Dallas Renegades Win in a Tale of Two Halves
In an absolutely grueling XFL game, the Dallas Renegades top the Los Angeles Wildcats with a score of 25-18. This moves the Renegades to 1-1 on the season and puts the Wildcats at 0-2.
Through the first half, this was by far the most defensively powered game so far this season. Both teams being held to 3 points in the first two quarters. This was also in part with the number of turnovers given up by both teams. It seemed like whenever either team was gaining momentum in the first half, they would do something to completely ruin it.
The second half of the game, however, was the exact opposite. Both offenses were moving down the field back and forth with confidence, and not letting anything get in their way. This led to both teams scoring for a combined 31 points, and allowing a lot fewer turnovers. One of the main reasons the score did not get out of hand was the number of penalties. Dallas had eight penalties, but this pushed them back 103 yards total. Los Angeles only had five penalties for 31 yards.
Dallas Renegades Offense
Despite the offense not going anywhere in the first half, they were finally able to get it going in the 4th quarter. In total, they amassed 444 total yards, 3 touchdowns, and had a total of 26 first downs. Quarterback Landry Jones went 28/40, had 305 yards by way of the pass and one touchdown. Their main receiving threat being Donald Parham, who had 5 receptions for 76 yards and the only receiving touchdown from the Renegades. Another notable played on offense is halfback Cameron Artis-Payne, who on 14 rush attempts, had 99 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Dallas Renegades Defense
This is quite the opposite of the offensive standpoint. In the first half, the Renegades defense was almost unbreakable. Allowing only a field goal, and barely allowing any movement from the Wildcats gritty offense. Their one turnover came as a forced fumble by linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha, who formerly played in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints. Two linemen had sacks this game, one being Ray Ray Davison, and the other being from Gerald Rivers.
Los Angeles Wildcats Offense
The Wildcats offense really had very few issues this game despite the loss. Quarterback Josh Johnson went 18/34 for 196 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Elijah Hood had sparse breakouts, rushing for 31 yards on 10 attempts. One of the biggest surprises of the whole game was by way of the receiving core, Nelson Spruce. Spruce made some amazing catches in this game and was the main target for Johnson. Nelson had only 6 receptions, however, this lead to 89 yards and two touchdowns. One of these 6 receptions being a massive 44-yard catch to put the Wildcats in scoring position. Overall, the offense wasn’t to blame for the loss.
Los Angeles Wildcats Defense
This is where we begin to see why the Wildcats lost. Despite the 2 interceptions by Harlan Miller and Will Smith…and the forced fumble by Jack Tocho, the defense was crushed in the second half. Not unlike that of the Renegades, the defense was left on the field for such long periods of time that many players became worn out after fighting hard for three quarters. However this defense did not seem to look terrible against short plays, more so they had issues against long passes.
One member that I cannot leave out due to his amazing game today is Martez Carter (Kick returner for the Wildcats). He had 4 kick returns, accumulating 135 return yards, and his longest return being for 48 yards. Despite being on the losing team, his performance must not go unnoticed.
Overall this was a fantastic game to watch, and possibly my favorite in the first two weeks. Between the trench defense and lockdown secondary originally to the fast-paced charged offense, it was a true spectacle.
Week 3 Matchups:
2/22/20 at 5:00 PM EST – Renegades @ Dragons
2/23/20 at 6:00 PM EST – Defenders @ Wildcats
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