While it wasn’t the prettiest win of the season, the Arlington Renegades’ defense came up big with five turnovers in their 18-16 win over the Orlando Guardians.
Orlando never took the lead in the game as they were able to tie it before halftime, but Arlington was able to stay in front. Thanks to the performance of Luis Perez on offense for keeping them steady with 190 yards passing with no touchdowns or interceptions. Leddie Brown and De’Veon Smith combined for 91 yards rushing on 21 carries. LuJuan Winningham and Tyler Vaughns each had over 50 yards receiving with Sal Cannella being shut out of a catch for the first time this season.
The defense was spectacular, forcing five turnovers, four sacks, and ten tackles for loss. They made life miserable for Guardians quarterback Quinten Dormady who had three fumbles and two interceptions. Despite losing Will Hill who was ejected after two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties back-to-back and Donald Payne missing the second half with an ankle injury, the depth of the defense showcased multiple players stepping up.
Arlington moved to 4-4 on the season as they have a two-game lead for second place in the south division ahead of San Antonio. Despite the win, Houston’s 17-15 win over the Brahmas has the Roughnecks holding a one-game lead on the Renegades for first in the south division.
Observations from the 18-16 Win for the Arlington Renegades
Defense Carries Arlington to Another Win
The Orlando Guardians had over 300 yards of offense, 24 first downs, and converted over 54% of their third downs. Their offense was able to move the ball better than Arlington’s offense could. One difference between them is the turnovers. Guardians had five of the game’s eight turnovers that cost them the game. Pressuring Dormady and forcing bad passes and mistakes was key in the game.
“Defensively we came up with the big turnovers, one touchdown, and four other turnovers. Good pressure on the quarterback. Had some strip sacks as well so all of it together really strong defensive game.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
Multiple individual players stood out on the defensive side of the ball. NFL Draft eligible linebacker Willie Taylor continued his strong season as he had a sack, interception, and a fumble as he makes his point clear to be drafted in a few weeks. While De’Vante Bausby didn’t have the stats, he did a great job shutting down the receivers and had the key fumble recovery for a touchdown in the first quarter.
One other standout was veteran defensive lineman Will Clarke. He had by far his best performance of the season recording two sacks, three tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. Clarke spoke about how stopping the run was the number one priority for the team.
“We always go in saying stop the run first. We knew once we can stop the run and limit them there, we can go out, put our ears back, and go get them.”Arlington Renegades Defensive Lineman Will Clarke
Luis Perez Manages the Victory
Luis Perez had a week and a half to learn the offense and run it on the field for Arlington. Despite those circumstances, it’s clear to say this was a successful start to his Renegades’ career. Perez would go 16 of 25 for 190 yards. The biggest stat line is that he had zero turnovers in the game which is a massive plus. With the short time learning the offense, Renegades head coach Bob Stoops was impressed with his performance.
“With a week and a half with Luis Perez, I thought he did an awesome job taking care of the football. Getting us in and out of the right plays. Really a good job.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
Even Perez is starting to get more comfortable in the offense in such a short time.
“You know learning a new system takes time. I feel like we’ve done a good job offensively and keeping the game flowing. I thought I did a pretty good job managing where the plays were given.”Arlington Renegades Quarterback Luis Perez
Perez gave a shoutout to the offensive line and they deserve a lot of credit as they get overlooked for the offensive struggles. Mike Horton has continued to be the best run-blocking offensive lineman in the XFL. Brian Folkerts stepped in for Cameron Hunt at the center and performed well. Perez was only sacked once, and the team averaged 3.8 yards per carry running the ball. It’s worth noting how well this offensive line group did on Saturday.
Penalties Almost a Killer for Arlington
One of the most disappointing parts of the game was the number of penalties the team had. Specifically, the personal foul penalties that the team accumulated. The Renegades had 13 penalties for 157 yards with almost half of them being personal foul penalties. Arlington had 111 of those penalty yards come in the second half. Safety Will Hill had back-to-back unsportsmanlike conduct penalties that got him ejected from the game. Coach Stoops knows this must be fixed moving forward.
“Some of it was senseless. You know it’s not smart ball by them or us. You gotta clean that stuff up. That’s not good football having all those penalties.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
The team needs to ensure that those penalties don’t keep occurring, especially with the playoffs on the line these last two games. A lot of them were Renegades players taunting the Guardians which is unnecessary. This should be addressed this week and fixed for the remainder of the season.
Renegades Team Stats
Renegades Offensive Stats
Renegades Defensive Stats
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