The second game of the day was arguably the most anticipated match-up of the weekend. It also marked the first appearance for the XFL on FS1. Both the Houston Roughnecks and St. Louis BattleHawks were undefeated going into this game, Houston being the sole team in the West last week to secure the win.
St. Louis was looking to go into their first home game at The Dome 2-0, but Houston also wanted to wrap up their first two home games going on the road next week undefeated. Regardless, somebody had to lose as there are no ties in the XFL.
Coach Junes Jones and the Roughnecks opted to receive the ball to start out the game. Similar to last week, the team marched the ball right down the field with PJ Walker at the helm. In fact, had it not been for a push-off penalty the team would have secure a quick touchdown. Unfortunately for them, it was reversed and the team settled on a field goal attempt. Sergio Castillo, showing his worth drilled the 44-yard field goal, putting his team up 3-0 early.
The BattleHawks being the only team to win on the road last week wanted to keep that record. Ta’Amu moved the ball convincingly, ultimately passing short to Matt Jones who did the rest of the leg work to put six on the board for St. Louis. Coach Hayes tried for a 2-point conversion but the team could not produce. Regardless, they now held the lead at 6-3.
Houston, wasting now time, came back onto the field with a vengeance. Between some beautiful passes from Walker and some solid runs by Andre Williams they were able to get into the red-zone. PJ, doing what he does best, threw a short pass to Cam Phillips to put them back on top. They couldn’t convert on the 2-point attempt, but the score was now 9-6 with 3:21 left in the first.
The game took a slower pace for the first half of the second quarter with both teams trading possession. It wasn’t until 9:57 when the Roughnecks once moved the ball to the goal line. This resulted in a 1-yard touchdown from James Butler. Still unable to produce any extra points the Roughnecks extended their lead to 15-6.
Both teams continued trading the ball back and fourth, but with under two minutes left in the half The Roughnecks wanted to show their dominance. Cam Phillips secured his second touchdown of the game from a short pass, giving them the 21-6 lead going into the second half.
A slow third quarter saw both teams attempting to move the ball, mainly with Houston trying to run the clock out. Ta’Amu, knowing time was running out, went into business for himself. Getting the ball into position and Pierson-El for a 1-yard touchdown getting them a little closer at 21-12.
Houston couldn’t produce on their drive, putting the BattleHawks back in the drivers seats. Ta’amu used this to his advantage moving the ball right back to the goal line. This time, he took the glory for himself running it in for the extra six. Still, the team could not convert the extra point, but it was now a 3-point game at 21-18 with 1:24 left until the fourth quarter.
Similar to the third quarter, it took about halfway through the fourth before we saw any meaningful action. Houston, defending their home turf wanted to close this one out. PJ Walker seemed have found a good rhythm and was once again able to connect with Cam Phillips for his third touchdown of the night. This time, The Roughnecks were able to secure the extra point via a run from PJ Walker. With 9:32 left in the game, Houston had forced a two score game with a 10-point lead; 28-18.
There was still plenty of time for St. Louis to get back into the game. But, the BattleHawks couldn’t respond until their was less than 2-minutes left. Ta’amu did bring it close, sending it to L’Damian Washington, who rushed it 36 yards to for the touchdown. Down by four, Coach Hayes opted for the 1-point conversion, hoping to get the ball back and possibly tie with a field goal. The BattleHawks couldn’t produce, staying down by four 28-24.
The Roughnecks now had control of the ball, and did a fantastic job moving the ball enough to run the rest of the clock. Houston goes up 2-0, still in control of the West. St. Louis takes their first loss of the season, but hopes to rebound when they play their first home game at The Dome against the New York Guardians who were humiliated yesterday against the Defenders.
What did you think of all the week 2 action? Which was your favorite game of the weekend? Let us know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.