The XFL keeps getting better and better by the week. There was a vast slate of quality game action this past week, check out our recaps if you missed the action!
Seattle Dragons (1-4) at Houston Roughnecks (5-0)
Final Score: Houston Roughnecks 32, Seattle Dragons 23
Recap: The Houston Roughnecks fail behind early 14-0 in the 1st half but went on to score 23 unanswered points to take a 23-13 lead in the 3rd quarter. Turnovers hurt the Roughnecks in the first half, PJ Walker threw two interceptions and was striped sack once. Walker overcame the turnovers to throw for 351 yards and three touchdowns to lead Houston to a 32-23 win.
Seattle's defense put up a good effort early in the football game but was not able to get any critical stops in the fourth quarter. The Dragons started quarterback BJ Daniels for the first time this season; he passed for 114 yards on 14 of 22 passing. The Dragons were robbed of two seconds at the end of the game when PJ Walker kneeled on fourth down. It should have been a turnover on downs, and Seattle should have had the ball with two seconds to try to score a touchdown. But the officials ruled the game was over.
P.J Walker (QB): 27/38, 351 Passing yds, 9.2 YPA, 3 Pass TD, 2 INT, 7 Rush att, -5 rush yds
James Butler (RB): 10 rush, 52 yds, 4.3 YPC, 2 TD, 3 rec. on 3 targets, 17 yds
Cam Phillips (WR): 10 Receptions on 13 targets, 122 rec. yds, 2TD
DeMarquis Gates (LB): 4 tackles (3 Solo), 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 QB Hit, 1 FF, 1 FR
BJ Daniels (QB): 14/22, 114 Passing yds, 5.2 YPA, Pass, 10 Rush att, 30 rush yds, 2TD
Kenneth Farrow (RB): 10 rush, 30 yds, 3 YPC
Austin Proehl (WR): 3 Receptions on 5 targets, 56 rec. yds
Jordan Martin (S): 8 tackles (7 Solo), 2 PD, 1 INT
Written by: LaMarr Fields
NY Guardians (3-2) vs. Dallas Renegades (2-3)
Final Score: Guardians 30, Renegades 12
Recap: After the first three weeks, the Guardians were one of the biggest mysteries in the league. After Luis Perez has started 2 games, it looks like he can make them a solid competitor. He runs the team well, and no more drama with hot-mics catching McGloin calling people out. They dominated the second half and never relinquished the lead after halftime. Darius Victor has established himself as the number one starter, as he had 15 rushes and helped control the game. They are third in the east because DC has head-to-head wins over both them and the Battlehawks, but the Guardians face the Defenders and Saint Louis later this season. With a controlling win and the whole team looking productive, both of these teams have the Guardians game circled on their calendar as one of their most important matchups for the playoffs.
Down in Dallas, it’s a different story. They’ve played four close games, losing by 6 and 7 respectively to the Battlehawks and Roughnecks, the XFL’s premier talent. But after this week they have a losing record and Landry Jones out for a while, it’s not looking great. They played it close early, but after going down 12-6 in the third their only score would be a kick return touchdown. In their favor is a head-to-head win against LA, but their TD differential doesn’t give them room to lose in their week 10 rematch. They have scored 9 touchdowns, 1 more than the Guardians, but given up 12. They have to score some touchdowns next week or they start going downhill.
Luis Perez (QB): 16/30, 229 yds, 7.6 YPA, 1 Pass TD, 1 INT, 0 Pass 2-Pt, 1 Rush att, 1 rush yds,1 TD, 0 Rush 2-PT.
Colby Pearson (WR): 5 Receptions on 6 targets, 95 rec. yds, 1TD, 0 2PT
Mekale McKay (WR): 3 Receptions on 7 targets, 67 rec. yds, 0TD, 0 2PT
Cavon Walker (DT): 3 tackles (1 Solo), 2 TFL, 2 sacks, 4 QB Hits,0 PD, 0 INT, 0 FF, 0 FR, 0 TD
Philip Nelson (QB): 28/49, 210 Passing yds, 4.3 YPA, 0 Pass TD, 2 INT, 0 Pass 2-Pt, 4 Rush att, 19 rush yds, 0TD, 0 Rush 2-PT.
Cameron Artis-Payne (RB): 6 rush, 25 yds, 2.4 YPC, 0 TD, 0 Rush 2-PT, 3 rec. on 4 targets, 3 yds, 0 TD, 0 rec. 2-PT.
Flynn Nagel (WR): 7 Receptions on 9 targets, 46 rec. yds, 0TD, 0 2PT
Tenny Adequsi (CB): 6 tackles (3 Solo), 1 TFL, 0 sacks, 2 QB Hits, 0 PD, 0 INT, 0 FF, 0 FR, 0 TD
Written by: Pat Pryor, @patpryorgraphic
St. Louis BattleHawks (3-2) vs. DC Defenders (3-2)
Final Score: DC Defenders 15, St. Louis BattleHawks 6
Recap: The Defenders faced off against a red hot St. Louis team in a must-win game at home. DC ended up stifling the BattleHawks offense early on behind the help of Anthony Johnson and Siupeli Anau on the defensive line. Oddly enough, the BattleHawks found great success in the run game but the Defenders stepped up when they needed to, holding St. Louis just a 25 percent third-down conversion rate.
In what was more of a defensive battle, the Defenders benched starting quarterback Cardale Jones in favor of young Tyree Jackson who got his first win in the XFL. Pep Hamilton ran a rather conservative style offensive tackle for Jackson and the most important thing was that it limited Jackson to zero turnovers after Jones threw an interception early in the game to Kenny Robinson.
On St. Louis’ side, this was a disappointment and mainly because they had every opportunity to ultimately win but you cannot forget how they were playing a team that was blown out in back to back games. Young star signal-caller Jordan Ta’amu appeared to take a step back in this one and no one outside of L’Damian Washington was able to do much of anything in the passing game. As frustrating of a loss this was, the BattleHawks should be fine moving forward. If you want to go the moral victory route, even at their worst, the BattleHawks almost won it on the road. You have to imagine this loss though will be one that Jonathan Hayes looks at for a little longer knowing that he could have won this game.
In the end, a key blocked punt for the Defenders on Marquette King and a botched fourth-down call on the final drive was the nail in the coffin for the BattleHawks and a sign of relief for the desperate Defenders.
Tyree Jackson (QB): 9/14, 39 Passing yds, 2.8 YPA, Pass TD, 7 Rush att, 32 rush yds
Jhurell Pressley (RB): 15 carries, 107 yds, 7.1 YPC, 3 rec. on 4 targets, 12 yds
Khari Lee (TE): 3 Receptions on 3 targets, 14 rec. yds, TD
Siupeli Anau (DT): 4 tackles (2 Solo), 2 TFL, Sack, QB Hit, FF
Jordan Ta’amu (QB): 15/25, 174 Passing yds, 7.0 YPA, Rush att, rush yds, TD, Rush 2-PT.
Christine Michael (RB): 12 carries, 69 yds, 5.8 YPC, 1 rec. on 1 target, 14 yds
L’Damian Washington (WR): 5 Receptions on 8 targets, 114 rec. yds
Kenny Robinson (S): 5 tackles (4 Solo), TFL, Sack, QB Hit, PD, INT
Written by: Jake Ellenbogen
TB Vipers (1-4) vs. LA Wildcats (2-3)
Final Score: Los Angeles 41, Tampa Bay 33
Recap: The late-night contest out west was arguably the game of the year so far in the XFL as the Wildcats barely managed to hang on against a suddenly resurgent Vipers team. Quarterback Josh Johnson was on fire after a dismal first quarter, leading the team to 20 points in the second and beginning the rally for his squad. However, that did come at a price as he was caught on the broadcast arguing some play calls with offensive coordinator Kyle Chow, which probably was the driving force behind the rally. Of course, while Johnson was electric, it was the LA defense that gets the most credit for this win, as they forced three Vipers turnovers in the second half of this contest, giving Johnson extra opportunities to bring the squad to the promised land. The final turnover, however, was the clincher, especially with Tampa Bay inside the Wildcats 10-yard line when it happened. Let’s see if the defense can continue this hot streak while traveling up I-5 to Seattle for a date with the Dragons.
There’s honestly nothing the Vipers can say about their performance against LA out west with the exception of coming out on the wrong end of the result. Every problem they’ve seen on offense has apparently been nullified since Taylor Cornelius essentially was named the starter (still unofficial) and the Jerry Glanville-led defense is still the best in the league, even after surrendering 41 points. Tampa Bay definitely had their chances to come out with the win, especially considering they had a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter. However, their 1-2 punch of running backs was dealt a major blow when Jacques Patrick was sidelined with a back injury, thus limiting their ability to really control the trenches. Again, the Vipers played incredibly against the Wildcats, and everything at the moment seems to be under control with the exception of the final result. We’ll see how they respond against a very dominant Battlehawks team with Jordan Ta’amu under center Saturday afternoon.
Josh Johnson (QB): 20/36, 288 yds, 8.0 YPA, 4 TD, INT, Pass 2-PT, 2 Pass 1-PT, 7 rush, 19 yds
DuJuan Harris Player (RB): 9 rush, 7 yds, 0.8 YPC, TD
Jordan Smallwood (WR): 4 receptions on 6 targets, 86 yds, rec. 1-PT.
Ar. Dixon (Defense): 10 tackles (7 solo)
Taylor Cornelius (QB): 22/34, 300 yds, 8.8 YPA, 2 TD, 2 INT, Pass 1-Pt, 7 Rush, 45 yds, TD
De’Veon Smith (RB): 24 rush, 69 yds, 2.9 YPC
Reece Horn (WR): 9 receptions on 11 targets, 95 yds, TD
M. Branch (Defense): 7 tackles (5 solo)
Written by: Joe Carlino