HOUSTON -- The Seattle Dragons (1-4) rolled out of the opening kickoff with an early 14-0 lead, but the Houston Roughnecks (5-0) stormed back to remain undefeated on the back of a 32-23 victory Saturday at TDECU Stadium.
P.J. Walker unleashed 351 yards and three passing touchdowns while completing a whopping 71 percent of his passes. One key was reconnecting with Cam Phillips, who had just one catch in Week 4 but, in Week 5, was targeted 13 times and caught 10 for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Houston tailback James Butler also enjoyed his second two-touchdown game of the year.
Seattle went with B.J. Daniels under center following his Week 4 breakthrough; he ran for two touchdowns and nearly helped guide the Dragons to an upset.
The Dragons were leading the takeaway battle 3-0 before Daniels lost a fumble late in the fourth quarter that was recovered by Houston linebacker DeMarquis Gates -- the second straight week he had an eventual game-clinching takeaway.
WILDCATS 41, VIPERS 34: The Los Angeles Wildcats (2-3) weathered an early 17-0 deficit against the Tampa Bay Vipers (1-4), speeding ahead from the second quarter onward to win 41-34 on Sunday, marking the highest-scoring game in XFL history.
Josh Johnson threw for 288 yards and four touchdowns, and the defense came up with two big takeaways, including a touchdown on a fumble recovery, in the fourth quarter.
The Vipers still nearly had a chance to tie near the end of the fourth quarter, but LA returned a strip-sack for a touchdown to put this out of reach. Another late Tampa Bay rally ended with a Wildcats interception.
Johnson peppered Tampa Bay's secondary by spreading the ball around, but the biggest name to step up in Nelson Spruce's continued absence was Blacknall, who netted a 49-yard catch and scored a vital second-half touchdown on his team-high seven-target day.
Roberts' memorable score was set up by Cedric Reed's strip-sack. The defensive end also had six tackles (three solo) and another QB hit. Safety Ahmad Dixon led the club with 10 tackles (seven solo).
GUARDIANS 30, RENEGADES 12: The XFL's Week 5 Saturday nightcap had a quiet first half and start to the third quarter, but that was quickly forgotten in the second half.
The New York Guardians (3-2) scored 21 straight points after the break to win 30-12 at the Dallas Renegades (2-3).
DEFENDERS 15, BATTLEHAWKS 6: By making a first-quarter quarterback change, winning the battle in the XFL's most ground-focused game of the year, and excelling on defense, the DC Defenders (3-2) plowed to a 15-6 victory over the St. Louis BattleHawks (3-2).
The XFL's East division has a three-way at the top. DC's in the lead, having defeated St. Louis and the New York Guardians.
These two squads combined for the most rushing yards (402) of any XFL game, but a change at quarterback for the winning team played a major role in that result.
After Cardale Jones' first drive ended with an interception, Tyree Jackson got the call under center. While the 6-foot-8 backup didn't push the ball downfield much, his presence allowed DC's run game to stand tall and control the pace, getting sizable help from tailback Jhurell Pressley (107 rushing yards on 15 carries).
DC also limited QB Jordan Ta'amu to 174 aerial yards, made several key stops on third and fourth downs, and blocked a fourth-quarter punt to seal the deal.
Week 6 games:
Saturday, March 14
Houston at New York, 2 p.m. (ABC)
St. Louis at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m. (FS2)
Sunday, March 15
Dallas at DC, 4 p.m. (FS1)
LA at Seattle, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)