Orlando received the kick to start out the game, ending up near the thirty with Paxton Lynch coming in to serve as QB. The matchup started with a nice connection to Lance Lenoir, moving the chains right off the bat.
Paxton Lynch looked pretty good during the Guardians opening drive, even running it under pressure for a first down to bring them near mid-field.
A solid connection to Charleston Rambo brought Orlando to first and goal, with a chance to score early.
With the team at the goal line, Coach Buckley decided to bring in Quinton Flowers. It looked as if they were going to be forced to settle for three, but a timely flag brought the Guardians right to the goal line. On the next play Quinton Flowers snuck it in himself to grab the early lead.
Coach Buckley opted for a one-point conversion, and unltimately secured the points. The Guardians used a lot of time on this drive, and now hold a 7-0 lead over the Vegas Vipers.
Luis Perez would come it at QB to start things out for the Vegas Vipers. Unfortunately, he couldn’t seem to find his rhythm going three and out. The Guardians now had a chance to add to their early lead.
A solid punt from vegas pinned the Guardians way back. On third down the Vipers defense came up big , sacking Paxton Lynch at the goal line forcing a punt on 4th down.
Due to the deep punt, the Vegas Vipers were easily able to return it beyond mid-field.
Luis Perez was back in, and looking a lot more comfortable. He ultimately bombed it down the field to Jeff Badet to put the Vipers on the board. Perez also found his man on the 2-point conversation to give Vegas an 8-7 lead over the Orlando Guardians.
With a little over 3-minutes remaining in the first, Paxton Lynch faced a lot of heat. They would wrap things up at 3rd and 13.
They quickly moved the first down marker, but that was trhe end of their good luck.
An early offsides saved Lynch. Had it not been for the penalty, he would have thrown a pick. Orlando was presented with 4th and inches, and Coach Buckley decided to go for it. Another penalty pushed them back 5. They still decided to go for it, but Lynch couldn’t secure enough yards to move the chains.
Vegas was now back in control of the ball, and they wanted to keep their momentum. John Lovett came up with a big run to move them past them past the 50.
Perez continued with his target, and it worked in his favor. John Lovett secured the pass, dodged a few defenders and brought the Vipers to first and goal at the 3.
On the very next play Perez found Sean Price open for another Vegas Tocuhdown.
The Guardians would get the ball back with a little over 4-minutes remaining in the half. This time around Quienten Dormandy would come in at QB. This is after an investigation, where he was ultimately reinstated to the team.
The Vipers came in looking to grab some more points before the half. They tried to manage the clock, but ultimately had to head to the locker room. Bailey Giffen tried his best, but went just a bit wide on the 56-yard field goal attempt.
NO GOOD: Bailey Giffen just wide on the 56-yard attempt
The Vegas Vipers would start the second half receiving the kickoff. It looked like the Vipers would be forced to punt, they drew a pass interference call. This effectly moved the chains and the team past the 50.
Perez continued moving the ball down the field. Rod Smith came up big and brought them to the goal line. They decided to go to the well once more, this time with Smith securing the touchdown.
TOUCHDOWN: Luis Perez hands it off to Rod Smith to add to the @XFLVipers lead
After a failed two point conversion the Orlando Guardians now only trailed by five.
The Vegas Vipers were still in the lead, but there was a lot of time left in the matchup.
Luis Perez came in with a mission, add more points. John Lovett continued to shine for Vegas, comign up big on a few occasions. On 3rd and goal a substitution penalty pushed them back to the 9-yard line. Perez connected with Plumber, and a penalty on the defence gave them a first down.
Perez did not want to waste this opportunity with a fresh set of downs.
Luis Perez started out the final quarter with another touchdown. He once again handed it off the Rod Smith for his second score of the night.
Vegas fumbled on the 1-point conversion, but now held a 10-point lead over the Orlando Guardians.
Domandy still had his work cut out for him. Although the XFL allows for more point options after a touchdown, they were still behind by two scores.
Quinten Domandy found Latimer for a huge reception, putting them in scoring position at the 11. On the next play Dormandy got it to Devin Darrington for another score. Darrington came up big again, securing the extra-point as well.
Orlando still had a chance, but time was running out. The Vipers defense was smelling blood. They came out strong and pushed the Guardians way back. It was too much for Orlando to overcome, punting it away to end the drive.
Vegas came on the field looking to close things out. Orlando also was looking to do the same. The Guardians defense forced a 4th down at the 2-minute warning. They essentially had one last chance to take the lead.
Domandy was back in, hoping to be the one to get the team on the winning side. He bobmed it down the field to Cody Latimer to make it a three-point game.
TOUCHDOWN: Quinton Dormandy bombs it down the field to Cody Latimer for a 45-yard TD.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t secure the extra-points. They tried the 4th & 15 attempt over a punt, but the Vegas defense came up big.
Orlando had two timeouts left, and were hoping to squeeze out a win if they could manage the clock correctly.
The Vipers were able to get into scoring position, ending the drive with Bailey Giffen secureing three-more. The attempt was good, but a penalty gave Vegas a 4th and short. They couldn’t move the chains, giving Orlando 44-seconds to tie it up or taker the lead.
The Vipers defense wasn’t having it. They pushed Orlando to the goal line, limiting their options. The Orlando Guardians followed it up with two false starts, which ran out the clock.
At the end of the day, the Vegas Vipers secured their first win. But, going forward I’d keep an eye out for the Orlando Guardians. With Quinton Dormandy now in the mix, it looks like they could have some better luck in the second half of the season.
What are your takeaways from the matchup between the Orlando Guardians and Vegas Vipers? Which XFL players impressed you the most tonight? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!