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The football season continued this weekend, when the XFL debuted with Saturday’s game between the Vegas Vipers and Arlington Renegades at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington, Texas. This is the third iteration of the XFL, following the original season in 2001 and a 2020 restart that was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

XFL 2023 started off fast: The Renegades defeated the Vipers 22-20, rallying from a 14-3 halftime deficit with 19 straight points before stopping Vegas’ 2-point conversion attempt with eight seconds remaining. The Houston Roughnecks outscored the Orlando Guardians late in the game, scoring on four straight first-half possessions to overcome an early deficit in a 33–12 victory.

On Sunday, the St. Louis BattleHawks will travel to play the San Antonio Brahmas, who are coached by Super Bowl XL MVP Hines Ward, at 3 pm ET. Week 1 concludes at 8 pm ET in Washington, DC, when the DC Defenders host the Seattle Sea Dragons.

All XFL games will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and are available on the ESPN family of networks (ABC, ESPN and FX).

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Houston’s defense dominated Orlando, as the Roughnecks recorded seven sacks on Guardians’ quarterbacks Paxton Lynch and Quinten Dormady and overcame an early touchdown run to set the tone. The Guardians (0-1) scored first when receiver Cody Latimer, who played with Lynch on the Denver Broncos, outran a Roughnecks defensive back for a 27-yard touchdown reception on the first drive of the game.



Orlando Guardians score first TD after review

Paxton Lynch connects with Cody Latimer, who upon review is rewarded with the first Guardians touchdown.

But the Roughnecks (1-0) dominated from there, thanks to four sacks by linebacker Trent Harris and two by defensive end Tim Ward. That allowed Houston to break out with 24 unanswered points, 21 of them on four straight first-half possessions. Roughnecks quarterback Brandon Silvers threw two touchdown passes, a 10-yarder to Jontre Kirklin for Houston’s first score and a 46-yarder to Deontay Burnett on which the former NFL receiver caught it with a hand and walked away for the touchdown.



Deontay Burnett hooks a one-handed TD for the Roughnecks

Rough quarterback Brandon Silvers tosses it to Deontay Burnett, who makes a one-handed grab for a touchdown.

Houston running back Max Borghi also ran for a 27-yard touchdown run.

Orlando broke Houston’s scoring run in the fourth quarter with Dormady’s 51-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Jamiel, but a missed punt late in the fourth quarter dashed any hope of a Guardians comeback as the ball went wide. converted for a 5-yard touchdown run. led by Houston backup quarterback Cole McDonald.

Silvers led the way for the Roughnecks, passing for 265 yards and two touchdowns on 26-for-42 passing with two interceptions. Burnett had eight receptions for 88 yards, while Kirklin had five receptions for 66 yards. Lynch led Orlando with 136 yards on 15 of 21 passes.

After a difficult first half, the Renegades scored 12 points in the third quarter thanks to two turnovers in Las Vegas to take the lead and hold on to move within 1-0. Arlington’s defense dominated the action in the second half, highlighted by two pick-sixes. Defensive tackle Tomasi Laulile led the third-quarter run with a 22-yard touchdown return from an errant pass from Las Vegas quarterback Luis Perez, while cornerback De’Vante Bausby scored on a 4-yard interception return. yards for a TD in the fourth quarter. The Renegades’ D also got big with eight seconds left, when TJ Barnes sacked Perez on a potential two-point conversion attempt to tie the game.



Arlington’s Tomasi Laulile scores an electric pick-six

Arlington’s Tomasi Laulile jumps in front of the receiver, intercepts the pass and returns it for a touchdown.

Bausby’s selection came after the Vipers (0-1) stopped the Renegades in a fourth-and-goal situation from the 1-yard line. Vegas kept Arlington’s offense out of the end zone as the Renegades they settled for three Taylor Russolino field goals, the third putting the Renegades ahead to stay late in the third quarter.

The first half was much better for the Vipers, who scored on two touchdown passes from Pérez to receiver Jeff Badet to take a 14-3 halftime lead. Perez hit Badet with a 5-yard TD pass on the first possession of the game, then connected with the former Oklahoma receiver for a 39-yard TD pass in the second quarter. Perez also threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Cinque Sweeting with 14 seconds remaining. Pérez passed for 249 yards on 22 of 36 passes with three touchdown passes and two interceptions, while Badet had six receptions for 81 yards.



Jeff Badet snags XFL’s first TD of the season

Luis Pérez avoids the pressure and finds Jeff Badet to score as the Vipers take a 6-0 lead against the Renegades.

Arlington quarterback Drew Plitt passed for 172 yards on 19 of 25 passes with one interception, while Sal Cannella hauled in seven passes for 70 yards.

sunday games

St. Louis BattleHawks at San Antonio Brahmas

3 pm ET, Alamodome
Television: ABC/ESPN+
Spread: STL-3.0 (36.5)

Seattle Sea Dragons at DC Defenders

8 pm ET, Audi Field, Washington, D.C.
Television: ABC/ESPN+
Spread: MAR -2.5 (37)

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