So much for that Alliance of American Football undefeated showdown.
A goal line stand and a late touchdown were still a failed onside conversion short of a Birmingham Iron comeback victory.
San Antonio stopped the winning ways of the Iron on Sunday afternoon as it hung on for a 12-11 win at Legion Field and, in the process, spoiled an undefeated showdown between Birmingham and the Orlando Apollos in Week 5.
"Hats off to Birmingham," said Commanders running back Kenneth Farrow, a one-time Charger who set an AAF single-game record with 142 yards rushing in 30 carries. "Had to fight the whole 60 minutes."
San Antonio (2-2) took an early 3-0 lead on a field goal from another former Charger, Nick Rose, and never trailed.
On the strength of a 12-yard touchdown run by Trey Williams, the Commanders had a 9-3 advantage in the fourth quarter and were looking to salt the game away before strong Iron defense and questionable Commanders play-calling intervened.
San Antonio set up shop with first and goal from the 1-yard line and Farrow ran to the right on two straight plays, losing a yard in the process. On third down, San Antonio drew a pass-interference call. Farrow then ran on three straight plays -- all to the right side. The Commanders settled for another Folk field goal and a 12-3 lead.
Birmingham answered with a 14-play drive that saw it use up its final timeouts before Trent Richardson bulled in from a yard out for his league-leading seventh touchdown. The ensuing two-point conversion was good via a leaping grab from DeVozea Felton.
However, the last gasp was intercepted by San Antonio's Orion Stewart, who picked off a pass on Birmingham's onside-conversion attempt, which is a fourth and 12 play from the 28-yard line.
Richardson, a former Cleveland Browns first-round pick, was held to 15 yards on eight carries, while teammate Brandon Ross had 64 yards on nine attempts. Richardson added five catches for 37 yards.
While Birmingham will enter the game against Orlando with less momentum and hype, it will still play to get back into first place, while San Antonio is back in the hunt for first in the Western Conference (Arizona was a half-game ahead of San Antonio heading into the night cap on NFL Network).