St. Louis Battlehawks Knock Off San Antonio Brahmas On The Road

St. Louis Battlehawks Knock Off Brahmas On The Road

Week three of the UFL wrapped up with two XFL powerhouses clashing in San Antonio. The Brahmas hosted the St. Louis Battlehawks, in what ended up being a down to the wire matchup at the Alamodome.

Last week, the St. Louis Battlehawks made their home debut, and to the delight of over 40,000 fans, came away with a last second win over Arlington. It wasn’t a perfect game, but it was a stepping stone for momentum heading into week three.

San Antonio, on the other hand, had a last second win as well. Theirs was slightly different, as they mounted a two score comeback in the final minute against Memphis. OC A.J. Smith was on a heater that day.

With plenty on the line in this game, let’s take a look at what went down in San Antonio.

First Quarter

The San Antonio Brahmas elected to receive the opening kickoff, and got right to work. The team swiftly marched into the Battlehawks red zone, but couldn’t punch it in the end zone. Ryan Santaso, who was signed just this week to replace Donald De La Haye Jr., hit a 35 yard field goal.

St. Louis had a quick answer in store. After getting down into San Antonio territory, A.J. McCarron called his own number, scampering into the end zone on a 10 yard score.

With two long drives from both teams, we went into the next period with a 6-3 ball game.

Second Quarter

The Battlehawks defense played solid football early on, and forced San Antonio into a punt. This led to another score for St. Louis. McCarron found Hakeem Butler for a wide open touchdown, and they went up 14-3 after a successful two point conversion to Jake Sutherland.

John Lovett had a solid game for San Antonio today, with 12 rushes for 41 yards. He made an impact in this second quarter, rushing for a two yard score to make it 14-9.

Impressive kickoff returns have been a staple of the UFL so far. Darrius Shepherd put St. Louis in a position to score before the half. A couple of plays later, they got into field goal range, and Andre Szmyt hit a 44 yarder to put the Battlehawks in front 17-9.

Third Quarter

Defensively, the Brahmas struggled today. It was an uncharacteristic performance from Will Reed’s unit. That said, they opened up this half with a bang. Darius Phillips forced a fumble on Jamarcus Bradley, recovering it himself.

San Antonio couldn’t capitalize entirely, though, settling for another field goal. Speaking of field goals, St. Louis struck right back, as Andre Szmyt hit from 54 yards out.

A.J. Smith’s offense was on and off today. At times, they looked like the Brahmas from week one. On this possession, that’s exactly what we saw. A couple of penalties helped them out as well, which led to an Anthony McFarland rushing touchdown.

With fifteen minutes left to play, the St. Louis Battlehawks led 20-18.

Fourth Quarter

The Battlehawks continued to drive down the field, but couldn’t find a way to punch it in the end zone. Jalen Dalton sacked McCarron, and they settled for another field goal.

San Antonio had to punt, though, which would turn out to haunt them. The Battlehawks got into the red zone courtesy of Jacob Saylors, who then finished the job himself by running it in for the score. A two point conversion was successful – to Saylors – and St. Louis went up 31-18.

The Brahmas put together a long drive, which resulted in a touchdown. Chase Garbers was composed on this possession, using his legs to generate offense when needed. In the red zone, he found Alize Mack for a touchdown, and it was 31-24 with a couple of minutes left to play.

The defense, after having a rough time all day, came up big when San Antonio needed them. St. Louis had to punt as McCarron’s pass sailed over his receiver’s head on third down, and the Brahmas had one more crack at it.

However, Donnie Abraham’s defense would stand strong. Garbers was too high on a pass on fourth down, and the Battlehawks came away with a massive 31-24 victory on the road.

Standout Playmakers

QB A.J. McCarron: McCarron was on point today, throwing for 152 yards and a touchdown while completing 70% of his passes. His legs were a necessary asset today as well, as his early rushing touchdown sparked their offense to the success they had today.

RB Jacob Saylors: Saylors had an impressive outing, rushing for 62 yards and a touchdown. After being inactive a week ago, Jacob came back into the rotation and proved why he belongs on this team. His fourth quarter essentially put the game away for the Battlehawks.

WR Hakeem Butler: After two weeks of silence, Hakeem Butler had an outstanding game for the Battlehawks when they needed it. He finished the game with 87 receiving yards and a touchdown.

LB Callahan O’Reilly: Callahan has been performing very well in his professional rookie season with St. Louis. He led the team today with 12 tackles, filling in nicely for an injured Mike Rose.

LB Willie Harvey Jr.: Harvey is a team captain for a reason. He also totaled 12 tackles, alongside a pass breakup. Willie’s been having a great season in St. Louis – if he keeps this up, an NFL team certainly will be calling.

LB Jordan Williams: Williams continues to be a havoc maker on defense, leading San Antonio with nine tackles. Jordan’s All-XFL campaign last year was no fluke: he is a really, really good defender.

Post-Game Comments

Battlehawks HC Anthony Becht had some thoughts about their win, and what it took to get the job done:

“We knew they would fight for four quarters as well, that’s the biggest thing with our league. You gotta finish and close the door when you have the opportunity to do so. I’m glad that our defense was able to do that today. Today was a three phase game. Offense got out early, got the points up and put pressure on them. I thought the special teams were spectacular today. Andre with his field goals, and kick off returning (Darrius), and defensively we were bend don’t break. In the end, when we needed to make a stop, we did.”

Wade Phillips was very pleased with the fan turnout today, but was disappointed with his team not being able to finish the comeback:

“I thought our guys fought their hearts out today. We shouldn’t be put in a position where we have to come back from behind like that. We still had an opportunity to get it done. I thought we did well on third downs, nine out of seventeen. I saw some good things, and one good thing was the fan support. It certainly helped us turn the game and we appreciate them coming out. I think we have an exciting team.”

Final Thoughts

The San Antonio Brahmas are no longer unbeatable. Many thought that they should have been beaten a week ago, had Memphis not choked away that lead. Defensively, San Antonio looked shaky today. They held the football for seven minutes longer than St. Louis did, but couldn’t find a way to be efficient in the red zone (two short field goals), which hurt them down the stretch.

Anthony Becht’s Battlehawks are on a roll. They’ve picked up two close wins in a row, and this one in particular was quite impressive. On the road, in a difficult environment, they found a way to get the job done. Now, St. Louis can take full control of the XFL conference with a win against Memphis on Saturday.

Did you watch this game between the San Antonio Brahmas and St. Louis Battlehawks? Which UFL players stuck out to you? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!