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Surprises galore in a way that any football fan would appreciate summarizes the XFL Week 7 action. It will be interesting to see the TV viewer numbers and how the games drew compared to the March Madness college basketball games featuring all the “cinderella stories” in the Final Four, after breaking 1 million views in the Sea Dragons and Guardians game on ABC in Week 6.
Friday Night: Seattle Sea Dragons vs. Arlington Renegades, 24-15
Quarterback Ben DiNucci and the Sea Dragons locked in for their fifth straight win to make their case for playoff-worthiness in the North Division. DiNucci was also the top rusher for Seattle as they tied for the most points scored against Arlington on the season (St. Louis, Week 4)
The Sea Dragons’ passing game was good for 266 yards on 21 completions in 32 attempts with a touchdown to former Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon and an interception. Both touchdowns came in the 2nd quarter where Seattle rattled off 18 points.
— XFL (@XFL2023) April 1, 2023
Arlington opted to start Drew Pitt under center with limited success. He threw for 19 completions on 29 passes with 213 yards and an interception. De’Veon Smith smashed in two touchdowns on the ground, running the ball 12 times for 61 yards.
The South division is still mathematically up for grabs with the Renegades loss.
Saturday 2:00 pm EDT: San Antonio Brahmas vs. Vegas Vipers, 12-26
The Vegas Vipers returned to snag their second win while the San Antonio Brahmas missed the chance to gain ground on the Renegades in the South division playoff picture.
— XFL (@XFL2023) April 1, 2023
The Brahmas’ offense continues to be anemic while the Vegas defense had some bright moments of success, including an interception by Deontay Anderson of Kurt Benkhert, who only threw 179 yards for San Antonio. The Brahmas ran for 30 total yards on 20 carries as a team.
Saturday 6:00 pm EDT: DC Defenders vs. Orlando Guardians, 36-37
The best prank to pull on a 6-0 team if you are Orlando? Have your 0-6 squad hand a franchise its first loss in its history during the XFL’s highest-scoring game in 2023.
Both offenses were prolific as indicated by 73 total points. Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu set a new season-high in passing yards with 285 as well as in completions rate, connecting on 21 of his 29 passes (72.4%) with three touchdowns. D’Eriq King also completed a fourth touchdown on his only pass of the night. Not to be denied, Abram Smith ran for 127 yards on 18 carries and a score.
— Orlando Guardians (@XFLGuardians) April 2, 2023
In his second start under center, the Guardians’ Quinten Dormandy threw for 328 yards as a season-high of his own, delivering 27 completions on 34 passes with three touchdowns, two of which were to players who weren’t on Orlando’s roster the week previous. Tight end Jordan Thomas snagged a 15-yarder for six while former DC Defender K.D. Cannon snagged a 41-yard rainbow to score.
Dormandy also contributed three quarterback sneaks for touchdowns, meaning he was involved with six total; more than any other player in the XFL this season. Tight end Cody Latimer caught what would be the winning touchdown as one of his seven completions for 49 yards. Latimer finished with 93 on seven catches.
The Defenders put themselves in position for a 63-yard field goal attempt to win, but it fell deep in the end zone short of its mark. Two more bright spots in the loss for DC were Chris Blair hauling in a franchise-record 81-yard touchdown while finishing with 139 yards on five receptions. Wide receiver Lucky Johnson also built on last week’s performance with a pair of touchdowns and 60 yards on four catches.
Sunday 2:00 pm EST St.Louis Battlehawks vs. Houston Roughnecks, 24-15
With Brandon Silver inactive, Cole McDonald played in his first start for the Houston Roughnecks, who have now lost their 3rd straight in what was a battle of 4-2 teams from different divisions.
Both teams gave away the ball on their opening drives, putting points at a premium early. After being down at the half 17-9, the Roughnecks closed the gap 17-15 on a 35-yard scoop and score by Will Likely, who recorded a second fumble return for points on the year.
D-SHEP SAID WARM UP THE BUS pic.twitter.com/mJm3LnOAzc
— St. Louis Battlehawks (@XFLBattlehawks) April 2, 2023
However, St.Louis responded to show the world that “Ka-Ka is the law” as quarterback A. J. McCarron found Darius Shepard to put the final nail in the coffin for his third passing touchdown of the contest. McCarron turned in 26 completions on 34 attempts with 242 attempts passing.
The Roughnecks ran for 136 yards on 25 carries, but it failed to lift production to overcome woes in the air attack. McDonald posted 15 completions on 32 passes with only 106 yards for a touchdown to Deontay Burnett, as well as an interception.
While the Sea Dragons and Battlehawks are still tied in the standings, Seattle will be facing the 7-1 DC Defenders while St. Louis will be battling the 2-5 Vegas Vipers as they finish the regular season from here on out with home games.