Due to the odd scheduling, the XFL South could be decided today, at least in theory. Arlington, despite struggling, is 3-2 on the season, with a win over San Antonio. Meanwhile, the Brahmas have been helpless at 1-4, losing three straight.
Both teams signed reinforcements this week. WR Victor Bolden, a USFL Championship MVP, signed with Arlington. San Antonio needed a QB, so they picked up Kurt Benkert who decided to join the XFL midway through the season.
Let’s take a look at what happened, as it was a slow-moving, yet entertaining game in the Lone Star State.
Jawon Pass got the start at QB for the Brahmas, as the team was lacking some of its playmakers. RB Kalen Ballage is out for the season with an achilles injury, so Jacques Patrick saw the majority of the snaps. It wasn’t an ideal first drive for San Antonio, as they had to punt quickly.
Despite such a rough season, San Antonio’s defense has been fantastic. LB Jordan Williams is leading the XFL in tackles, and made a fantastic play to set the tone. Arlington punted right back, as they were unable to move the ball.
On their next drive, Pass found a rhythm. A completion to T.J. Vasher got him going, as Jawon began to settle into the offense. He also made plays with his legs, putting them inside the red zone. John Parker Romo knocked through a 29 yard field goal, and the Brahmas went on top 3-0.
Arlington’s offense was rough in the first quarter, no surprise. Kyle Sloter had a tough time finding his receivers in rhythm, which is something we saw last week as well. An excellent pass breakup by Luq Barcoo resulted in another three and out for the Renegades.
Quarterback changes were a theme in the second quarter. Drew Plitt entered the game for Sloter, but it didn’t make much of a difference. After a couple of first downs, the offense stalled out yet again, unable to find their footing.
San Antonio couldn’t get things going with Benkert, though. A dropped pass on third down resulted in a punt. Thankfully, their defense stepped up to the task, as they always do. Delontae Scott stripped Plitt of the ball, and Jordan Williams recovered, taking it to the house. Just like that, the Brahmas led 9-0.
Plitt and Sloter split snaps on the next possession, but it didn’t matter. Arlington punted again, as they continued to sputter. San Antonio’s defense is simply outstanding, shutting the Renegades down repeatedly.
Throughout the rest of the first half, neither team did much of anything. Just like week five, it was a defensive standoff with both offenses looking extremely sloppy. Heading into halftime, San Antonio held a 9-0 lead.
Arlington finally got something going, sort of. Plitt marched the team down the field far enough to kick a field goal, and Taylor Russolino knocked through a 53 yarder to make it 9-3.
Momentum was all in the Arlington Renegades’ favor this quarter. Jawon Pass was out there for San Antonio, but did nothing but go backwards for the team. Oddly enough, Sloter returned to the game despite Plitt just throwing a touchdown – and Arlington had to punt it back.
Both teams continued to trade punts, and we went into the final fifteen minutes with a 9-9 ball game.
The Renegades continued to make questionable play calls, as they have for most of the season. They tend to run the ball in odd situations, even when you think they would have to pass. Arlington punted again, leaving the door open for San Antonio to regain momentum.
A PI call set up the Brahmas nicely, as they were in scoring position. While San Antonio couldn’t get in the endzone, Romo hit a 45 yard field goal to give them a 12-9 lead.
Arlington finally had the big play on offense that they needed. Drew Plitt launched a 48 yard dime to Javonta Payton, who set them up in scoring position. However, Russolino shanked a 36 yard field goal, and it remained a three point game.
The San Antonio Brahmas got the big-time win, beating the Arlington Renegades 15-9.
As expected, this game was a defensive slugfest from start to finish. No matter which team ends up in the postseason, they are bound to get smacked by Houston.
Now, San Antonio finally has a bit of life. It took a few weeks, but Hines Ward and his squad got a win. Kurt Benkert didn’t do a whole lot to contribute, but it’s unrealistic to assume he would have made an impact, given he joined the team just three days ago.
The Arlington Renegades have to figure things out quickly, because they risk losing their playoff spot if San Antonio gets on a winning streak. The Brahmas are playing better football as of late, and the Renegades can’t seem to do anything right on offense. Bob Stoops and Jonathan Hayes have to reevaluate their offense as soon as possible.
What are your thoughts on this game between the Arlington Renegades and San Antonio Brahmas? Which XFL players impressed you the most? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!