20 Mar

A.J. McCarron stays red hot; formerly winless Guardians hand D.C. first loss

On the scale of upsets, it doesn’t get much more surprising than a league’s only winless team beating its only unbeaten team, but that’s exactly what happened in a wild Week 7 in the XFL when the Orlando Guardians stunned the D.C. Defenders. All Orlando quarterback Quinten Dormady did to help his team get its first win was SCORE SIX TOTAL TOUCHDOWNS.

And that wasn’t the only shocker. On Sunday, the St. Louis Battlehawks upset the Houston Roughnecks — the third straight loss for Houston after a 4-0 start. On Friday night, the Seattle Sea Dragons continued to surge, winning their fifth straight game behind a touchdown from former NFL receiving leader Josh Gordon.

We’ve got takeaways from the entire Week 7 below. First, here’s a look at the scores.

Seattle Sea Dragons 24, Arlington Renegades 15

Vegas Vipers 26, San Antonio Brahmas 12
Orlando Guardians 37, D.C. Defenders 36

St. Louis Battlehawks 24, Houston Roughnecks 15

Sunday’s game
McCarron stays hot as Battlehawks top sinking Roughnecks
A.J. McCarron threw three touchdown passes without an interception for the second straight week as the St. Louis Battlehawks won fairly convincingly in a clash of teams that entered 4-2. Darrius Shepherd caught 7 passes for 70 yards and a TD for St. Louis.

The Houston Roughnecks played without starting quarterback Brandon Silvers, who was inactive due to injury. Cole McDonald struggled in Silvers’ place, going just 15 of 32 for 106 yards with a TD and an interception.

The Battlehawks made just one field goal in the game, but it was a doozy. Donny Hageman set the mark for the longest field goal in XFL history at 59 yards.


Donald Hageman knocks down the kick to extend the Battlehawks lead!

At the half:@XFLBattlehawks 17@XFLRoughnecks 9! pic.twitter.com/ilyDMdQ3A6

— XFL (@XFL2023) April 2, 2023
At 5-2, the Battlehawks now sit just a game behind the D.C. Defenders. The problem for St. Louis: Both losses came against D.C. The Battlehawks’ win Sunday underlined the disparity between the two divisions. North teams are now a combined 18-10 on the season, with South teams 10-18.

Saturday’s games
Guardians pull off XFL’s biggest stunner behind Dormady’s 6 TDs
It happened on April Fool’s Day, but it wasn’t a joke. The clash between the best and worst teams in the league saw the 0-6 squad win outright as 9.5-point underdogs, as the D.C. Defenders’ six-game winning streak to start the season came to a shocking end.

The Guardians couldn’t celebrate their 37-36 win until D.C. missed a 63-yard field goal attempt on the final play. Orlando pulled out the victory thanks to quarterback Quinten Dormady, who accounted for all six touchdowns: three rushing and three passing. Dormady went 27-of-34 for 328 yards with the three TD tosses, including this one to Deddrick Thomas.

WHAT. A. GRAB. pic.twitter.com/CyAcaDYrWW

— Orlando Guardians (@XFLGuardians) April 2, 2023
XFL rushing leader Abram Smith led the Defenders with 127 yards on the ground, while Chris Blair had 139 receiving yards. D.C.’s loss makes the Seattle Sea Dragons owners of the league’s longest win streak at five games — and it sets up a very interesting Week 8 showdown, when the Defenders travel to Seattle.

Vipers knock off offensively challenged Brahmas
Jalen McClendon threw for 264 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Vegas Vipers to their second win of the season.

The Brahmas have allowed the fewest points in the league, but their offense continued to let them down as the unit found the end zone just once. San Antonio’s other touchdown came via Fred Brown’s 96-yard kick return — the XFL’s first kick-return TD of the season.

San Antonio Brahmas Fred Brown with a 96-yard kickoff return. #XFL #XFL2023 pic.twitter.com/zH1kdtiznx

— XFL News and Discussion @ XFLBoard.com (@xflboard) April 1, 2023
Brown had both Brahmas scores, also catching a six-yard TD pass from Kurt Benkert.

Friday’s game
Sea Dragons roll off fifth straight victory
The Seattle Sea Dragons are on fire. After losing their first two games by a combined six points, the Sea Dragons have won five straight and now sit just a game out of first place in the North.

Ben DiNucci, who played two seasons with the Cowboys and still lives in the Dallas area, had a big night against the Renegades in Arlington, throwing for 266 yards and a touchdown. The score was this connection with Josh Gordon, the former NFL star who had been quiet the last few weeks, but apparently has woken up.

Incredible catches are becoming a staple at @choctawstadium! This time it’s Ben DiNucci who finds Josh Gordon for the ridiculous touchdown.

The @XFLSeaDragons are rolling right now, with a 21-9 lead at halftime. #XFL | @XFL2023pic.twitter.com/DfF7pU10Vu

— James Larsen (@JamesLarsenPFN) April 1, 2023
Jordan Veasy led the Sea Dragons in receiving with 3 catches for 79 yards. Gordon had 3 grabs for 43 yards.

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