While these two organizations have had different levels of success this season, both feature quite a bit of talent. Quite simply, the Battlehawks have been able to close out the majority of their games, while Vegas hasn’t.
It was bound to be an entertaining matchup, but it didn’t exactly turn out that way. Let’s take a look at what happened, as this XFL game got a bit out of hand.
St. Louis received the opening kickoff, but didn’t go anywhere. A holding penalty negated a first down, and they had to punt after a three and out. Vegas didn’t go anywhere on their first drive either, so the ball was sent back to the Battlehawks.
The Vipers defense came out striking early. St. Louis has had a history of getting off to slow starts, and Vegas took advantage of that. They forced another punt, making life tough on AJ McCarron. However, Luis Perez didn’t have much success either, as the Battlehawks made sure to pressure him often and early.
This time around, St. Louis finally found their groove. McCarron made plays through the air and on the ground, putting them in the Vipers red zone. On 4th and 2, Anthony Becht took a gamble and went for it, which paid off.
DeAndre Torrey made a couple of nice plays for the Vipers, but it wasn’t enough to result in a score. Vegas had to punt again, as the momentum was shifting in St. Louis’ favor.
The Battlehawks marched all the way down the field, after starting a drive on their own two yard line. Austin Proehl made an incredible catch on the sidelines, putting the team in scoring position. Donny Hageman knocked through a 40 yard field goal, and it was an 11-0 ball game.
Vegas really struggled, especially when it came to protecting Perez. St. Louis feasted up front, forcing Luis into uncomfortable situations on every drive. A big sack on 3rd down forced Vegas to have to punt again.
AJ McCarron & Co. continued to pour it on. They swiftly pushed the ball deep into Vegas territory, making it look easy against a Vipers defense that couldn’t buy a stop. McCarron dropped a dime to Darrius Shepherd, who waltzed into the end zone to make it a 17-0 game.
Heading into halftime, St. Louis was in control, with a 17 point lead.
It wasn’t an ideal start to the second half for the Vipers. Luis Perez and Jeff Badet were not on the same page on a route, which led to an interception. Lavert Hill came up with it for St. Louis, and the Battlehawks took over.
The drive opened up nicely for St. Louis, with McCarron finding George Campbell on a deep ball.
AJ McCarron wasn’t done just yet. McCarron, alongside Brian Hill, helped move the ball down the field pretty smoothly. AJ then scrambled out of the pocket, and made an outstanding throw to Darrius Shepherd to put St. Louis in front 29-6.
AJ McCarron and Darrius Shepherd might be the best duo in the @XFL2023.
One final breath of air for Vegas was quickly stifled. Hundley was sacked by Carson Weltz on fourth down, and that just about ended things.
The St. Louis Battlehawks dominated from start to finish, taking down the Vegas Vipers 29-6. With this win, the Battlehawks reclaimed the second seed in the XFL North, with a 4-2 record.
This was a great way for the St. Louis Battlehawks to get back on track. After dropping a game to DC last week, they needed to make a statement. This certainly was one, as St. Louis completely dominated the Vipers on their home turf.
AJ McCarron was sensational, dropping dimes and completing passes at a very high percentage today. Vegas’ secondary is quite weak compared to other XFL units, so Becht made sure to take advantage of just that.
Rod Woodson’s Vegas Vipers are a mess. They only won last week because they played the Guardians. Luis Perez mightily struggled today, but didn’t have much help from anyone. Overall, sloppy play haunted Vegas once again this weekend. At this point, their season is likely over.
What are your thoughts on this game between the St. Louis Battlehawks and Vegas Vipers? Which XFL players impressed you the most? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!