This is it.. the moment we’ve all been waiting for… The XFL kickoff! The first game of the 2020 season saw the Seattle Dragons travel to Audi Field to take on the DC Defenders. The crowd was hot, the presentation was on point — and most importantly the football was solid.
The Defenders struck first with a field goal roughly halfway through the first quarter from Ty Rausa. People thought kickers wouldn’t be important in this league, but 3-points is 3-points.
It didn’t take long for the Dragons to respond though. Brandon Silvers tossed one to Proehl to gain the TD, putting the Dragons up 6-3. Coach Zorn opted for the 1-Point conversion, but the team was unsuccessful in their attempt.
The Defenders Defense proved to be strong keeping the Dragons yardage limited. The DC Defense proved their worth by not only blocking a punt, but also recovering it for the Defenders first touchdown of the game.
Fitting the first touchdown in Defenders history was made by the defense.#ForTheLoveOfFootball pic.twitter.com/wkf63jJyyF
— DC Defenders (@XFLDefenders) February 8, 2020
The Defenders now held a slim lead over Seattle, but they once again had possession of the ball. Unfortunately for them, Brandon Silvers couldn’t convert going 3 and out. The Defenders luck wasn’t much better, also going 3 and out punting the ball back to the Dragons. The half was coming to a close, but the Dragons did not want to take this punishment sitting down. With 26 seconds left in the first half, Silvers passed short left to Trey Williams to add six more on the board. Coach Zorn once again opted for the 1-point conversion and this time it worked in his favor. Closing out the half, DC’s Rausa hit a 54 yard field goal with 5 second left to bring the game to a 1-point difference — 13-12.
Going into the second half things looked pretty even for both teams. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t last long for Seattle. DC held possession of the ball to kick off the second half of the game, ultimately pushing it down the field for a touchdown and an extra-point conversion. Once again, putting the Defenders in the lead 19-13.
This alternate angle of that @XFLDefenders trick play TD
🖥️ https://t.co/Y3eyIb9PfX pic.twitter.com/OzOOze6NIt
— XFL (@XFL2023) February 8, 2020
The Dragons came right back with a touchdown of their own with Silvers tossing it right to Proehl for a 57 yard score. The franchise was unsuccessful in their extra-point attempt, so the game was now tied at 19-19.
Unfortunately, this was the end of the Seattle’s luck. DC controlled the rest of the game. Both on offense and defense. First, Cardale Jones made an impressive pass to Rashaad Ross for the touchdown, putting them back on top 25-19.
Brandon Silvers and the Dragons were now back in charge, but ultimately Silvers hammered the final nail in the coffin when he threw an interception with Bradley Silva returning it 69 yards for the 6 points. DC was unsuccessful in their 1-point attempt, but it didn’t matter. They held their 31-19 lead for the rest of the game.
They're called the DEFENDERS for a reason!
2nd D/ST TD of the day for the @XFLDefenders 🔥
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 8, 2020
Overall the Defenders looked very strong in this game. Coach Hamilton has put together a solid team in DC. Also, I believe this proved to a lot of skeptics that the XFL meant business this time around. It’s still (very) early in season to know how things will play out, but I think The Defenders earned some fans today with this victory.
Next week The Guardians will travel to DC to take on the Defenders, and Seattle plays its first home game against the Tampa Bay Vipers. Make sure to stay tuned to XFL Newsroom for all the latest coverage throughout the season.