Stallions stumble to 38-22 loss at Arizona Hotshots in pro team’s first game

TEMPE, Ariz. — From costly turnovers to giving up big plays to a key injury, too many things went wrong for the Salt Lake Stallions as they lost to the Arizona Hotshots 38-22 Sunday night in the first game for both teams during the opening weekend for the first-year Alliance of American Football.

The Stallions never led in falling to the Hotshots at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. Salt Lake did, however, get scores from a pair of Utah ties, as a former Ute and a former Cougar scored the first two touchdowns for the Stallions.

Arizona turned three Salt Lake turnovers into 16 points, both on one-play drives. That included a 30-yard touchdown pass from John Wolford to Jhurell Pressley one play after Steve Johnson intercepted a Matt Linehan pass in the third quarter.

The Presley touchdown came moments after a Rashad Ross 4-yard touchdown grab, as Arizona quickly turned its 19-16 lead into a 35-16 edge, and while Salt Lake later added a touchdown, it never seriously challenged the Hotshots again.

After both teams struggled to get going offensively early, Arizona used a 95-yard touchdown drive to get on the board and go ahead 8-0 with a two-point conversion, which are mandatory in the Alliance. The drive included Wolford — who threw for 275 yards and four touchdowns — hitting Ross for a 31-yard gain, and Pressley rushing for 25 yards on a play that set up a first-and-goal.

Former Utah running back Matt Asiata had the perfect answer to Arizona’s score, capping a 75-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. With its own two-point conversion, the Stallions tied the game at 8-8.

The turning point came later in the quarter, when Salt Lake punt returner De’Morney Pierson El muffed a punt and Arizona recovered. Wolford completed a …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Top stories


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