Alliance of American Football debuts with strong ratings

Alliance of American Football debuts with strong ratings

Linebacker Steven Johnson, who spent the entire 2017 season with the Ravens as a veteran special teams player, led the Arizona Hotshots with seven tackles and had an interception. Richardson had 23 carries for 58 yards and two touchdowns for the Birmingham Iron.

Arizona turned three Salt Lake turnovers into 16 points, both on one-play drives.

Arizona teammate and former National Football League kicker Nick Folk booted a 53-yard field goal and Ross grabbed five catches for 103 yards as the Rick Neuheisel-helmed Hotshots led off with a win.

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Tied at 8 early in the second quarter, Folk's field goal led to a 19-8 Arizona lead before Leslie's touchdown cut it to 19-16 at the half.

The Alliance of American Football posted solid television ratings for its first-ever game broadcast last Saturday night, drawing the same audience as an National Basketball Association battle between two of the league's top stars.

Quarterback John Wolford found tight end Gerald Christian for a six-yard score with 1:07 left in the first quarter, the first touchdown in franchise history. Ross had five receptions for 103 yards in the game. By halftime, the former Penn State quarterback was 3-11 for a total of 20 yards. Linehan replaced him, and the duo combined to complete under 50 percent of their passes while throwing a pair of interceptions.

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