ST. LOUIS — Prior to Sunday’s home opener between the St. Louis Battlehawks and the Arlington Renegades, it had been well over 1,100 days since the Battlehawks played at home inside The Dome at America’s Center, or as it’s better known by Battlehawks fans, the Battledome.
It was a defensive battle in the first quarter for both the Battlehawks and Renegades. Battlehawks kicker Donnie Hageman scored the opening 28-yard field goal in the first quarter before former Battlehawk Taylor Russolino evened the score early in the second quarter with a 37-yarder of his own.
From there, St. Louis dominated the remaining time of the first half. A 27-yard pass from quarterback AJ McCarron to Darrius Shepherd would result in a touchdown, making the score 9-3. The score quickly became 11-3 following a successful two-point conversion pass to Brian Hill. That would be the score as the first half ends.
Whatever difficulties loomed for the Renegades didn’t change in the second half, falling behind 17-3 after McCarron collects with Hill with a 15-yard pass for another Battlehawks touchdown. A conversion attempt would fail, keeping the score at 17-3.
The Renegades attempted one scoring drive in the fourth quarter via a two-yard rush by De’Veon Smith to make it 17-9. Smith would make a two-point conversion pass to Sal Cannella to bring the score to 17-11. However, that would be the end of Arlington’s scoring for the game.
The Battlehawks put the proverbial nail in the coffin with 9:55 left in the game when McCarron fired off a 25-yard pass to Hakeem Butler for a touchdown. McCarron would also connect with Jake Sutherland for a one-point conversion, resulting in a 24-11 score, which would later become the final score.
The Battlehawks (3-1) will remain in St. Louis for their second straight home game at the Battledome for their Saturday rematch against the D.C. Defenders (4-0).
The game attendance of well over 38,000 eclipses the Battlehawks’ previous single-game home ticket sales from the 2020 season. Similar to 2020, the Battlehawks are once again setting the standard for fan engagement, ticket sales, TV ratings, and media relations.