St. Louis Battlehawks Edge Out Renegades in Front of Record Crowd

St. Louis Battlehawks Edge Out Renegades in Front of Record Crowd

The Arlington Renegades head to St. Louis for an XFL Conference showdown against the cult favorite Battlehawks. They seem to be on track to break a Spring Football attendance record. Expect the Dome to be packed and rowdy. (It was)

Last year the Renegades lost to the Battlehawks 24-11. Obviously these rosters have seen a large amount of turnover post merger, but our head coaches stay the same.

Anthony Becht heading the Hawks and Bob Stoops of the Renegades, this has the potential to be a powerhouse matchup. (Hint, it was a pretty great game)

First Quarter

Offense had a hard time getting anything going for either team, so the defense ate. The Battlehawks punted away their first drive, with King pinning them at the 7.

The Renegades were able to move the ball down the field on their first offensive drive, but a sack by DE Pita Taumoepenu on third and 3 pushed them out of field goal range and forced the Renegades to punt.

Marcell Ateman caught a pass from AJ McCarron for 24 yards on a third and 7. Again, on third down, the Battlehawks turn to Marcell on third and three for a conversion.

McCarron benefited from a roughing the passer penalty after multiple incompletions, giving the Battlehawks a free first down in field goal range.

Vic Beasly showed up early for the Renegades, sacking McCarron and forcing an Andre Szmyt field goal attempt from 53 yards out, which he missed left.

Second Quarter

The Renegades start off the second quarter with great field position, but cannot get a drive going, and Luis takes a sack on third and 10, forcing a King punt. Darrius Shepherd returns to the 28 yard line.

AJ McCarron throws a dart to Hakeem Butler for 13 yards, which is followed up by two strong runs from Mataeo Durant of 5 and 16 yards. At long last, the Battlehawks score the first points of the contest, AJ throws to WR Marcell Ateman for the 24 yard touchdown.

The Battlehawks opt for the two point conversion, which is successful on a pass to Darrius Shepherd.

Juwan Manigo has a great return on the kickoff, bringing the ball to the 47 yard line.

Perez spread the ball out between Javonta Payton and Tyler Vaughns, bringing in receptions of 9 and 12 yards respectively. Perez finds Caleb Vander Esch for the 14 yard gain and brings the Renegades into the redzone for the first time of the game. Lindsey Scott scores the first touchdown of the game for the Renegades, taking it himself from 6 yards out. The Renegades opt for the 2 point conversion to keep pace, and convert with a trick play pass from Tyler Vaughn to Leddie Brown.

The Battlehawks again take advantage of penalty yards on third down for a free set of downs. Mataeo picked up where he left off, rushing for 16 yards on his first attempt of the drive. After another 5 yard run from Mataeo, McCarron unloads downfield to Darrius Shepherd for 32 yards, setting up the Battlehawks at Arlingtons 1. Mataeo caps off the drive for a touchdown. Aj McCarron’s pass on the 2-pt attempt falls incomplete, Battlehawks lead by 14-8.

Arlington takes advantage of multiple Battlehawks penalties as they move downfield ahead of halftime, as Luis Perez throws a dart to Javonta Payton for 12 yards, moving them into field goal range. After multiple incompletions, Arlington opted for the field goal, which Taylor Russolino drills. 11-14 Battlehawks lead at half.

Third Quarter

The Renegades came out of half strong with a return by Juwan Manigo to the Battlehawks 45, but their drive stalled out immediately. The first Battlehawks drive of the half has been quite methodical, but stalls out on a 4th and 6 attempt on a pass to Darrius Shepherd.

Luis to Vaughn for an immediate first down and gain of 10 gets the drive going for Arlington, Luis Perez told his OC on the sidelines to stop running the ball on first and second downs. Lindsey Scott came in on second down and threw what appeared to be a backwards pass, quickly overturned as incomplete. On a third and 11, Perez connects with Javonta Payton, and immediately follows that up with a 10 yard screen, Arlington now looking like a team with a fight in them. After a few plays that went nowhere, a brutal DPI on Battlehawks CB Brandon Sebastian set the Renegades up right on the 5 yard line.

It didn’t take long, as the Renegades scored a 6 yard touchdown to TE Sal Cannella, but were unable to capitalize on the 1-pt conversion, keeping the Battlehawks in tie range at 17-14.

The St. Louis Battlehawks and Darrius Shepherd continue making plays, taking the kickoff to the 47 yard line.

Almost immediately the Battlehawks took over, with a 53 yard bomb for a touchdown to Marcell Ateman, along with the 1-pt conversion for a 4 point lead, 21-17.

Fourth Quarter

Arlington comes into the fourth with a beautiful pass to Javonta Payton that just sneaks into the Battlehawks redzone. Battlehawks aren’t done yet, and put Arlington into a third and long after a quick sack. Deontay Burnett converts the third and De’veon Smith brings them into prime scoring range at the 5. De’veon Smith will not be denied, as he scores the 3rd and 1 touchdown from the 5. Arlington attempted the 1pt conversion on a 2 QB play, and Lindsey scott fired it to Tyler Vaugh for the 1pt. 24-21 Renegades lead.

The Battlehawks make quick work to get to the 50, but fail to convert a third and 1. Fourth downs did not matter, as McCarron lofts it to Darrius Shepherd to convert the fourth and 2. The Battlehawks continue eating up yards, and falling victim to short yardage third downs. After the Battlehawks fail to convert, Becht opts for the field goal. Andre Szmyt nails the 47 yard field goal, which ties us up with 6 minutes to go 24-24.

Perez and the Renegades working down the field and churning clock, the Battlehawks biggest enemy here could be the clock, with only one timeout left. On a second and 8, the Renegades opt to run for 2 yards, forcing a third and 6. Perez couldn’t get the play in time, and had to burn a timeout to avoid the delay of game. Luis floats it to Tyler Vaughns who can’t bring it in after a perfect play by the DB. In a stunning turn of events, Renegades kicker Taylor Russolino misses the 46 yard attempt wide right. Battlehawks take over.

Ajene Harris commits a brutal pass interference penalty which gives the Battlehawks a fresh set of downs with 1:43 left. Immediately followed up by a 41 yard run by Mataeo Durant into Renegades territory. Battlehawks continue to chew clock, forcing Bob Stoops to use his final timeout on a critical third down.

Aj McCarron takes the knee, setting up Andre Szmyt for a walk-off field goal from 22 out, which he nails down the middle.

Standout Playmakers

WR & RB Marcell Ateman and Mataeo Durant stole the show today for the Battlehawks, as they combined for 218 yards with three touchdowns. Mataeo sealed this game on a 41 yard dash down the middle, and Marcell scored the first touchdown of the game on a 24 yard catch and run, he also scored their last touchdown.

Marcell finished with 4 receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

Mataeo finished with 14 rush attempts for 104 yards and 1 TD, averaging 7.4 yards per carry.

DE Pita Taumoepenu played absolutely lights out on the Battlehawks, it was hard to not see him, he was making plays all over. He racked up 5 tackles, 2 sacks, including 3 tackles for loss.

Arlington Renegades

Despite completing 72% of his passes for 233 yards and a TD, the Renegades and Luis Perez couldn’t pull out a win. Arlington was severely lacking in the running department today, averaging only 3.4 Y/C, causing Perez to shoulder the load.
Javonta Payton was the Renegades leading receiver, reeling in 5 receptions for 83 yards. Tyler Vaughns matched Paytons receptions for 58 yards on 7 targets.

Jalen Redmond was a bright spot on Arlingtons defense, bringing in 4 tackles, 2 sacks, along with 2 tackles for loss.

Final Thoughts

This game had everything that spring football is about. Seasoned NFL vets stepping up big time, and hidden gems shining as bright as the floodlights will allow. The Battlehawks now sit at .500, and Arlington is stuck searching for answers after two tough losses in a row. The Battlehawks now sit at #2 in their XFL division, and they look alot more like the team we have grown to love.

Did you enjoy watching this game between the Arlington Renegades and St. Louis Battlehawks? Which UFL players do you most want to meet? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!