With their XFL season on the line, the St. Louis Battlehawks stepped into The Dome for the last time, ready to give it all for the home crowd. Despite going 6-3 through nine weeks and having the privilege of facing the 1-8 Orlando Guardians in Week 10, the team’s playoff prospects faced a dicey situation.
Having been neck and neck in the XFL North for nearly the entire season, the Battlehawks and Seattle Sea Dragons collectively found themselves with a 6-3 record heading into Week 10. If both teams wound up winning, a tie breaker would be necessary to break the deadlock.
St. Louis understood the direness of the situation and procured not just a big win, but the most points scored in a game in XFL history.
Putting on just about as great of a performance as you could ask for, St. Louis’ fate now rests solely in the hands of Seattle as they face the Vegas Vipers this evening.
Things kicked off in a sketchy manner for the Battlehawks, with Orlando putting the first points on the board with a monstrous 27-yard touchdown pass from Deondre Francois to his former Fan Controlled Football teammate in Andrew Jamiel.
St. Louis would retaliate with points of their own, scoring a field goal to make it a 3-6 ballgame.
Securing a quick turnover on an interception by Francois, the Battlehawks offense put their foot on the gas and never let up. Driving down the field, St. Louis secured their first touchdown of the day on a run up the middle by Kareem Walker.
Orlando was determined to make St. Louis earn their playoff spot, however. After what appeared to be another three and out, just like they did against San Antonio in Week 9, the Guardians faked another punt deep inside their own territory.
The fake against San Antonio was devastating against the Brahmas, but this one just takes the cake.
Once again, A.J. McCarron and the Battlehawks offense responded by making quick work of the Guardians’ defense. Finding Hakeem Butler in the endzone, McCarron recorded the first of what would ultimately become his six touchdown passes of the day.
The ensuing 2-point conversion made the score 17-12. That score would last for mere seconds. Replacing Francois, Guardians QB Quinten Dormady would find K.D. Cannon deep downfield for a touchdown on his very first play. Converting on their 2-point attempt, the Guardians retook the lead, 17-20.
Still unfazed, McCarron marched downfield once more, finding Jake Sutherland who dove into the endzone for a Battlehawks touchdown.
Another amazing catch by Mitchell on the 2-point attempt would make the score 33-20.
Dormady found the full force of the Battlehawks’ defensive line bearing down on him, getting sacked on consecutive plays, forcing the Guardians to punt once more.
Just two plays later, McCarron would find Butler downfield who ran up down the sideline for a 66-yard touchdown. Hakeem Butler was borderline unstoppable against the Guardians, recording nine receptions for 164 yards and two touchdowns.
Assuming Seattle wins against Vegas, tying St. Louis with a 7-3 record, nothing short of chaos will ensue.
The first of the league’s eight tiebreaker rules brings the two teams’ head-to-head record into question. Seattle and St. Louis split the series 1-1, meaning we need to move down the list. Next comes both teams’ win/loss percentage in division games. If Seattle wins against Vegas in Week 10, both teams will possess a 3-3 record against divisional rivals, necessitating the third tiebreaker. The strength of victory in all games—wouldn’t you know it, also a tie.
We proceed to the fourth tiebreaker, the best combined ranking among division teams in points scored and points allowed in all games. If this is starting to sound complicated, it’s because it is.
Vegas could also wrap things up with a tidy little bow with a win against Seattle, saving officials and hardcore fans alike a headache and a half.
Hot Take 🔥 We could tweet out all the playoff scenarios for this weekend… or we could just go out and win big 🆚 the Vipers.
Out of their five home games, the St. Louis Battlehawks hosted the five most attended games in the 2023 season. That is an unbelievable turnout and quite the accomplishment; especially considering that at one point, not only was baseball running concurrently, but also hockey and soccer. St. Louis has not only proven that they’re a football city, but one of the greatest sports cities in America. Even if the Battlehawks are eliminated at the hands of the Sea Dragons tonight, it’s been one heck of a ride.
What are your thoughts on this game between the St. Louis Battlehawks and Orlando Guardians? Which XFL players impressed the most? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!