The San Diego Fleet traveled to Utah to face off the Salt Lake Stallions on Saturday. They left with another loss, falling to 3-5 on the season after an 8-3 loss.
San Diego started with the ball, and like much of the game, failed to do much with it. They would punt after seven plays. It was a reoccurring factor, as the Fleet would punt five times in the first half.
The San Diego defense would do it’s best to keep San Diego in this game. On Salt Lakes very first drive, the Stallions would drive 11 plays and 62 yards before giving the ball away. Josh Woodrum would throw a deep ball that was then intercepted by Ryan Moeller and returned for 34 yards.
The ball would then be punted back and forth for the rest of the quarter. San Diego struggled all night on third down, only converting three of their 15 third downs for the game. Salt Lake converted six of their 15 third downs.
In the second quarter, Salt Lake would get the offense going. They would get the ball after a San Diego punt and drive the football 92 yards over 17 plays. The drive wouldn’t end with a touchdown though. Woodrum would turn the ball over for a second time as he fumbled the ball on a quarterback sneak, which was recovered by Ryan Moeller. Moeller always seemed to be in the right place at the right time, forcing three turnovers.
Salt Lake would get the ball back quickly though after a three-and-out by San Diego. The Stallions would take ten plays to drive 45 yards and score on a two-yard touchdown. Josh Woodrum, who completed 21 of his 32 passes for 155 yards, would then throw a pass to Jordan Leslie to complete the two-point conversion.
Once the Fleet got the ball back after the touchdown, Bercovici would try to get something going for San Diego in the passing game. However, he would only complete two passes, and San Diego would punt again. Bercovici threw the ball 47 times, but only completed 22 of his passes for 210 yards.
The San Diego defense would come out and make a statement in their first drive back after the half. Damontre Moore sacked Josh Woodrum for a five-yard loss, one of his six tackles on the day.
Over the next three drives, San Diego would squander good field position and turn the ball over three times. The first was on a fumble by Paul James and the second on a missed field goal by Donny Hageman. And on the last Fleet drive of the third quarter, Bercovici would throw his first interception of the night. A pass intended for Kyle Lewis was short and intercepted by Cody Smith, who returned it for 26 yards.
The San Diego defense played some of their best football in the second half, forcing six punts and one interception in the third quarter. The interception was Woodrum’s second of the night, and also Moeller’s fourth interception of the season.
On San Diego’s first drive of the fourth quarter, they would finally get something going offensively, driving the ball 65 yards before stalling on Salt Lake’s 11-yard line. Hageman would make the field goal this time, making the score 8-3 with 10:45 seconds left in the game.
San Diego and Salt Lake would trade punts before Bercovici, and the Fleet got the football for the last time with 2:11 left in the game and down five. They started their drive from their own 13 needing a touchdown. Bercovici would connect with Nelson Spruce, who finished the day with eight catches for 79 yards, three times on this drive as San Diego drove down the field. But after an incomplete pass intended for Spruce, the Fleet were faced with fourth and 12. Bercovici would then throw a beautiful pass to Marcus Baugh, who would make a leaping catch to haul in his third catch of the day for a 23 yard gain. There was hope for the San Diego Fleet with 38 seconds left.
But that hope didn’t last long. Bercovici would throw a pass intended for Brian Brown that would land in the arms of Steve Williams, Bercovici’s second interception of the night. Woodrum would take a knee as the clock ran out, ending the game with a score of 8-3.
San Diego falls to 3-5 after the loss, needing an Arizona loss and two wins to make the playoffs. They will face off against the 7-1 Orlando Apollos next week in Florida.