These two teams have played quite a bit different in the second half of the season. On one side, Orlando has finally found their rhythm as an offense, taking down the DC Defenders last week. Quinten Dormady has been sensational, putting the team on his back in multiple weeks.
As if that @XFL2023 ending wasn't crazy enough…we've got another important game on queue!
Meanwhile, Bob Stoops’ Renegades have been underwhelming. Quarterback problems have plagued the team throughout the year, but they stem from a poor offensive game plan. Luis Perez was set to make his first start for the team, in what was a last ditch effort at getting this unit in order.
Let’s take a look at what happened, as it came down to the wire in Florida.
Luis Perez got his team off to a good start, methodically marching the Renegades down the field. As expected, his poise in the pocket immediately paid dividends for the team. They ended up settling for a field goal, and Taylor Russolino hit from 23 yards out.
Orlando’s offense got off to a rough start, going three and out. However, Joe Powell muffed the punt for Arlington, and the Guardians had the ball inside the five yard line.
What in the world was Joe Powell doing here, exactly?
The turnovers piled up for Dormady and the Guardians. He lost the football again, and the Renegades jumped on it.
Luis Perez looked great for Arlington in the early goings, finding his receivers in stride and on time. After a decent drive into the redzone, though, they settled for a field goal. Russolino connected, and the team took a 12-3 lead.
Penalties killed the Guardians next drive, as they committed three for 20 yards. Dormady didn’t turn the ball over, but the team still had to punt and Arlington took over. Orlando’s defense held up, though, forcing the Renegades to send it right back.
Quinten Dormady put together an excellent drive for Orlando, smoothly marching the team down the field while eating up the clock. He eventually ran it in from a couple yards out, pulling the game within three points.
Despite the double turnover, the Guardians could not capitalize, and punted the ball. Luis Perez just missed Brandon Arcanodo on a deep ball, though, so Orlando’s defense just held up long enough to force a punt.
Quinten Dormady finally put together a solid drive for Terrell Buckley. He seamlessly marched the team down the field, before finding Eli Rogers for a wide open touchdown. They went for one, and converted, but still trailed by two with a few minutes left.
Five turnovers killed the Orlando Guardians in this one, and they ultimately fell to the Arlington Renegades 18-16.
This was such an important win for the Arlington Renegades, as this team is one step closer to clinching a playoff berth. Their victories have been ugly, but the defense always finds a way to get the job done. Joe Powell was clutch, generating turnovers at key moments for this squad.
Bob Stoops has to be happy with the way that Luis Perez played today. He came to the team just last week, but performed quite well overall, leading Arlington back to the .500 mark. Now at 4-4, the Renegades should be able to lock up a postseason spot next week.
Unfortunately for the Orlando Guardians, their XFL Cinderella run was short-lived. Quinten Dormady turned the ball over five times today, after scoring six touchdowns just last week. He struggled to get out of the pocket against Arlington, as they swarmed him time and time again.
Terrell Buckley has this team playing better football than they did starting the season. However, penalties and self-inflicted wounds continue to kill their chances of playing winning football – and now, it cost them the playoffs entirely. At 1-7, this team is now eliminated from XFL postseason contention.
What are your thoughts on this game between the Arlington Renegades and Orlando Guardians? Which XFL players impressed you the most? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!