An adage nearly as old as competition itself. We’ve all heard a version and know it to be the truest statement that can be made when it comes to sports; It’s not how you start, but rather how you finish, that matters.
The Seattle Sea Dragons’ opening drive against the DC Defenders was a thing of beauty. Ben DiNucci was near flawless with a pin-point 31-yard strike to Jahcour Pearson putting the Sea Dragons well into the red zone. Two plays later Josh Gordon receives a shuffle pass from DiNucci for the opening drive touchdown. The subsequent 3-point attempt was fumbled, though recovered by the Sea Dragons.
The Defenders’ first offensive drive was a quick 3 and out. Looking like they hadn’t yet shaken off the first game day jitters. Nearing the end of the first quarter the Sea Dragons mounted a drive that garnered 3 points on a 36-yard field goal. Both offense and defense for the Sea Dragons are playing nearly lights out so far and you can feel the fans embracing their team’s passionate play.
Second half action also proved to be exhilarating. In the middle of the third quarter, DiNucci’s pass to Pearson in heavy traffic was intercepted by Michael Joseph. This was returned for a pick-six. With the successful 2-point attempt, the Defenders were right back in the hunt, down by two. Not long after, Joseph gets his second pick, later resulting in another DC touchdown to take the lead.
Not going quietly into that good night, the Sea Dragons’ Bryce Thompson picks off Ta’amu, putting Seattle’s offense back on the field. Without a score on that drive, DC gets another shot on the offensive side of the ball and is stopped in dominant fashion as they go four downs, ending with a D’Eriq King sack by Tre Walker.
Throughout the entirety of the game, both teams continued the aggressive and intense sportsmanship the XFL has prepared the fans for and it was exciting to watch. In the end, Seattle couldn’t get that last two yards needed to more than likely ice the game. The Defenders come out on top, 22- 18. Week eight brings these two, who should be division leaders, back to the field with Seattle having the home-field advantage.