Heading into this matchup, both teams were playing excellent football. St. Louis held a 6-2 record, only losing two games to the DC Defenders. With a win against Seattle, they would clinch the final XFL playoff berth. They also saw the return of QB AJ McCarron, which was a welcomed sight to Anthony Becht’s offense.
On the other hand, the Sea Dragons could not afford to drop this one. A win puts them in a position to clinch in week ten, but a loss would eradicate any postseason aspirations at all. Jim Haslett would need to coach a near perfect game in order to overcome the Battlehawks at The Dome.
Let’s take a look at what happened, as it was quite the showdown this afternoon.
It was an excellent start to the game for the Seattle Sea Dragons. After receiving possession of the football, Ben DiNucci marched the team down the field smoothly. Then, TJ Hammonds ran it in for the score, and a successful two point conversion made it an 8-0 ball game.
St. Louis quickly found a rhythm with McCarron back at the helm. A couple of excellent catches by Marcell Ateman and Darrius Shepherd set them up in scoring position. The Battlehawks settled for a field goal, and trailed 8-3.
Seattle had the ball, and continued to march. Phillip Lindsay was making an impact, being a new addition to the team just a couple of weeks ago.
With one quarter in the books, the Sea Dragons led 8-3.
Seattle appeared to have scored a touchdown, but it was called back due to a penalty. They punted, and St. Louis took advantage. First, McCarron found Marcell Ateman who made a fantastic grab to move the chains.
St. Louis was unable to find their footing on the next drive. Seattle took over, and made something happen. On 4th and 1, DiNucci connected on a deep ball with Josh Gordon, who made a fantastic adjustment.
Big-time catch by Josh Gordon for the @XFLSeaDragons on 4th and 1. Nice work by DiNucci putting the ball where it needed to be, and @JOSH_GORDONXII does the rest.
With fifteen minutes left, Seattle was up 20-12 – and was marching down the field.
Seattle shot themselves in the foot on the drive. They got into field goal range, and Dominik Eberle hit a 47 yard attempt. However, a penalty negated the kick – and Eberle missed on the next try, leaving Seattle empty handed.
The Sea Dragons defense stood strong. McCarron got the Battlehawks to mid-field, but could not convert on the fourth down attempt, as Tuzar Skipper made a huge tackle to stop the drive.
Ben DiNucci had avoided commiting a turnover all game long. That ended here. He threw a deep ball that was just overthrown, and Lucas Dennis made him pay. With several minutes left, St. Louis still had a chance.
With a successful PAT, Seattle took a 27-12 lead. St. Louis had one more crack at it, but had no gas left in the tank. The Seattle Sea Dragons took down the St. Louis Battlehawks with an eighteen point victory at The Dome, 30-12.
Without a doubt, this was a major XFL win for the Seattle Sea Dragons. They kept their XFL playoff hopes alive, absolutely dismantling the Battlehawks in their home stadium.
Ben DiNucci was phenomenal today. He put the team on his back, utilizing his arm and legs throughout the affair. That final touchdown run was something else, as it essentially put the game on ice. At 6-3, Jim Haslett’s team is now in a position to clinch in week ten.
Anthony Becht and the St. Louis Battlehawks will have to regroup. This wasn’t a pretty outing for his squad, as they were sloppy across the board. AJ McCarron never found a rhythm today, and the offensive line really struggled to block for him. Moving forward, adjustments have to be made on that end of the ball.
What are your thoughts on this game between the Seattle Sea Dragons and St. Louis Battlehawks? Which XFL players impressed you the most? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!