Defenders QB Jordan Ta’amuRussell Lansford/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Photos
The XFL common season is almost at its finish. and the postseason image is shaping up. Week 9 received underway on Saturday, with the Houston Roughnecks and San Antonio Brahmas choosing up wins over the Vegas Vipers and Orlando Guardians, respectively.
Houston received 28-21, whereas San Antonio claimed a 25-23 victory.
Defenders 28, Renegades 26
The motion continued on Sunday afternoon, and loads of playoff implications had been concerned. First up was a contest between the D.C. Defenders—who’ve already locked up a playoff spot—and the Arlington Renegades. At 4-4, Arlington was trying to punch its ticket t the postseason.
With a win, D.C. might clinch home-field benefit within the XFL North.
Arlington received on the board first however was pressured to accept a subject aim after being stopped on the aim line twice. D.C. responded with a fast landing drive capped by Jordan Ta’amu’s nine-yard strike to Jordan Hammond.
The Defenders’ two-point strive was no good, however D.C. nonetheless opened up a three-point lead and confirmed that its offense was firmly in playoff type.
Dee #sportsncoffee @DeeLovesSports
Jordan Ta’amu is on a roll already… 4/4 and a TD to Josh Hammond! @XFLDefenders on high of the @XFLRenegades 6-3
The Renegades mounted a promising drive after the landing, alternating quarterbacks Luis Perez and Kelly Bryant to nice impact. Nevertheless, Taylor Russolino missed on his second field-goal try of the afternoon, a 44-yard strive.
Arlington known as on Bryant as a runner throughout the drive as a result of standout working again De’Veon Smith was on the sideline with an ankle damage.
Jake Tribbey @JakeTribbey
Appears to be like like De’Veon Smith may be carried out for the day.
He is standing on the sideline with a coach shaking his head.
Smith did ultimately return to the sport.
D.C.’s three-point lead held into the second quarter. The Defenders added to it on their subsequent drive.
The collection was highlighted by a incredible over-the-shoulder sideline catch by Brandon Smith and a 14-yard landing strike from Ta’amu to Fortunate Jackson.
Dee #sportsncoffee @DeeLovesSports
I believe that may be a catch for Brandon Smith! #XFL @XFL2023 and it IS!! @XFLDefenders get a primary down!
For the second time, D.C.’s two-point strive was unsuccessful.
Arlington answered proper again with a landing drive that featured loads of receiver Caleb Vander Esch. The South Dakota product had a nine-yard run and a five-yard reception on the drive earlier than catching a 25-yard landing go from Perez.
Like D.C., the Renegades failed so as to add additional factors after the rating.
Whereas Arlington appeared to seize a bit momentum on its landing drive, the Defenders wasted little time in taking it again. D.C. went 77 yards with D’Eriq King at quarterback, ending the collection with one other landing and giving the ball again to Arlington with lower than a minute remaining within the half.
Jackson caught his second landing go of the afternoon, this one from King, and D.C.’s third two-point was profitable.
The Unhealthy Man Zaahir3000 @zaahir3000
#luckyjackson strikes once more again 2 again Touchdowns!!! Let’s go @XFLDefenders #DefendDC #shieldsup @XFL2023 #xfl pic.twitter.com/uUD8tGniW2
D.C. carried a commanding 20-9 lead into the intermission.
Renegades Roundup @Renegades_Pod
Perez appears good, Arlington leads time of possession, DC’s run sport appears unhealthy they usually’re getting penalized greater than common. In case you instructed me these issues pregame, I might say we’re profitable.
We’re not constructed to return from behind, and we’ve not pressured a turnover. Large 3Q right here. #XFL2023
The Defenders received the ball to open the third quarter however went three-and-out. Nevertheless, they received into the top zone as soon as once more on the following collection.
Arlington moved into D.C. territory, however Perez was picked off by defensive again D.J. Swearinger. The previous NFL standout—who final performed for the New Orleans Saints in 2020—was a brand new addition for the Defenders, having signed a contract on April 5.
On his first huge XFL play, Swearinger returned the interception 62 yards for the landing.
Marc Ryan @MarcRyanOnAir
Former Gamecock D.J. Swearinger with a decide 6 to the home.
You’ll be able to’t inform me he isn’t nonetheless NFL caliber. Even The Rock is impressed. pic.twitter.com/YayoqozQRl
Arlington appeared to have its personal pick-six on D.C.’s subsequent drive, however the return was negated by a low-blocking penalty. Security Joe Powell did not get credit score for the landing, however the Renegades did get the ball on the D.C. 31-yard line simply earlier than the top of the third quarter.
The Defenders held a 17-point lead at the beginning of the ultimate quarter, however Powell’s play gave Arlington a scoring alternative and a few life.
Arlington cashed in with a one-yard landing run from Smith, however with an unsuccessful two-point play, D.C. nonetheless held an 11-point benefit. The Defenders did a pleasant job of chewing up some clock on their ensuing drive, however King was picked off on Arlington’s facet of the sector, giving the Renegades an opportunity to trim their deficit.
The Renegades did simply that contained in the two-minute warning. A defensive penalty gave Arlington one other alternative after a failed 4th-and-goal try, and the Renegades received each the landing and the two-point conversion.
This arrange a 4th-and-15 alternative—which is the XFL’s different to an onside kick.
Perez discovered tight finish Sal Cannella on the final second to transform the 4th-and-15, establishing a probably thrilling end.
Sal Rico Jr. @XFLSalRicoJr
The Renegades on the verge of pulling a HUGE upset towards the DC Defenders! #XFL2023
Arlington could not convert a primary down however used its challenge-anything alternative on 4th right down to argue that there was defensive holding on the play. The problem was profitable, giving Arlington a contemporary set of downs and one closing alternative.
The Renegades moved into field-goal vary and tied it up with simply 5 seconds remaining. The sport then went into extra time, which within the XFL, is a collection of alternating two-point makes an attempt in a best-of-three shootout collection.
Regardless of placing collectively an epic comeback try, Arlington fell quick. D.C. was the one staff to seek out the top zone throughout the shootout and managed to flee with the victory and the highest seed within the XFL North.
Followers on social media appeared to actually take pleasure in each the motion on the sector and the vigorous D.C. residence crowd.
Tweets by Honcho @honcho_mills
The XFL is de facto entertaining. Arlington vs DC reside commentaries 😆
D.C. will wrap its season towards the Brahmas in a sport meaning nothing for D.C. The Renegades will likely be at residence towards the Roughnecks.
Sea Dragons 30, Battlehawks 12
Sunday’s finale between the St. Louis Battlehawks and Seattle Sea Dragons was simply as essential to the playoff race as the primary. The 6-2 Battlehawks held a one-game lead for the XFL North’s second playoff spot and the primary head-to-head tiebreaker.
Seattle desperately wanted a win to maintain its playoff hopes alive. The Sea Dragons received off to an amazing begin, mounting a 74-yard drive that was capped by a T.J. Hammonds landing run and a Phillip Lindsay two-point conversion carry
Seattle Sea Dragons @XFLSeaDragons
THAT’S HOW DRAGONS START THE GAME 🐉
19 T.J. Hammonds rush for 9 yards#XFL2023 | #BreatheFire pic.twitter.com/0bGsZmGpAe
St. Louis responded with a 45-yard subject aim from Donald Hageman.
The Sea Dragons appeared to have a second landing on their subsequent drive, however a scoring strike from Ben DiNucci was erased by a private foul penalty. As a substitute of a rating and at the very least an 11-point lead, Seattle was pressured to punt.
Seattle’s struggles continued on St. Louis’ subsequent drive, because the Sea Dragons’ protection was repeatedly gashed by huge performs. The Battlehawks completed their drive with a 42-yard landing go from AJ McCarron to Darrius Shepherd.
Jake Haener fifth general or riot @wrongopinionman
Sea Dragons permit two big busted performs on a 91 yard drive, together with the scoring catch.
James Larsen @JamesLarsenPFN
Your favourite @XFLBattlehawks duo is again! AJ McCarron finds a large open Darrius Shepherd alongside the sidelines, who stretches for the rating.@10AJMcCarron & @DShep03 have been unstoppable within the @XFL2023 this season. #XFLpic.twitter.com/kXkjrIugvo
St. Louis’ two-point strive was unsuccessful, leaving the Battlehawks with a mere one-point lead.
Seattle discovered the top zone for the second time with simply over three minutes remaining following a gutsy 4th-down name. The Sea Dragons went for it on 4th-and-1, and DiNucci discovered former NFL star Josh Gordon for a 42-yard completion. DiNucci then discovered Jordan Veasy for a two-yard landing go on the next play.
Seattle didn’t convert the two-point try, however the rating put the Sea Dragons again on high.
The Sea Dragons received one other huge play earlier than the intermission, choosing off McCarron and returning it close to midfield. Seattle could not put factors on the board earlier than halftime, nevertheless it did carry its 14-9 lead into the break.
Jason M @sanjaromin
That was nifty #SeaDragons
14-9 Sea forward of the #BattleHawks on the half#BreathFire
St. Louis received the ball first after halftime, nevertheless it went three-and-out. Seattle was rather more profitable on its first drive of the second half.
On Third-and-15, DiNucci discovered Jahcour Pearson for a shocking 68-yard landing strike. The 2-point strive was no good, however the Sea Dragons opened up a two-score lead.
Motion Community NFL @ActionNetNFL
How did Jahcour Pearson rating on this? 🤯 pic.twitter.com/9DWQ2eAvlH
The groups traded punts after Seattle’s third-quarter rating earlier than St. Louis managed to get again on the board. The Battlehawks managed to chop the deficit to eight factors after a 54-yard subject aim by Hageman.
Nevertheless, Seattle had the ball and was driving to open the ultimate interval. The Sea Dragons appeared to have a subject aim, however a false-start penalty pressured Dominik Eberle to aim a second kick, and he was unsuccessful from 52 yards.
The X Fan Present @XFanShow
Battlehawks catch one more break. False begin penalty results in Eberle’s missed FG from 52 yards. #XFL
St. Louis moved previous the 50 on its ensuing drive, however Marcell Ateman was tackled only a bit quick on a 4th-and-5 try, which gave the ball again to Seattle. Extremely, the Sea Dragons and Battlehawks then exchanged interceptions on back-to-back performs.
DiNucci was picked off by Lukas Denis, who returned it to the St. Louis 10-yard line. McCarron was picked by Bryce Thompson on the Battlehawks’ 17-yard line.
Three performs later, DiNucci scrambled eight yards for what proved to be a game-sealing rating.
Spring Soccer Information 🏈 🇲🇫 @SpringFBnews
Ben “TANK” DiNucci TOUCHDOWN !!!! @B_DiNucci6 #XFL #XFL2023 #footus pic.twitter.com/w6k4ZD77PK
Lindsay tacked on a one-point run, giving Seattle a 27-12 lead with solely 4 minutes remaining. That proved to be an excessive amount of for the Battlehawks to beat. Seattle received the ball again and did sufficient to expire the clock.
Whereas Sunday’s second sport did not characteristic a end fairly as thrilling as the primary, followers loved each the sport and the Sea Dragons’ victory.
Sir Jabari Rice Tremendous Fan @SirJabari4Life
Could not consider a greater Birthday Reward then my Seattle Sea Dragons profitable at the moment. #BreatheFire
Love the turnout on the @XFLBattlehawks residence sport towards @XFLSeaDragons
Tremendous good for spring soccer and the #XFL
St. Louis will end the common season at residence towards the lowly Guardians, whereas the Sea Dragons will host the Vipers.
Week 10 is slated to start on Saturday afternoon with the Guardians-Battlehawks matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+.