The Alliance for American Football wrapped up the second week of its inaugural season on Sunday night, and several former Huskers made big impacts in the weekend’s games.
All of week two’s games remained close going into the fourth quarter with three of the four games being decided by one score.
Week two also marked the return of professional football to San Diego for the first time since the Chargers left after the 2016-17 season. The San Diego Fleet won their home debut 24-12 over the Atlanta Legends, but the game was best-remembered because of quarterback Philip Nelson’s two-handed, behind-the-head completion to tight end Gavin Escobar.
Most importantly, several former Huskers made big contributions, as three of the four contests featured a former Nebraska player or coach.
Kieron Williams, Arizona Hotshots
Williams saw action in the Hotshots’ matchup against the Memphis Express as the second-string safety but did not record any tackles or defend any passes.
The Hotshots overcame an 18-6, fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Memphis Express 20-18 on Saturday, Feb. 16. With the win, the Hotshots became the second team to start their season 2-0 and made AAF history as the first road team to win a game.
NEXT UP: Williams will be reunited with several of his former NU teammates for the second time this season, as the Hotshots hit the road to face the Salt Lake Stallions on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m. The game will be streamed live through Bleacher Report.
Terrell Newby, Salt Lake Stallions
Former Nebraska running back Terrell Newby saw his first significant game action in his short AAF career on Saturday, rushing twice for zero yards and catching one pass for four yards in the Stallions’ contest against the Birmingham Iron.
Newby and the Stallions began the second half with a 9-0 lead but fell 12-9 to the Iron, dropping their record to 0-2.
NEXT UP: The Stallions will look for their first win of the season when they host the undefeated Arizona Hotshots on Saturday, Feb. 23. Arizona defeated the Stallions 38-22 in week one. The game starts at 2 p.m. and will be streamed on Bleacher Report.
De’Mornay Pierson-El, Salt Lake Stallions
For the second consecutive week, Pierson-El was heavily involved in the Stallions’ gameplan, making his mark on special teams and offense.
Pierson-El recorded one rush for 14 yards and led the Stallions in receiving with four receptions for 28 yards. He also returned five punts for a total of 29 yards.
The Iron’s comeback against the Stallions was sparked by returning a Pierson-El fumble for a touchdown. Week two marked the second-consecutive week that Pierson-El mishandled a punt-return.
Kenny Bell, Salt Lake Stallions
Former Husker wide receiver Bell was inactive for the Stallions’ week two contest against the Birmingham Iron.
Josh Banderas, Salt Lake Stallions
Banderas, a former Nebraska linebacker, saw action on defense and special teams in week two, but did not record any tackles.
Alonzo Moore, San Antonio Commanders
Moore, the Commanders’ second-leading receiver in week one, had another strong showing in a matchup against the Orlando Apollos.
Moore hauled in four passes for 28 yards and rushed one time for four yards, but his efforts were not enough in the Commanders’ 37-29 loss to the Apollos.
NEXT UP: The Commanders will travel to San Diego to battle the Fleet on Sunday, Feb. 24. The game will be televised on the NFL Network and starts at 7 p.m.
Mike Riley, San Antonio Commanders
Former Nebraska head coach Mike Riley hoped to lead the Commanders to a 2-0 record on Saturday with a victory over the Orlando Apollos, but, instead, his team fell to 1-1 in heartbreaking fashion.
The Commanders and Apollos played the most exciting game in the AAF’s young history on Saturday, a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair that went right down to the wire.
With seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the game tied at 29, Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside threw a crucial interception that was returned by Apollo cornerback Keith Reaser for a touchdown. After the two-point conversion, the Commanders found themselves down 37-29.
The Commanders responded to the pick-six by putting a lengthy drive together but were unable to punch the ball into the end zone inside the five-yard line and turned the ball over on downs. From there, the Apollos were able to run out the clock and improve their record to 2-0.