Trenton Richardson continued his Alliance of American Football touchdown tour de force.
The former NFL Draft first-round pick bowled his way to three touchdowns to carry the Birmingham Iron to a 28-12 victory over the Atlanta Legends on Sunday afternoon at Georgia State Stadium.
"Every game for me and every play, you know is really like, 'I gotta get this. I gotta have this,'" Richardson said in a postgame CBS Sports Network interview. "It's fourth and 1 for me every play. So that's how I look at it. I think about my kids a lot when I'm on this field. If I don't get this first down, if I don't get this touchdown, I'm going to let my team down, I'm most definitely going to let my kids down. My mindset is I have to do everything I can to get to that first down or get to that touchdown."
Richardson has a league-high six rushing touchdowns, though as has become commonplace, yardage was difficult to come by as he fought and broke tackles for every yard to finish with 46 yards on 17 carries. For the year, he's averaging only 2.5 yards per tote with 145 yards on 59 carries.
"We just had to take what they gave us," said Richardson, who also caught a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Luis Perez to finish the game with 20 total points. "We just tried to run straight at them and tried to get as much as we can. Watching them on film, there's barely breathing room in there."
With the win, coach Tim Lewis' Iron improved to 3-0 to stay tied atop the Eastern Conference with the Orlando Apollos, while the Legends dropped to 0-3 to remain winless along with fellow Eastern cellar dweller the Memphis Express.
"We have a really good football team," Lewis said after the game. "We have a solid core of players that are great leaders. It's really exciting to watch them grow."
Legends quarterback Matt Simms had a whopping 328 yards passing, completing 28 of 48 passes with a touchdown. However, he had three interceptions and, as has become a standard for Atlanta, it sputtered in the red zone as it has amassed a league-low 30 points through three games.
Richardson bulled in for a five-yard touchdown run in the second quarter as the Iron owned a 9-6 halftime lead. He added a one-yard score in the third quarter as Birmingham began to put the game out of reach, taking a 20-6 advantage into the final quarter. With his third and final score, a six-yard score off right tackle, Richardson put the game away.
Trailing 28-6, the Legends finally got into the end zone when Simms threw a beautiful ball to Seantavius Jones for a 48-yard trip to pay dirt.
In a matchup of former Chargers kickers, Atlanta's Younghoe Koo had two field goals (21 yards, 35) and Birmingham's Nick Novak (39, 27) was likewise two for two.
Despite Atlanta out gaining Birmingham, 346-234, the Iron's defense clamped down when needed and was led by linebacker Beniquez Brown, who had 10 tackles, and defensive back Max Redfield, who had an interception and a fumble recovery.
"It was a hard-fought game," Richardson said. "Big ups to my offensive line and our offensive coordinator for putting us in the right position.
"We did what we had to do to go get that 'W.'"