TEMPE, Ariz. (ABC4 Sports) – The first ever game by the Salt Lake Stallions in the new Alliance of American Football did not go exactly as planned.
The Stallions committed three turnovers and lost to the Arizona Hotshots, 38-22.
Arizona quarterback John Wolford threw four touchdown passes with two to former Arizona State wide receiver Rashad Ross in front of 15,000 fans at Sun Devil Stadium.
The Stallions, which has 17 players from Utah, BYU and Utah State on the roster, got its first ever touchdown on a 2-yard run by former Utah star Matt Asiata, which tied the score at 8-8.
Former BYU wide receiver Jordan Leslie caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Josh Woodrum to cut the Arizona lead to 19-16 at the half.
But Arizona pulled away with two touchdowns in a 16-second span in the third quarter.
Wolford directed a 12-play, 85-yard drive that ended with Ross’ 4-yard touchdown with 2:52 left in the third quarter. Wolford’s 2-point conversion pass to tight end Thomas Duarte gave Arizona a 27-19 lead.
Wolford completed 18 of 29 passes for 275 yards with a passer rating of 132.9. Ross caught five of Wolford’s passes for 103 yards with scores from 36 and four yards.
On the next play from scrimmage, Salt Lake quarterback Matt Linehan, who replaced an injured Woodrum (hamstring) at the start of the second half, had a pass deflected and intercepted by linebacker Steven Johnson, who returned it six yards to the Stallions 30.
Wolford immediately connected with running back Jhurell Pressley for the touchdown, which was followed by a 2-point pass to wide receiver Richard Mullaney for a 35-16 lead with 2:36 remaining in the quarter.
The Hotshots outgained the Stallions 416-240. In addition to his touchdown reception, Pressley rushed for 64 yards on 18 carries.
The Stallions next play at Birmingham on February 16th.