Sea Dragons put on a chiller of a thriller in Seattle
Week two XFL action started Thursday night in prime time as the Seattle Sea Dragons hosted the St. Louis Battlehawks. Both teams had a very short week, suited up a mere four days after Sunday’s week one games.
The temperature at game time was below freezing and the home team fans were sparse, with under 11k showing up for this mid-week home opener. Pre-game energy on the field was high while both teams were warming up, fine-tuning those routes, stretching and getting limber, and noticeably trying to stay warm.
First Half- Sea Dragons
The Sea Dragons’ offense went to work first, driving down the field to execute a field goal on the 13th play of the drive, taking 11 minutes out of the first quarter. The Battlehawks’ first offensive possession did not go quite as well. Shareef Miller got the Sea Dragons’ second sack of the day to force a St. Louis punt.
Seattle’s next drive was well-designed and executed. With a deep reception to Pearson who then takes it 32 more yards for the touchdown. On the ensuing three point conversion attempt, Ben DiNucci dropped a dime to Gordon in the corner of the end zone, putting Seattle up 12 – 0.
Eventually, the Battlehawks showed up to play. Quarterback A.J. McCarron literally led the charge. After Mataeo Durant secured the first and goal, McCarron capped the fantastic physical drive down the field with a QB sneak to put 6 on the board. The touchdown was followed by a McCarron to Ateman pass right up the middle to the back of the endzone for the 5-yard 2 extra pointer. The score, 12- 8, held till halftime.
Second Half- Battlehawks
The second half of the game, the momentum shifted. The Sea Dragons had a hard time keeping their mitts wrapped around the pig skin. Too many turnovers set up to be their undoing. St. Louis capitalized and took the lead on a Hakeem Butler 44-yard reception TD, taking a five-point lead at 17 – 12.
Another possession by each team resulted in no additional points on the board, with defensive stances holding strong. Though the chill in the air was piercing, the battle on the field was action-packed. Neither team relinquishing defeat, the Sea Dragons mounted a 2-minute drill, fourth-quarter drive that ends with a Jordan Veasy 8 yard TD reception. A muffed 3-point conversion kept the new lead at 18-17.
With just about one minute left in the game, the Battlehawks did what they needed to do. They managed the clock perfectly and secured a spot on the 26-yard line for the go-ahead field goal. The Donald Hageman 44-yard attempt was right down the middle giving St. Louis their second on-the-road comeback win in a row.