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XFL 2023: Week 9 Offensive, Defensive, and Special Teams Players of the Week

With playoff spots still open, week nine of the XFL season saw some players rise to the occasion to will their teams to win or position them for a win.

Two more teams clinched division titles to host home games for the playoffs with the DC Defenders and the Houston Roughnecks securing their spots in the playoffs. It was the teams with the most to play for who saw their top players step up in the biggest games of the season. The weekend was filled with big plays and impactful moments that should lead to a photo finish for week ten.

XFL Week 9 Players of the Week

Offensive Player of the Week: Ben DiNucci, QB, Seattle Sea Dragons (21-31, 260 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, seven carries, 38 yards, one touchdown)

APRIL 16, 2023: The Seattle Sea Dragons against the St Louis Battlehawks at The Dome at Americas Center on April 16th, 2023 in St. Louis, MO. (© Dilip Vishwanat/XFL)

A lot of quarterbacks like Luis Perez and Jack Coan came up huge for their teams with willing their teams in their games. It was Ben DiNucci though who carried his Seattle Sea Dragons to a massive 30-12 road win over the St. Louis Battlehawks. DiNucci did it all by making great passes through the air and rushing for yards when he needed to.

He finished the game with 260 passing yards and two touchdowns while adding 41 yards on the ground and a punishing touchdown run. Granted, he had a rough interception in the fourth quarter that could have cost them the game, but another turnover by AJ McCarron set up the bruising touchdown run by DiNucci. Mistakes come with DiNucci, but his performance is the main reason the team is one win away from a playoff matchup against the DC Defenders.

Honorable Mentions

Luis Perez, QB, Arlington Renegades (31-41, 335 yards, one touchdown, one interception, three carries, 15 yards)

Jack Coan, QB, San Antonio Brahmas (25-31, 302 yards, one touchdown, two carries, six yards)

Jalan McClendon, QB, Vegas Vipers (27-37, 249 yards, two touchdowns, five carries, 41 yards)

Devin Darrington, RB, Orlando Guardians (16 carries, 133 yards, one touchdown, one catch, one yard)

Jahcour Pearson, WR, Seattle Sea Dragons (seven catches, 115 yards, one touchdown)

Defensive Player of the Week: Drew Beesley, DL, San Antonio Brahmas (four tackles, 1.5 sacks, one tackle for loss, one interception for a touchdown)

APRIL 15, 2023: The Orlando Guardians against the San Antonio Brahmas at the Alamodome on April 15th, 2023 in San Antonio, TX. (© Alonso Ramirez/XFL)

San Antonio Brahmas were in desperation mode against the Orlando Guardians as they are trying to steal a playoff spot away from the Arlington Renegades. While the defense finally got support from the offense, it was defensive lineman Drew Beesley who came up big for the Brahmas’ defense. He did it all from pressuring the quarterback to coming up with the biggest play of the San Antonio season.

Beesley finished with four tackles, one and a half sacks, one tackle for loss, and a key second-half interception. That interception was returned for a touchdown that sealed the win for San Antonio giving them a much-needed win. His presence on the defensive line was big for a team that needs help, but can still make the playoffs.

Honorable Mentions

Maurice Smith, DB, Vegas Vipers (eight tackles, two tackles for loss, one force fumble)

Terrance Smith, LB, Orlando Guardians (four tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, one forced fumble)

D.J. Swearinger, S, DC Defenders (eight tackles, one interception, one touchdown)

Bryce Thompson, DB, Seattle Sea Dragons (seven tackles, two tackles for loss, one interception)

Emmanuel Ellerbee, LB, Houston Roughnecks (12 tackles, 0.5 sacks, one tackle for loss)

Special Teams Player of the Week: Mac Brown, P, Orlando Guardians (four punts, 182 yards, 45.5 average, 69-yard pass completion)

Image via ESPN

Another punter is making a big impact in the passing game, but this time is with a team that doesn’t have much to play for. Punter Mac Brown has been consistent with booting the football as he has been one of the few bright spots in a Guardians team with just one win. His biggest play of the season came when it was a fake punt becoming a pass.

His 69-yard bomb to KD Cannon in the second quarter set the Guardians up with a touchdown run by Devin Darrington and gave Orlando a two-possession lead. Brown also had four punts that averaged over 45 yards per punt. If the Guardians don’t convert that fourth-down conversion, they might get blown out in San Antonio.

Honorable Mentions

Donny Hageman, K, St. Louis Battlehawks (2-2, 54 long)

Michael Carrizosa, P, Vegas Vipers (four punts, 188 yards, 47 avg)

Sterling Hofrichter, P, St. Louis Battlehawks (four punts, 187 yards, 46.8 avg)

Marquette King, P, Arlington Renegades (two punts, 106 yards, 53 avg)

Daniel Whelan, P, DC Defenders (two punts, 106 yards, 53 avg)

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Anthony Miller is a credential reporter and writer for XFL NewsHub. Anthony writes about the NFL, specifically the Philadelphia Eagles. Follow Anthony on Twitter @ByAnthonyMiller.

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