San Antonio Brahmas Hold Off Arlington Renegades At Home

San Antonio Brahmas Hold Off Arlington Renegades At Home

Week eight of the UFL wrapped up with the San Antonio Brahmas taking on the Arlington Renegades for the second time this year.

It has been a different story for these two franchises in 2024. San Antonio is 5-2, finding a way to win football games. It isn’t always a pretty performance, but they do enough to come out victorious. This past week was a great example against Houston – despite being outplayed, a walk off field goal from Ryan Santoso resulted in their fifth win of the year.

Arlington, on the other hand, lost their first six games. They were on the losing end of three walk off winners – and certainly feel like an organization with a record that is better than 1-6. The Renegades did win their first matchup last week, smacking Memphis by 24 points.

When these two organizations faced off in week five, San Antonio won 25-15. The game was relatively close throughout, though, and Arlington came into today’s affair with a hunger to get some revenge.

First Quarter

The San Antonio Brahmas got off to a red hot start in this game. Quinten Dormady was back at QB1, and Anthony McFarland saw his first minutes since week four. He immediately got involved, taking a swing pass the distance with his dazzling speed. A successful PAT from Morgan Ellison made it 7-0.

Arlington wouldn’t see the same success. Luis Perez dropped a dime deep to Javonta Payton, but he couldn’t haul it in with some excellent defense from BoPete Keyes. Keyes then made an interception the next play – but it was called back. The Renegades had to punt, and San Antonio took over.

Dormady was in a rhythm early, which was refreshing for the Brahmas to see. Cody Latimer and K.D. Cannon – formerly with Quinten in Orlando – played a big role in their next possession, which resulted in a 21 yard field goal from Ryan Santoso.

Tavante Beckett was flying around as usual today, making plenty of plays in the first quarter. He had an excellent tackle in the backfield on Devin Darrington, which led to another punt for Arlington.

With one quarter down, the Brahmas had a 10-0 lead.

Second Quarter

Arlington could not get anything going offensively, as San Antonio’s defense was stout. They punted, and the Brahmas took advantage. After getting deep in the red zone, though, they settled for another short field goal, going up 13.0

The Renegades finally put something together on their next possession. Perez connected with Tyler Vaughns on a deep ball, which put them in scoring range. Jonathan Garibay hit from 33 yards out, and Arlington made it a 13-3 ball game.

San Antonio continued to swing at Arlington’s defense. Dormady connected with Anthony McFarland, who broke off for his second score of the day – terrorizing Jay Hayes and his unit in this first half.

The Renegades could not get out of their own way. Their self inflicted wounds, which have been a major issue all season, were piling up in the first half. Arlington had to punt, and San Antonio took the ball back.

As we went into halftime, the San Antonio Brahmas were dominating, as they held a 20-3 lead.

Third Quarter

Arlington was able to gain some momentum to open up this second half. Luis Perez swiftly marched the team down the field, and found Sal Cannella for a touchdown.

The Brahmas caught a bad break on their opening drive of the third quarter. A pass interference call was missed by the officials, which ultimately led to a punt by San Antonio.

Garrett Nelson stepped up big-time for Will Reed’s defense, forcing Perez to throw the ball away while backed up. The Renegades punted again, and San Antonio regained possession. After getting deep into the Renegades territory, though, the Brahmas couldn’t capitalize.

A touchdown to Cody Latimer was called back due to an offensive penalty. Then, Anree Saint-Amour sacked Dormady, which led to Santoso missing a field goal – and the score remained 20-9.

Heading into the final fifteen minutes, Arlington had the football, trailing by 11 points.

Fourth Quarter

The Renegades looked like a different football team in this second half. Offensively, Perez was in a groove, and they were moving the ball between the 20’s with efficiency. However, San Antonio’s defense made a massive stop – forcing a turnover down on fourth and inches. Arlington just can’t get out of their own way in these situations, as they are now 2-9 on fourth down attempts this year.

The Renegades continued to make mental mistakes. Willie Taylor was called for unnecessary roughness after they got a third down stop, handing San Antonio a first down. Luckily for Arlington, the Brahmas would make a couple of mistakes on their end. McFarland had a drop on what would have been a first down, which led to Ryan Santoso missing a 38 yard field goal attempt.

Arlington was able to give themselves a chance. Perez kept this team afloat, putting them in a position to score. Inside the ten yard line, he bought just enough time to find Javonta Payton for a touchdown, and Arlington brought it within five points – with an opportunity for the 4th and 12 conversion.

That would be the end of the idea of a comeback for Arlington. Prince Emili shut down Perez on the 4th and 12 attempt, putting the nail in the coffin for this one.

The San Antonio Brahmas would officially clinch a playoff spot, taking down the Arlington Renegades 20-15 at home.

Standout Playmakers

QB Quinten Dormady: Dormady had a major bounce back game for San Antonio when they needed it. After being benched in the fourth quarter a week ago, Dormady threw for 320 yards and two scores, completing 68% of his passes. Tremendous work from the former Orlando Guardian today.

RB Anthony McFarland Jr.: In his first action since week four, McFarland proved why he is one of the best backs in the league. While he didn’t run the ball at a high clip, his three receptions went for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Unreal.

TE Cody Latimer: Latimer had a big day, showing up often on offense. Dormady seemed to look Cody’s direction almost every time they needed a play, and for good reason. He posted 116 receiving yards on six receptions.

LB Tavante Beckett: Beckett continues to show up week in and week out. He posted 8 tackles, alongside two TFL’s – once again showing why he’s one of the leading tacklers in the UFL. Tavante is such an intelligent player.

DB Corey Mayfield: Mayfield had three tackles and a PBU – but the stats don’t show everything he did. He consistently was targeted with some of Arlington’s top playmakers, and he made plays all day long.

Arlington Renegades

TE Sal Cannella: Cannella has taken the majority of targets for the Renegades over the last couple of matchups. He finished with 87 yards and a touchdown today, sparking Arlington’s offense in the second half when they needed it.

DE Anree Saint-Amour: Anree has made an impact this season, despite playing in just a few games. He already has 2.5 sacks on the year, and racked up four tackles, two TFL’s, and a sack today.

Post-Game Comments

Brahmas Coach Wade Phillips commented on the victory at home, and what it meant for this team:

“Good win for us obviously. Important win. Puts us in the playoffs. Our guys knew that going into the game, seeing DC losing to St. Louis. Our first goal was to get in the playoffs, our next goal is to win our conference. If we win our next two games, that’s what we do. We have a lot more to play for. Tremendously dominant first half, I was proud of Dormady coming back – and having McFarland back helped too. He’s a game breaker. Latimer had a great game – our defense had a great game – Arlington scored 47 points last week. They have the top passer in the league, almost every category he’s #1. He can make plays, but our defense dominated the first half so much that was the big difference.”

Renegades Coach Bob Stoops on the struggles Arlington has had all year closing out games:

“A good, solid game for San Antonio, Coach Phillips, and their group. Really good job. Outplayed us really strongly in the first half. Our guys came back and made a game of it, but kind of the story of our season. We just didnt make enough plays in the fourth quarter in order to be on the plus side of it. That’s happened to us too many times. But again, they did a nice job. I thought all of these players work hard and play hard. It’s frustrating, sometimes we get in our own way in some of our mental errors. That’s where we’re at.”

Final Thoughts

With the postseason now locked up for the San Antonio Brahmas, their focus shifts to the playoffs. They know they will be facing off against the St. Louis Battlehawks, in what should be an epic showdown between two outstanding teams in the XFL Conference.

There is certainly room for improvement for the Brahmas, though. They missed two field goals, and were not effective in the red zone (0-3). This allowed Arlington to hang around. San Antonio has to be more efficient moving forward – they can’t make those same mistakes against St. Louis and Birmingham.

Arlington, oh Arlington. It feels like the same story every week. The self-inflicted wounds are something this team cannot overcome. With a 1-7 record, the Renegades now have to look at what they need to do to avoid the same things happening in the 2025 season.

What are your thoughts on this matchup between the San Antonio Brahmas and Arlington Renegades? Which UFL players impressed you the most? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!