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Standout performers from AAF Week 2

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

In an otherwise slow weekend for pro sports, the AAF gave football fans something to be excited about in Week 2.

Through two weeks, only three of the eight teams in the upstart league remain undefeated. Thanks to a barrage of impact plays Sunday the Orlando Apollos joined the Arizona Hotshots and Birmingham Iron as back-to-back winners.

There were plenty of big highlights, but one absolutely crazy play in particular helped put this league on the map.

These are the AAF players who stood out in Week 2.

Ja’Quan Gardner, running back, San Diego Fleet

Gardner was the star player of Sunday’s game. For his first exploit, he rushed for the first touchdown in Fleet history on 4th-and-1.

Gardner wasn’t done yet, scoring a second touchdown later in the game. All told, he racked up 111 yards and the two scores on just 16 touches, sparking the first win of the young season for San Diego.

Ed Reynolds, safety, Atlanta Legends

Reynolds was all over the field for the Legends in a losing effort. Making plays on the back end and behind the line of scrimmage, he showed off his full repertoire. The former fifth-round NFL draft pick out of Stanford tallied six tackles, one tackle for a loss, two passes defensed, a forced fumble and a sack of Philip Nelson.

Garrett Gilbert, quarterback, Orlando Apollos

The current AAF all-time leader in single-game passing yards, Gilbert was absolutely slinging dimes on Sunday against San Antonio.

The former sixth-round pick out of SMU completed 19-of-28 passes for 393 yards and two touchdowns. Averaging 14 yards per attempt in any league is incredibly impressive. That’s what fans witnessed Sunday in San Antonio as Gilbert helped silence the pro-Commanders crowd that head coach Steve Spurrier said was as loud as Rocky Top in a post-game interview.

Zac Stacy, running back, Memphis Express

At one point, Stacy was an up-and-coming running back with the then-St. Louis Rams. It’s been a while since he’s starred in the NFL, but he’s making a case for a camp invite this summer with some solid play in the AAF. On Saturday Stacy romped over, around and through the Arizona defense to the tune of 101 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. He also caught a couple of passes and kept Memphis’ offense in the game while Christian Hackenberg flailed about.

Da’Sean Downey, defensive end, Arizona Hotshots

Hackenberg struggles even under the best of circumstances. On Saturday against Memphis, he had some pressure to deal with in large part due to what Downey was doing on the defensive line, along with teammate Rykeem Yates.

Downey, who spent time with Baltimore last year, finished the game with two sacks and three tackles.

Charles Johnson, wide receiver, Orlando Apollos

The primary beneficiary of Gilbert’s outstanding day passing the ball Sunday against San Antonio was former Minnesota Vikings receiver Charles Johnson. Gilbert targeted Johnson 10 times in the game, and the dynamic receiver hauled in seven of those passes for 192 yards and a touchdown.

Karter Schult, defensive end, Salt Lake Stallions

The Stallions couldn’t find much offense on Saturday against Birmingham, but their defense was rock solid, especially up front. Schult led the charge on the defensive line, racking up six solo tackles and helping keep Richardson from finding any running room. But where the defensive end really shined was in the pass game. He was all over quarterback Louis Perez, hitting him four times and bringing him down with the ball for two sacks.

Trent Richardson, running back, Birmingham Iron

For the second weekend in a row, Richardson found his way into the end zone.

Despite some extremely tough sledding on the ground (just 41 yards on 19 carries), Richardson had a big game overall thanks to his work through the air. Catching seven passes for 50 yards, his offensive work helped propel the Iron to a hard-fought 12-9 victory over Salt Lake.

Kenneth Farrow, running back, San Antonio Commanders

Farrow had a huge game in defeat for the Commanders. He got the scoring started with an incredible 15-yard touchdown early as he completely sold out and flipped into the end zone after leaping over a would-be tackler (watch here). Farrow finished with 74 yards on 14 carries and added another 25 yards on two receptions.