The Iron are celebrating a 3-0 record after Sunday’s dismantling of the Atlanta Legends. The Legends were able to score a Touchdown late in the 4th quarter to draw within two scores. They then turned around and converted the Alliance’s first successful 4th and 12 onside conversions. Taking another ill-advised shot downfield resulted in the 3rd interception of Matt Simms and summarily ended the game.
There were glimpses of promise early for Atlanta as they outgained Birmingham in yards passing and first downs through the first half. The Legends opened the game with a long, time consuming, methodical drive. After driving to the 2-yard line, the Iron defense stood tall and kept a diving Lawrence Pittman out of the end zone. After two failed pass attempts the Iron took over on downs.
With another successful FG by Kicker Nick Novak and a Trent Richardson rushing touchdown Birmingham took a 9-6 lead into the half. During the halftime interview, Coach Tim Lewis touched on the receivers struggles to catch the football. Whatever he said to those guys in the locker room worked.
For the first time all season the Iron looked like a team on a mission in the 3rd quarter. Adding another touchdown to his tally Trent Richardson showed he is a force to be reckoned with in Goal to Go situations. His second of three, the former Bama standout put the Iron up by 14 after converting the 2 pt try. All of a sudden the receivers who dropped more passes than they caught were grabbing the ball and hanging onto it.
With a 20-6 lead going into the 4th quarter, Birmingham Iron QB Luis Perez orchestrated a drive to remember. Connections to receivers and running backs grinding out yardage pushed the Iron downfield and set up the hat trick for #33. Driving with his legs and with the offensive line pushing with their collective might, Trent racked up his 3rd score of the day. After a successful 2 pt conversion pass to L’Damian Washington, the Iron were up 28-6.
Up to this point, the Iron Curtain had allowed the Legends to sniff the End zone, but never taste glory. Forcing a fumble and two interceptions, the Birmingham defense held Atlanta to a measly 6 points until late in the game. Although Simms was able to find some success passing this game, it just wasn’t enough to overcome the smothering Iron defense. Connecting on a deep ball to Montay Crockett, the Legends finally found 6. It was too little too late, however. The 2 pt after was a failed try.
The 4th and 12 onside conversion was a success as Simms connected a long shot to Seantavious Jones for 48 yards. The next play was more of Simms making bad choices. Heaving it up once again deep for Seantavious Jones, Iron DB Max Redfield came down with the 3rd and final interception of the poor ATL QB. The Iron would be merciful to end the game and kneel it out in Victory Formation.
The Birmingham Iron come home to the friendly confines of Legion Field in Week 4. They face off against the rollercoaster that is the San Antonio Commanders. The Commanders lost shockingly to the San Diego Fleet to end the week three slate of games. Stay tuned for my Week 4 Preview and as always, #ForgeOn.