Week 3 of the XFL was full of exciting moments from dramatic last-minute scoring drives to emerging stars taking the spotlight.
On Saturday night, the Seattle Sea Dragons managed to pull off a thrilling last-minute win over the Vegas Vipers. This victory put them at 1-2 for the season. With less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Seattle Sea Dragons quarterback Ben DiNucci threw an impressive 65-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon, resulting in a miraculous comeback for the team. Gordon has had a successful season, with two touchdowns in the current game and a total of three touchdown receptions so far. He is considered one of the most potent offensive players in the league.
The DC Defenders achieved the first three win streak of the season, whereas the Arlington Renegades won a hard-fought game against Orlando Guardians by a score of 10-9.
The Houston Roughnecks ended Sunday’s tripleheader on a high note, beating the San Antonio Brahmas 22-13. They achieved this victory thanks to Brandon Silvers’ three touchdown passes in the first half, combined with 378 total yards on offense.
Seattle Sea Dragons 30, Vegas Vipers 26
DiNucci and Gordon’s strong connection shone again this week as the Sea Dragons won their match. Gordon ended the game with two touchdowns and 118 yards receiving, while DiNucci completed 377 yards and four scores, including a last-minute touchdown to seal the win.
In a much-anticipated matchup between winless teams, the Sea Dragons emerged victorious with Gordon’s late 65-yard touchdown. His earlier footwork on his first touchdown had also provided Seattle with a fighting chance in the game.
Las Vegas dropped to an 0-3 record following this defeat.
DC Defenders 34, St. Louis Battlehawks 28
The Defenders secured a 3-0 record in the XFL North division by successfully fending off four touchdown passes from Battlehawks QB A.J. McCarron, who were also undefeated at the time of this matchup. Jordan Ta’amu and D’Eriq King both threw touchdowns during the victory, while the defense had four sacks, two interceptions. Jordan Ta’amu also scored a touchdown on a run. In Week 4, the DC team will attempt to extend their undefeated status when they face a Las Vegas team who have yet to register a victory.
The infamous DC beer snake was also spotted at the game. Have you ever heard of a beer snake? It’s not a mythical creature, but it is an interesting phenomenon that has been around for centuries. A beer snake is a long line of empty beer cups that are linked together in a single line. It’s usually created by people at parties or other social gatherings, and it’s often used as an icebreaker or conversation starter. The hometown Washington crowd at DC Defenders games have taken this art form to the next level. After the DC Defenders netted their third win in three games this season, fans at Audi Field decided to continue their ‘snake-trend’ and construct their very own beer snake.
In Week 1 of the XFL, after the Defenders won their home opener against the Sea Dragons, fans were left feeling ‘reptile-y’ when their snake was destroyed by security. It sparked a ‘citrus-ey’ protest, causing officials to clarify the rules and regulations on how to handle a snake during a match (giggid-ey). They said, “For the safety of all fans, the beer snake will be permitted in Sections 136 and 137 contingent on fans following the game day code of conduct.” The lemons did come out on Sunday but not because the beer snake was culled; I just don’t think they liked Battlehawks QB A.J. McCarron very much…
Arlington Renegades 10, Orlando Guardians 9
In the fourth quarter, Paxton Lynch’s touchdown run broke a 3-3 tie in favor of the Renegades. However, they did not stop there and continued to secure their win. Though they only had 178 yards of offense, Arlington was able to clinch the win in the fourth quarter due to a 15-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Sloter to Tyler Vaughns.
The Renegades secured their second win of the season with a victory over the Guardians, who are yet to get in the win column this season. Lynch had his best game of the season, accumulating 219 yards in passing and leading Orlando with 43 yards rushing. Despite both teams’ efforts, no one was able to cross the 100-yard mark in rushing.
Houston Roughnecks 22, San Antonio Brahmas 13
Sunday night saw a clash between two Texas teams, with indications of a high-scoring game right from the start. Houston’s Roughnecks used three first-half TD passes to take an impressive 22-7 lead at the half. However, it was a goal-line stand in the fourth quarter that ultimately clinched victory for them.
The San Antonio defense successfully kept Houston from scoring in the second half, however their offense wasn’t able to capitalise and ultimately lost the game. As a result, the Brahmas are now 1-2 while the Roughnecks remain one of two teams that haven’t lost yet this season. Jontre Kirklin made 77 yards receiving in addition to two touchdowns which resulted in a win for Houston.
Week 4 of the 2023 XFL season kicks off this Saturday, March 11th, with the Houston Roughnecks @ Orlando Guardians at 7pm ET / Midnight GMT on ESPN.