Two months ago, two receivers were preparing for their final games in the Alliance of American Football League. The Memphis Express had just been robbed in a close game against the league-leading Orlando Apollos. At the same time, the Atlanta Legends were trying to find their identity. Both teams finished with a 2-6 record when the league folded.
Wide receiver Fabian Guerra had just been re-signed with the Express 7 days before the league suspended operations. That’s the bad news. But, it allowed him to later sign with the AFL’s Columbus Destroyers, who were making a return to the league after an 11-year absence.
Wide receiver Malachi Jones was the leading receiver for the Atlanta Legends. Once the league stopped, it didn’t take long for the AFL’s Albany Empire to welcome him back to the clan, considering he was Rookie of the Year in 2018.
So, why is this at all interesting? What does it have to do with anything?
Well, for those that don’t pay attention the Columbus Destroyers finally had a home game for the first time in 11 years, and there were some fireworks on Saturday night! A former Legend and former Express player were once again opponents. In this matchup, they tore up the field in a lightning fast, side-to-side, whiplash-inducing roller-coaster. No other players looked even close to the level that Malachi Jones and Fabian Guerra were playing.
Why might you ask? Due to their high level of practice and play in the AAF, when they signed with AFL teams, they were already in mid-season form. Their bodies are in prime condition to tear it up. Malachi Jones had ten receptions for 179 yards and three touchdowns in the Empire’s 56-40 victory over the Destroyers. You can’t outdo those numbers, right? Wrong! Fabian Guerra had 13 catches for 202 yards (franchise records) and four receiving touchdowns. Oh; he also had a rushing touchdown. Oh; he also returned four kicks for 86 yards and another touchdown. That’s right! The former Memphis Express receiver was responsible for all 6 of the Columbus touchdowns! He had 290 of the Destroyers 395 all-purpose yards.
Malachi Jones is like the Larry Fitzgerald of the AFL. He’s a flat out baller, who is humble, and doesn’t try to attract attention to himself. In fact, anyone who follows them on social media will note that both Jones and Guerra continually give credit to God for their success.
The 4-0 Albany Empire was the best team of the night, but the former AAF receiver for Columbus was the best player. At 0-4, it might be a good time for Columbus to notice other AAF talent that has yet to be signed. With only eight games to go in the regular season, they could sure use the help.
The Destroyers will stay home and host the defending Arena Bowl Champions, the Washington Valor in a 3:30 PM EST matchup on Saturday. The Albany Empire travel to Atlantic City to face the 2-2 Blackjacks. That game will start at 7 PM EST on Saturday, May 25th.