St. Louis Battlehawks Take Care Of Memphis Showboats At Home

St. Louis Battlehawks Take Care Of Memphis Showboats At Home

For the second time this UFL season, the St. Louis Battlehawks are at home. This time, they’re hosting the Memphis Showboats, a team that has been reeling as of late.

The Battlehawks have gone on a two game winning streak, getting better and better with each week. A.J. McCarron has looked sharp, and the ground game has exploded in a positive way.

Meanwhile, the Memphis Showboats have struggled to generate much of anything offensively. They were blown out by Birmingham last week, and have not been trending in the right direction.

Given the competitiveness between both divisions, this is an important matchup for each team. Let’s take a look at what went down at The Dome in St. Louis.

First Quarter

The St. Louis Battlehawks opened up with possession, and swiftly marched down the field. Jahcour Pearson, in his debut, recorded two catches and got them into scoring range. Andre Szmyt knocked through a 54 yard field goal, and St. Louis took a 3-0.

Vinny Papale is one of the most trusted playmakers in this scene. His big return put Memphis in excellent field position, at the Battlehawks 44 yard line. Just a couple of plays later, Case Cookus found Papale in stride for a touchdown, and Memphis took a 6-3 lead.

It was an offensive affair early on. Darrius Shepherd ripped off a massive return for St. Louis, putting them inside the Showboats 25 yard line.

A few plays later, A.J. McCarron found a wide open Jacob Saylors, who waltzed into the end zone. The two point conversion was unsuccessful, and St. Louis took a 9-6 lead.

Case Cookus would make a mistake on their next drive. After what was an outstanding return from Jonathan Adams, Cookus got picked off by Lavert Hill, and St. Louis took over.

With excellent field position for St. Louis, they capitalized. Hakeem Butler brought down a couple of catches to put them in the red zone, and then Wayne Gallman ran it in for his first touchdown of the year. A two point conversion from Marcell Ateman made it a 17-6 ball game, and we still weren’t done with the quarter quite yet.

Second Quarter

St. Louis finally had a drive where they did not score. This wasn’t because they weren’t in scoring position, but because Szmyt missed a 45 yard field goal. The Battlehawks had full momentum up until this point, and this miss felt like it could turn the tide for Memphis.

The Showboats took advantage. Cookus marched the team down the field smoothly, and a couple of big runs from Darius Victor put them in the red zone. Victor ran it in himself, and a successful two point conversion to Sage Surratt made it 17-14.

Memphis would continue to show up defensively in this period. Quenton Meeks picked off McCarron, and returned it deep into Battlehawks territory.

This set up the Showboats with another scoring opportunity, and a field goal from Matt Coghlin tied the game at 17.

Before halftime, a big reception from Jahcour Pearson set them up in field goal range. Szmyt hit from 47 yards out, and it was a 20-17 ball game.

Third Quarter

Memphis got off to a tough start in this second half, with Case Cookus tripping over Darius Victor, and was taken down for a sack by Travis Feeney. They punted away, but their defense held strong, forcing St. Louis to send it right back. Jarey Elder made a great tackle on third down, pushing the Battlehawks back four yards.

Most of the third quarter was taken up by a long drive from St. Louis. Case Cookus had been stripped of the ball – which Memphis recovered – but it resulted in a punt. Jacob Saylors and Wayne Gallman put the Battlehawks on their back once they got the football back, and they held it inside Memphis’ red zone heading into the fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter

With the great field position they had, St. Louis scored pretty quickly to begin this quarter. McCarron found Jake Sutherland for a touchdown, and the Battlehawks went up 26-17.

Since Cookus got injured, Troy Williams came into the game for Memphis. The offensive line struggled to protect, and on 4th and 7, Williams got sacked by Carson Wells.

Memphis would make a big play defensively to keep them in the game. Pearson fumbled the ball on a third down, and after DeFilippo challenged the play, it was determined that Lamont McPhatter II recovered for the Showboats.

Jacob Saylors dominated this second half. He ripped off a 58 yard run which set up St. Louis in excellent field position.

A.J. McCarron, a couple of plays later, had all day to throw. You can’t give him that much time. This resulted in a touchdown to Jahcour Pearson, and the Battlehawks took a 32-17 lead.

It was a rough final few minutes for Memphis. Their offensive line was no match for the pass rush in St. Louis, who continued to put unbelievable pressure on Williams. On 4th and 8, Chris Payton-Jones broke up the pass to Papale, and they turned it over on downs.

With less than two minutes to go, St. Louis held on to win their third straight game, 32-17 at The Dome over the Memphis Showboats.

Standout Playmakers

QB A.J. McCarron: McCarron was spectacular today, completing 35 of 45 passes for 222 yards and 3 touchdowns. His lone interception is a rare mistake, but he bounced back and put St. Louis in front, and they did not look back.

RB Jacob Saylors: What a revelation Saylors has been the past couple of weeks. He tore up the Showboats defense today, rushing for 103 yards on just 15 carries, averaging 6.9 YPC.

WR Jahcour Pearson: In his first UFL action of the season, Pearson led the Battlehawks with 70 receiving yards, and put the game on ice with his late touchdown. Folks, Peezy is back.

DE Travis Feeney: Feeney has been a staple of this team dating back to 2023. He was everywhere today, totaling 5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a TFL in their win.

DB Lavert Hill: The former All-XFL CB made his mark today. Hill finished with four tackles, and contributed an interception and a PBU. As one of the few remaining defenders from last year, Hill continues to prove his worth in Donnie Abraham’s defense.

RB Darius Victor: For the first time this year, Victor really got it going for Memphis. He posted 58 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries, and did quite a bit for the offense before the team had to stop running the ball due to falling behind.

S Lamont McPhatter: McPhatter, in his first UFL action, led the Memphis Showboats with 11 tackles, and generated a bigtime turnover for their unit when they needed it.

Final Thoughts

The St. Louis Battlehawks are on a roll. They look like the best team in the XFL conference right now, and took care of business at home. Anthony Becht has this offense in a rhythm, and the defense has been playing better each and every week.

Memphis has quite a bit to figure out. This team posted just 127 total yards of offense today, and once again, could not protect their quarterbacks despite playing one of the *weaker* defensive lines in the UFL. Even with Pita Taumoepenu and Austin Faoliu out, the Battlehawks totaled four sacks. John DeFilippo will have to go back to the drawing board, again.

Week four of the UFL continues tonight, with a double header on FOX:

Birmingham Stallions vs. DC Defenders, 7pm ET
San Antonio Brahmas vs. Michigan Panthers, 7pm ET

What are your thoughts on this game between the St. Louis Battlehawks and Memphis Showboats? Which UFL players impressed you most? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!