BattleHawks soar in home opener

ST. LOUIS, Missouri- The Saint Louis BattleHawks defeated the New York Guardians 29-9 Sunday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd. Coming into the game, both East division teams held a record of (1-1). After Sunday’s performance, the BattleHawks showed who deserves to stand at the top of the East division. Jumping out to an early lead, the team from the Gateway City showed no signs of slowing down. The Guardians continued to struggle, failing to score double-digit points for the second game in a row.

BattleHawks Dominate Early

All cylinders were firing Sunday when the BattleHawks took the field at The Dome At America’s Center. The BattleHawks got off to a hot start with a 14-yard TD by former Seahawks RB Christine Michael. Michael’s score put the BattleHawks up 6-0.

Special teams played a big part in the win on Sunday, including the first-ever kickoff return for a touchdown in XFL history. With 12:23 left in the second quarter, BattleHawks’ returner Keith Mumphrey received the kick from Matt McCrane. Mumphrey went around to the left and pitched it to Joe Powell on the reverse; Powell outran the whole Defenders’ kick off team and took it 84 yards to the house.

Taylor Russolino hit a 39-yard field goal to make it 15-3 with 4:29 left in the second quarter. Another big play on special teams occurred when Saint Louis blocked a punt with 2:15 left in the half. The blocked punt set up great field position for the BattleHawks offense. From a yard out, Matt Jones rushed it in for six making the score 21-3. The final score of the first half, came on a pass from Ta’amu rolling out to his right and hitting Alonzo Rusell making the score 23-3.

The only points that Saint Louis scored in the second half came from the leg of Russolino. He connected on a pair of field goals including an impressive 58 yarder.

The BattleHawks combined for 273 total yards, 16 total first downs, and 156 yards rushing on offense. A solid performance on the defensive side of the ball as the BattleHawks only allowed two scores, a 36-yard field goal and a late fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Luis Perez. The home opener couldn’t have gone any better for Saint Louis.

Guardians Continue to Struggle

An inability to find an identity on offense continues to burden the Guardians. Three quarterbacks threw the ball Sunday afternoon, combining 19 for 31 for 217 passings yards and one score. The Guardians scored three points going into the half with kicker Matt McCrane connecting on a 53-yard field goal. Matt McGloin threw an interception with 30 seconds left before halftime to BattleHawks safety Kenny Robinson Jr.

The Guardians did score a touchdown with 6:19 left in the fourth quarter. QB Luis Perez connected with New York receiver Austin Duke for an eight-yard touchdown, making the final score 29-9. The Guardians continue to stammer on offense causing frustration for the coaching staff. Quarterbacks Coach G.A. Magnus was seen showing emotion after McGloin’s red-zone interception before the half.

Next To Come

The BattleHawks will look to come off an impressive Week 3 win with another home game against the Seattle Dragons. The game will air next Saturday at 5:00 P.M. EST on FOX

The Guardians will try to end their losing streak with a home matchup against the LA Wildcats. The game will be broadcasted Saturday at 2:00 P.M. EST on ABC.

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