An unprecedented weekend in Spring football history culminated in two leagues playing simultaneously in an avalanche of games. As the XFL regular nears its end, the USFL kicked off its second season to give viewers a bevy of football to digest.
The XFL aspired to finish a season much like their USFL counterparts and are nearing the end of that accomplishment as playoff match ups are close to being setup. The DC Defenders and Houston Roughnecks are still the only teams to clinch playoff spots, giving week 10 a significant amount of consequences for the remaining two spots.
Seattle Silences, Then Slays
Heading into a hostile environment of the Battledome and 33,000+ screaming Battlehawks faithful, the Sea Dragons sucked the air out of their opponent, and the crowd. 298 total yards from quarterback Ben Dinucci, including a spectacular catch and run by wideout Jahcour Pearson stunned St. Louis to vault Seattle into a pathway to the playoffs.
Seattle’s offense never let up in a statement win that allowed them to avoid elimination. Even with AJ McCarron returning to the lineup for the Battlehawks, Seattle’s defense harassed him all day with four sacks and two interceptions. Despite a 0-2 start, Seattle has won six of seven games to put them virtually in the driver’s seat to sneak into the playoffs.
Arlington Pulls Off the Improbable, Almost
A 26-9 lead in the 4th quarter appeared to be the death sentence for the Arlington Renegades, but thanks to the XFL’s rules, a second breath of life is always possible. After scoring on back-to-back touchdown drives and a 2-point conversion, Arlington converted a 4th-and-15 to keep their hopes alive. Those aspirations appeared to die again when Luis Perez’s pass fell incomplete on 4th down with less than a minute left, but then the Arlington coaching staff challenged a potential holding call on Santos Ramirez.
The call was overturned which led to a game-tying field goal by Taylor Russolino. An overtime period gave the Renegades an opportunity to complete an improbable comeback thanks in large part to one of the smartest challenges of the season, but an 0-for-3 conversion success rate sunk them in DC, who still has yet to lose at home dating back to 2020.
Houston Survives, Again
The Roughnecks’ offense was continuing to sputter in the first half against the Vipers, but much like it did in San Antonio, the defense saved the day. With QB Brandon Silvers once again struggling, the defense notched two scores of their own to save the day. Despite their propensity for throwing, the Roughnecks at last relied on their running game to seal the deal with 132 yards on the ground. Houston limped their way to a home playoff game, but made it across the finish line nevertheless.
Mac Brown Has a Cannon
No, we’re not talking about North Carolina University head coach Mack Brown, we’re talking about the Orlando Guardians’ punter. During an inconsequential match for the Guardians, the coaching staff dialed up a fake-punt attempt where Mac Brown tossed a 69-yard bomb to K.D. Cannon. Brown’s cannon arm made the toss possible and is one of the longest tosses by a punter in recent memory. While a 25-23 loss at the hand of the Brahmas did not properly reward this bold play, it still remains as a major highlight on the season.
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