Week 5 Three Stars: Fleet Defense is Key as San Diego Wins 27-25

Credit: San Diego Fleet

Credit: AAF

What a game.

After giving up 14 consecutive points in the last four minutes and 30 seconds, the Fleet completed a 45-yard pass to set up one of our stars for the game-winning field goal. San Diego won the game as time expired with a score of 27-25.

After going up 24-11 with nine and half minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Fleet would again give up a lead. But due to clutch performances from Dontez Ford, Mike Bercovici, and our First Star, the Fleet pulled away with a win and moved to 3-2 and first place in the Western Conference.

After the big win, the first star is obvious. A game-winning kick usually deserves some recognition. But the other two spots are where the question’s lie. Dontez Ford was certainly a candidate. He had three catches for 94 yards and had the 45-yard catch to set up the game-winning field goal. Or Jordan Martin, who had six tackles and a 41-yard fumble recovery for a score. What about Frank Ginda’s performance? He had nine total tackles and forced the fumble that Martin recovers and returns for a score.

The defense was filled with stars as they forced five total turnovers and held Salt Lake to only 57 rushing yards. This week our Three Stars consist of two players from a dominant defense and the one who won it all with his right foot.

3 Stars: Damontre Moore (4 Total Tackles, 2 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Fumble Recovery)

In his return, Moore made even more plays. In their week four matchup against the Express, the San Diego defensive line had only one sack and struggled to get pressure. Damontre Moore had more than that in the second half alone. He had the most sacks in the game and now has four sacks on the season.

He has been consistent at getting pressure and hitting the quarterback, getting to Josh Woodrum four times in his return. San Diego’s pass rush becomes much more dynamic with Moore in the game, as the Fleet ran a lot of stunts and different looks to get pressure. This pressure made the day tough for Woodrum and the Stallions.

2 Stars: Kameron Kelly (6 Total Tackles, 3 interceptions, 4 pass deflections, 1 Touchdown return)

Possibly the best individual performance of any player this season, Kelly came to play and locked down any receiver on his side. His three interceptions in a game are a league record, and he is now tied for the league lead after his stellar performance. He also had four pass deflections and six tackles. He filled up the box score and even put six points on the board with San Diego’s third defensive touchdown of the year.

Credit: AAF

It wasn’t just the interceptions that were important, but where and when he got them. His first interception occurred on a crossing route inside the Fleet’s red zone.  His next interception happened late in the second half with Salt Lake driving inside the red zone. Those two interceptions kept at least six points off the board and gave San Diego momentum. The play after Bercovici threw his only interception, Kelly made another appearance. He recorded his third interception, returning it for a touchdown and nullifying Bercovici’s mistake. The timing of the turnovers he forced was huge in terms of momentum.

1 Star: Donny Hageman (3-4, long of 44)

We all know why he is the first star from Saturday’s game. After missing his first kick wide right, he wouldn’t miss for the rest of the night, scoring the first and last points of the game. He struck from 39, 34, and 44. The game came down to his right foot, and he made the play. There isn’t much else to say about his performance other than clutch.

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Zachary Gartin
My names Zachary Gartin. I'm a college kid going to school in Newberg, Oregon. When I'm not writing about the San Diego Fleet, I'm usually training for football or playing Xbox. Follow me @The_Sideline10

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