ARLINGTON, Texas -- St. Louis BattleHawks quarterback Jordan Ta'amu and the BattleHawks offense woke up in the second half to snatch the first road win in the XFL, 15-9, over the Dallas Renegades at Globe Life Park on Sunday.
The Renegades' meager third-down conversion percentage stalled drives despite quarterback Philip Nelson's odd day: He went 33-for-42 (78.6 percent) through the air but failed to challenge downfield, amassing just 209 yards and taking four sacks.
Ta'amu led the way for the BattleHawks (1-0) with a combination on the air and the ground that kept Renegades defenders guessing most of the second half. The Ole Miss product completed 20 of his 27 passes, including a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He was also a threat with his legs, running for 77 yards on nine attempts.
BattleHawks running back Matt Jones ran for 85 yards on 21 carries, repeatedly taking chunks of yards out of the Dallas defense.
5-foot-11 wide receiver Flynn Nagel grabbed all 6 of his targets for 43 total yards, giving Nelson a checkdown option for Dallas (0-1).
Kicker Austin MacGinnis was 3-for-3 on field goals, striking from 32, 42 and 23 yards. The Kentucky product was the sole source of Dallas scoring.
GUARDIANS 23, VIPERS 3: The New York Guardians' defense took control of their Week 1 matchup with the Tampa Bay Vipers early and directed the tempo throughout the 23-3 win Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
QB Matt McGloin threw and plunged for a score, but a late defensive touchdown put an exclamation point on a dominant day for New York (1-0).
While Aaron Murray and Quinton Flowers alternated work under center, wideout Daniel Williams was a consistent focus, registering 123 receiving yards while bringing in 6-of-9 targets for a 20.5 yards-per-catch average for Tampa Bay (0-1).
ROUGHNECKS 37, WILDCATS 17: The Houston Roughnecks found themselves trailing the Los Angeles Wildcats 17-12 before they scored 25 unanswered points on their way to 37-17 victory Saturday evening at TDECU Stadium in Houston.
Quarterback P.J. Walker led the way with four touchdowns and 272 passing yards for the Roughnecks (1-0).
Wide receiver Nelson Spruce had 11 catches for 103 yards for the Wildcats (0-1).
LA quarterback Charles Kanoff found the end zone twice, including once on the ground, while being pressed into starting for the injured Josh Johnson (thigh) out. Despite being replaced by Jalan McClendon twice, including once after he took a big hit, Kanoff kept the Wildcats within reach into the third quarter.
DEFENDERS 31, DRAGONS 19: The first XFL game of 2020 was packed with big hits, big plays and big attitudes Saturday at Audi Field.
Playing in-front of a home crowd estimated at 17,000, the DC Defenders lived up to their name to edge the Seattle Dragons, 31-19.
Although both teams leaned heavily on their running games, with a total of 49 carries between them, the defenses made their mark for the Defenders, with 43 combined tackles, two interceptions, a sack and a blocked punt.
Despite a slow start for Washington that saw Seattle (0-1) take an early 6-3 lead, safety Rahim Moore made a decisive read to intercept Dragons quarterback Brandon Silvers with 10:30 left in the second quarter.
DC (1-0)continued to live up to the team name with a blocked punt by cornerback Elijah Campbell later in the second quarter that was scooped up for a score by Jonathan Celestin to give the Defenders a 9-6 lead.
Saturday, Feb. 15 games:
New York at DC, 2 p.m. (ABC)
Tampa Bay at Seattle, 5 p.m. (Fox)
Sunday, Feb. 16 games:
Dallas at LA, 3 p.m. (ABC)
St. Louis at Houston, 6 p.m. (FS1)