MEMPHIS, Tenn.--The Arizona Hotshots bounced back from a 12-0 halftime deficit to defeat the Memphis Express, 20-18, at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis Saturday night. The Hotshots remained undefeated and are 2-0 while Memphis dropped to 0-2. The Arizona win was the first for a road team in six Alliance games.
The Express dominated the Arizona offense in the first half and scored on a Zac Stacy 9-yard run to go with 35- and 38-yard field goals by John Jasper.
The Hotshots were held to 95 yards in the first half, but totaled 288 in the final two quarters.
The Hotshots finally got on the scoreboard with 1:06 remaining in the third quarter on a 16-yard pass from quarterback John Wolford to wide receiver Rashad Ross.
Wolford, named The Alliance Offensive Player of the Week in the season openers, had two interceptions in the first half, but helped the Hotshots offense come alive in the final two quarters. For the game, he completed 14 of 22 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns. In the second half, he completed 6 of 7 passes for 137 yards.
The Express answered the Ross touchdown 2:26 later on a 4-yard run by quarterback Christian Hackenberg to take an 18-6 lead.
However, that was all the scoring for Memphis. With 11:31 to play in the fourth quarter, Arizona running back Justin Stockton exploded for a 45-yard touchdown run. Wolford ran for the 2-point conversion. Stockton was part of an Arizona rushing attack that gained 208 yards on 36 carries.
Tim Cook led the way with 73 yards on 13 attempts, followed by Jhurell Pressley with 12 runs for 57 yards and Stockton’s 54 yards on just four carries.
The winning points for Arizona came on a Wolford 4-yard pass to Cook with 7:07 to play.
The Hotshots overshadowed the league’s first 100-yard rushing game as Stacy, a fifth-round pick of the St. Louis Rams in 2013, had 101 yards on 19 attempts and that included a 49-yard run. Hackenberg completed 14 of 25 passes for 102 yards for Memphis.