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Defenders Secure Home Field for North Division Championship with Thrilling Overtime Win Over Renegades

In a nail-biting overtime victory, the D.C. Defenders (8-1) defeated the Arlington Renegades (4-5) with a final score of 28-26 at Audi Field, where an impressive crowd of 18,684 spectators gathered, the largest attendance for a D.C. Defenders game in their eight home games dating back to the 2020 season.


Team1st quarter2nd quarter3rd quarter4th quarterOTTotal

The win guaranteed the Defenders home field advantage for the North Division Championship game, which is scheduled for Sunday, April 30 at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The game was a rollercoaster ride, with both teams showcasing their prowess on offense and defense. Renegades quarterback Luis Perez completed 31 of his 41 passes, throwing for 335 yards and one touchdown, while Defenders quarterbacks Jordan Ta’amu and D’Eriq King combined for 20 completions out of 29 attempts, racking up 264 yards and three touchdowns.

Both teams displayed their running game, with the Renegades accumulating 113 yards on 25 carries, led by De’Veon Smith with 43 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Defenders managed 50 yards on 20 carries, with Abram Smith as their top rusher, gaining 27 yards.

The Defenders’ receiving corps played a crucial role in their victory. Josh Hammond led the team with five receptions for 74 yards and one touchdown, while Brandon Smith, Chris Blair, and the rest of the team contributed with key catches that kept the momentum going.

On the defensive side of the ball, D.C.’s Francis Bernard had a standout performance, tallying 10 total tackles and half a sack. In the secondary, D.J. Swearinger made his presence felt with an interception returned for a 62-yard touchdown.

The Arlington Renegades put up a strong fight, with linebacker Darnell Sankey leading the team in tackles, making nine solo stops. Joe Powell and Colin Schooler each recorded an interception, with Powell returning his pick for an impressive 90 yards.

Both teams showed off their special teams’ skills, with Renegades kicker Taylor Russolino making two out of three field goal attempts, and the Defenders’ punt returners Jequez Ezzard and Pooka Williams Jr. contributing with significant yardage on their returns.

With their win, the D.C. Defenders have established themselves as the team to beat in the North Division. As they gear up for their championship game on their home turf, it will be interesting to see if they can continue their winning streak and make a strong push towards the XFL championship.

XFL Box Score


Player Position Pass. CMP Pass. ATT Pass. YDS Pass. TD Pass. INT Rush. ATT Rush. YDS Rush. TD Rec. Targets Rec. YDS Rec. Rec. TD
Kelly BryantQB0000012400000
Luis PerezQB31413351131500000
Deveon SmithRB00000124320000
Leddie BrownRB00000831086960
Nate BeckerTE0000000032220
Sal CannellaTE00000000109270
Shaun BeyerTE000000001010
Brandon ArconadoWR000000003-310
Caleb Vander EschWR0000000022821
JaVonta PaytonWR0000000022320
Lujuan WinninghamWR0000000022220
Rannell HallWR0000010031920
Tyler VaughnsWR0000000076360
Total 31413351125113241335311


Player Position Pass. CMP Pass. ATT Pass. YDS Pass. TD Pass. INT Rush. ATT Rush. YDS Rush. TD Rec. Targets Rec. YDS Rec. Rec. TD
D’Eriq KingQB6976113900000
Jordan Ta’amuQB14201882121401210
Abram SmithRB000001027032930
Pooka WilliamsRB000001-100000
Ryquell ArmsteadRB000004102819
Briley Moore-McKinneyTE0000000032630
Ethan WolfTE0000000021610
Brandon SmithWR0000000025720
Chris BlairWR0000000073220
Josh HammondWR0000000077451
Lucky JacksonWR0000000022022
Total 20292643220500292642012

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