Former Pitt wide receiver Dontez Ford put on his best performance of the season with the San Diego Fleet of the AAF over the weekend, as he amassed 182 yards on three catches in an attempt to keep his team afloat in a 32-29 loss to the Birmingham Iron.
Ford’s 182-yard total was the second-highest receiving yard total in the AAF this season, as Charles Johnson of the Orlando Apollos was able to rack up 192 yards against the San Antonio Commanders on Feb. 17. The former Panther came up with plays of 40 yards, 72 yards and 70 yards and only failed to reel in one ball on four targets during Sunday's game.
His first catch, a 40-yard connection with Fleet quarterback Mike Bercovici, came with just over eight minutes to go in the first quarter and set up the game's opening field goal, leading to a 3-0 San Diego advantage.
With just under nine minutes to go in the second quarter, Ford came up with his second big play of the day, as he reeled in a pass from Bercovici near midfield and came just a few yards shy of crossing the Birmingham goal line.
For his efforts on that play, Ford was credited with the play of the game for Week 6.
Ford’s final reception went for 70 yards and put the Fleet in position to score, leading to a Terrell Watson touchdown that cut the Iron’s lead to 21-17. However, any joy was shortlived, as Ford suffered an ankle injury on the play and had to be attended to by medical staff.
Mike Bercovici responds with his own slant call, this one to Dontez Ford for 70-odd yards pic.twitter.com/FtKto0WSGv— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) March 18, 2019
Fleet head coach Mike Martz discussed Ford’s stellar performance after the game, comparing him to one of his former St. Louis Rams stars in the process.
“Dontez is that guy, like Torry Holt, that guy at the X position that we could choreograph plays just for him,” Martz said, per Jeff Goldberg of AAF.com. “That normal play can turn into a huge play and he demonstrated that. He made so many really big plays for us tonight. It was just unfortunate that he couldn’t stay in. But that’s who he is. He’s going to have a heck of a career in the NFL. He’s top notch, no question.”
Martz added that Ford should return to action soon, as his injury is not believed to be serious. The team will face the Arizona Hotshots on the road Sunday at 4 p.m. ET, and the winner of that matchup will gain sole possession of second place in the Western Conference. It is currently unclear if Ford will play in that game.