Strong Effort By Kansas City Is Nullified By Penalties

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Standings aside, the Kansas City Command (3-12) went toe-to-toe with the Central Division leading San Antonio Talons (12-3) but fell short to the Talons, 58-48 Saturday night in front of 8,153 fans at the Alamodome.  Quarterback Aaron Garcia threw for 253 yards, seven touchdowns and led the San Antonio to their ninth straight win.

The Command started a bit behind the 8-ball as they deferred the opening kickoff which was returned 56 yards by Jomo Wilson to put the Talons on the board just 49 seconds into the game.  Kansas City’s wide receiver tandem of Bret Smith and Samie Parker, along with Jackie Chambers’ special teams play helped keep the Command in contention, each of them scoring two touchdowns apiece.  Zack Eskridge was more consistent in just his third AFL start finishing with 261 yards, three touchdowns and zero turnovers.

“One thing I take a lot of pride with our guys, they play hard and they don’t quit,” said Command head coach Danton Barto.  “We’re obviously a player or two, or a play or two away from where we need to be. Hopefully we’ll get Matt (Gutierrez) back this week and that will spark us, and Samie is everything we thought he’d be.  He’s going to help us tremendously for these last three games.”

Kansas City started the second half with great field position after Jackie Chambers 41 yards kickoff return, compounded by a Talons personal foul allowed the Command to start their drive from San Antonio’s 8 yard line.  Eskridge connected with Bret Smith for his second touchdown to close the gap to three points (30-27) with 12:17 left in the third quarter.  The Talons never lead by more than 10 points in the entire second half, but penalties nixed any opportunities for Kansas City to take the lead.

KC’s defense stayed true to form by reining in the Talons enough to allow the Command to cut the lead to three points twice during the game.  The Command forced Garcia into throwing two picks in the game, the second interception was returned for a touchdown by Bradly Chavez which would have given KC their first lead of the game, but another penalty took the points off the scoreboard.  Kansas City racked up 20 penalties for 127 yards and negated both interceptions in their loss to San Antonio.

“It’s tough because our guys play hard,” said coach Barto. “The problem is we make too many critical mistakes at the wrong time.  We get a huge interception return by Bradly Chavez, and we get a late hit. We just can’t do that.”

The Command return home next week to host their Central Division rival Iowa Barnstormers Saturday July 7th for Trophy Night at Sprint Center.  Watch the game live on, listen to SportsRadio810 WHB, or follow play-by-play action on Twitter @CommandGameday.

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