The second game of the XFL’s week four saw the Seattle Sea Dragons back on their home turf. Both teams anxiously began the night with warm-ups in O and D line pre-game drills, route running, QB pass and catch, and of course, kickers booting balls downfield and through the uprights.
As the start of the game neared the 30-minute mark, the home team fans were filling the lower bowl in much greater numbers than Seattle’s home opener in week two vs the Battlehawks. The official attendance for this contest saw about a 5,000 fan increase. Tallying up at 15,103, it resulted in a ten-fold volume increase at appropriate times throughout the game. With the weather still a bit chilly, the night stayed dry and the crowd took part in and was treated to, a Sea Dragons defensive juggernaut.
NFL on ESPN Twitter chimed in this week with, “When you need a big play, call Josh Gordon.” With DiNucci being the first QB to hit 1,000 yards, the Sea Dragons were favored by 5 pts. The over/under: 40.5, the highest total this season.
San Antonio begins on offense with a precursor of how the rest of the night would ultimately play out. Punting from their own 38-yard line to the Seattle 14 as a result of a quick three and out. After a -1 yard return by the Sea Dragons, they begin from the 13-yard line on offense. With this possession, Seattle drove the bulk of the field taking 6:46 off the clock with an 11-play drive. A drive that showcased some excellent play calling and execution.
They came up short on a fourth and one incomplete pass from DiNucci to Gordon just inside the red zone. The Bahamas take over on downs on the 19-yard line. Before the first quarter comes to a close the Brahmas drive down the field to get on the board first. They nailed a 38-yard field goal.
The action was a back-and-forth battle of wills. Both teams possessed the ball twice. Then, Seattle capitalized on a divine drive that saw both Jackson and Pearson haul in decent yardage receptions. This let us continue to pay homage to the absolute driving force that is Ellison, positioning the Dragons back in the red zone. One more first down on a completion from DiNucci to Pearson and the strike to Jackson in the endzone netted the game’s first touchdown.
The score is now Seattle 6, and San Antonio 3. With 33 seconds left in the first half, the Brahmas capitalize on a deep ball pass interference call against the Sea Dragons. This penalty set up the longest field goal of the season. At 57 yards, Parker Romo nails it to tie the game up at 6-6 going into the half.
The third quarter started with the Dragons receiving the kickoff and McKnight ran it back for 21 yards to the Sea Dragons’ 26-yard line. Ellison instantly excited the crowd with a 12-yard run followed by a DiNucci 3-yard rush. After another short pass which brought up fourth down, all hopes slightly sagged as the Dragons were forced to punt for 41 yards.
After twelve more minutes of incomplete passes, failed runs, and play call frustration from both sides, the Sea Dragons finally drove the field with 1:58 remaining in the third quarter. This led them to take the lead with a 17-yard field goal garnering the score SA-6, SEA-9.
The fourth quarter was a true domination of the Seattle Sea Dragons’ defense. They held the Brahmas on their first drive to a 3 and out. They continued to take control throughout the rest of the fourth quarter. Seattle’s defense rushed, sacked, and pressured Coan to force San Antonio’s continued turnover on downs.
DiNucci and the Sea Dragons threw for 49 yards, executed ten plays, and completed passes to 5 different receivers. This ended the drive with a 1-yard rush by Ellison to cap the score at SA-6, SEA-15 with the failed 1-point conversion.
With 1:44 remaining in the game, DiNucci threw an interception intended for Damion Willis and brought the crowd to their feet in shock and awe. The Brahmas lined up with a 9-point deficit and set their sights on a much-needed touchdown and a 3-point conversion. All needed for a chance to send the match up into overtime.
For the next 1:40 seconds, the knuckles on every fan were white with anticipation. As the San Antonio Brahams drove 10 plays, it was all downhill toward the endzone. With 17 seconds and a fourth down, the Brahmas and Coan stepped up to the line — the crowd held their breath.
The Cameras zoomed in. Coan took the snap and stepped back. And threw an incomplete pass to Ballage ending their chance for a comeback win. The crowd exploded as the Sea Dragons took a knee to end the game.
Seattle improves to 2-2 and will have a tough test next week, taking on the Houston Roughnecks.