Yesterday the XFL held it’s first two preseason games seeing the Dragons take on the Defenders and the BattleHawks battle the Renegades. All of the preseason games are a preview of the first week and being used as a dry run for the league and the broadcast partners. The ESPN crew was up yesterday, leaving FOX to close things out with the last two games.
Shortly before the scrimmage kicked off both franchises shared some clips of their teams warming up. The weather was a little brisk in H-Town, but nothing compared to what Guardians fans will be sitting through in a few short weeks.
The game officially kicked off at 10am, with the Roughnecks opting to kick. In the XFL, there are no coin flips. The home team decides prior to the game if they will kick or receive the ball to start the game. Alternatively, if the game goes into overtime the away team chooses who goes first in the shootout.
The Wildcats didn’t want to fall too far behind and their game play showed as much. The team marched back down the field with WR Tre McBride making an impressive reception to put his team up by three. Coach Moss opted to attempt a two point conversion, which ultimately was successful putting his team ahead 8-3.
Coach June Jones would not take this lead change sitting down. He commanded his team back down the field successfully taking control of the game back with a touchdown of their own. PJ Walker tossed one to Sam Mobley who ran an extra 30 yards to get the score.
As expected, Coach Jones attempted a three-point conversion, but unfortunately the team was unsuccessful. The score was now 9-8, with the ‘necks holding a small margin over their counterparts.
The Wildcats weren’t able to capitalize on their possession, putting the Roughnecks in prime position to add to their lead. Connor Cook was now in control of the offense. With roughly 6:30 left in the 2nd quarter Cook connected to WR Kahlil Lewis for a massive 55 yard play resulting in a touchdown. The Roughnecks now held a commanding 15-8 lead over the Wildcats of LA.
The Wildcats were back on the field, but luck wasn’t turning their way just yet. The Roughnecks defense forced a fumble, giving the Roughnecks possession once again. They used this to their advantage, ultimately adding three more points to the score via a field goal.
The Roughnecks held off the Wildcats keeping the game at 18-8 going into the half.
The Wildcats started out the half with possession, but things still weren’t going the Wildcat Way. They turned it over on downs giving the Roughnecks the ball at their 33. Fortunately for the Wildcats, the ‘necks couldn’t convert.
Once the Wildcats took over they finally got into the grove of things. Kermit Whitfield was able to secure the pass and run it in for a touchdown. Unfortunately, they we’re unable to convert their 2-point conversion. The Roughnecks were still in the lead, but the margin had changed to 18-14.
In a tale of two half’s the Wildcats weren’t done just yet. After regaining possession of the ball, Saeed RaaShad caught a nice pass from Chad Kanoff to add six more on the scoreboard. Once again, they were unable to convert on the 2-point attempt but they were now in the lead 20-18.
Going into the 3rd the Roughnecks we’re once gain trailing. Something they hadn’t had to deal with since the first quarter. As the quarter went on things kept going the Wildcat Way. The team secured three more points via a successful field goal from Nick Novak. The Wildcats lead had grown to 5, holding a 23-18 lead with only 2 minutes left.