 18-for-29 for 275 yards passing with three touchdowns, including two to former Arizona State receiver Rashad Ross, who finished with five catches for 103 yards in the win. Jhurell Pressley led Arizona with 18 carries for 64 yards rushing in an offense that included a lot of run-pass option.
The Arizona defense was stifling in the win, holding Salt Lake to a total of 240 yards while forcing three turnovers, two of those leading to touchdowns on the ensuing drive.
Arizona pulled out to a 19-8 advantage before a Stallions touchdown in the closing seconds of the half narrowed the lead to three points at the break.
The Hotshots dominated the second half, scoring on three straight possessions, the first two on touchdowns passes from Wolford with kicker Nick Folk capping the scoring for the night with a 32-yard field goal.
Arizona outgained Salt Lake 416-240 in the victory, piling up more points than any other AAF team in its debut. The Hotshots play their first road came next week, traveling to Memphis on Saturday.
Salt Lake 0 16 0 6 — 22
Arizona 8 11 16 3 — 38
AZ—G. Christian 5 pass from J. Wolford (L.Rose run), 1:03
SL—M. Asiata 1 run (J. Woodrum run ), 10:28
AZ—R. Ross 36 pass from Wolford (J. Pressley run), 9:30
AZ—N.Folk 53 field goal, 3:20
SL—J. Leslie 2 pass from Woodrum (B. Oliver run), 0:13
AZ—Ross 4 pass from Wolford (Duarte pass from Wolford), 2:52
AZ—Pressley 30 pass from Wolford (Mullaney pass from Wolford), 2:36
SL—N. Truesdell 7 pass from M. Linehan (pass failed), 11:37
AZ—Folk 32 field goal, 6:07
First downs 22 24
Total Net Yards 240 416
Rushes-yards 29-88 39-149
Passing 152 267
Punt Returns 2-9 2-14
Interceptions Ret. 0-0 2-6
Comp-Att-Int 37-17-2 29-18-0
Sacked-Yards Lost 2-8 1-7
Punts 6-42.8 4-46.0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 5-35 8-94
Time of Possession 30:55 29:05
RUSHING—Salt Lake, Oliver 8-40, Bouagnon 16-39, Woodrum 1-5, Asiata 4-4. Arizona, Pressley 18-64, Stockton 7-46, Wolford 8-23, Rose 6-16..
PASSING—Salt Lake, Woodrum 10-22-1-103, Linehan 7-13-1-56. Arizona, Wolford 18-29-0-275.
RECEIVING—Salt Lake, Denham 5-59, Truesdell 3-23, Anderson 2-25, Jennings 2-19, Leslie 2-15, Pierson-El 1-7, Oliver 1-6, Balderree 1-5. Arizona Ross 5-103, Mullaney 5-57, Christian 3-44, Bundy 2-17, Pressley 1-30, Duarte 1-21, Huff 1-3.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Arizona, Folk, 46.