Earlier today The New York Guardians put a beat down on the Tampa Bay Vipers, winning the game 23-3. But, the action was not over by any means. The second game of the afternoon had the St. Louis BattleHawks heading to Dallas to battle the Renegades.
Dallas started the game with the ball, utilizing Phillip Nelson at quarterback due Landry Jones injury. Coach Stoops is hoping to let him heal his knee another week, Jones’s stated in an interview with Pat McAfee that he hopes to play next week when The Renegades travel to Los Angeles.
The BattleHawks defense came out strong forcing a punt from the Renegades. Dallas pinned the BattleHawks under the 5-yard line after the kickoff, giving St. Louis a long field in front of them if they wanted to score.
Ta’amu had a few promising passes, but ultimately couldn’t any points on the drive. Punting it away, putting Dallas back in the drivers seat.
The first started out slow, but did see a lot of greatness out of BattleHawks QB, Jordan Ta’amu. He was solid throwing and running the ball — but just was unable to get enough momentum to get the ball into scoring position. Similar to the teams preseason match-up both teams were scoreless going into the second quarter.
Phillip Nelson came into the second strong, converting on a 4th down to keep the drive going. Unfortunately, for Nelson they couldn’t get the touchdown, settling for 3 with a successful 32-yard field goal from Austin MacGinnis.
With less than 2-minutes left in the half St. Louis had possession of the ball. They drove the ball down the field convincingly, getting the touchdown with a handoff from Ta’amu to Keith Ford. Coach Hayes opted for the 2-point conversion, but Ta’amu was unable to secure the points. Regardless, the BattleHawks had secured the first touchdown of the game, putting them up 6-3.
Going into the second half, neither teams was able to fully take control of the game. Both teams were hoping to change that.
The BattleHawks received the kickoff to start the half. Unable to produce on the drive St. Louis was dealt a huge blow. TE Cole Hunt was injured, receiving medical attention on the sideline for what seemed to be a leg injury.
With Dallas now back in the Drivers seat, Phillip Nelson was able to drive the ball down the field in convincing fashion.
At 3rd and goal, Nelson attempted to run it in for the touchdown; but was unsuccessful. MacGinnis once again came out for his third attempt, once again successful this time with a 22-yard attempt. The Renegades now in the lead 9-6 over St. Louis.
Starting out the 4th quarter Ta’amu showed his versatility, rushing 37 yards for the 1st down at the 9-yard line. Ta’amu then hit the second touchdown of the game connecting with Alonzo Russel getting the score. St. Louis was unsuccessful in their 1-point conversion, but they were once again in the lead 12-9.
With the Renegades back in possession, Nelson attempted his first couple deep passes but was unsuccessful on each attempt. The team ended up punting back to the BattleHawks. Ta’amu was moving the ball down the field, only to get sacked deep putting the team at 4th and 22. Fortunately for the BattleHawks, Taylor Russolino was able to successfully complete the 48-yard field goal; extending the lead to 15-9.
The Renegades were unable to produce on the drive, giving the BattleHawks the opportunity to run run the clock down. St. Louis ran into some headset issues, with Chuck Long having to relay his calls to Coach Hayes to alert the team.
With 44 seconds left in the game, Dallas had one last shot to win. Unfortunately for them, they muffed the punt still gaining control but bringing the clock to 33 seconds with no gain on the return. With limited time and limited options they threw it away for an interception from Will Hill ending the game.
St. Louis celebrated the victory by shotgunning seltzers in the locker room.
The St. Louis BattleHawks won their first XFL game and celebrated by shotgunning seltzers. The XFL rocks. pic.twitter.com/TfIy9tslWq
With the win, St. Louis becomes the first team to win on the road in the XFL. This also leaves the Houston Roughnecks as the only team in the west to be undefeated. We’re still early in the season, so it’s hard to say how things will shake out in the end. Considering Landry Jones is expected to start for Dallas next week, the team is hoping to rebound from this week 1 loss.
Next week, both teams are on the road. Dallas travels to Los Angeles and St. Louis is headed south to Houston.
Let us know what you though of the XFL’s first week of action down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord.