It’s the middle of March Madness but the DC Defenders fans were at Audi Field. The fans braved the cold to see their home team take on the Southern Conference number one seed Houston Roughnecks. The Defenders were the underground for this game. Many analysts believed that the Roughnecks were going to be the team to beat the Defenders. The Defenders beat the Roughnecks 37 to 26 and remain the only undefeated team in the XFL.
The first quarter definitely went to the Roughnecks. Houston dominated the Defenders the entire quarter. The Roughnecks were the first ones to get on the board with a run-in touchdown by Max Borghi. The Roughnecks decided to go for two and it was successful, thanks to Cedric Byrd.
The Defenders started to pick up momentum. Lucky Jackson (Ambush Sports PotW) capitalized and had a 36-yard run. The Defenders were not able to capitalize off the excellent field position and settled for a 34-yard field goal to put the Defenders on the board at the end of the 1st quarter. The Defenders trailed at the end of the first quarter 3-8.
The Defenders’ defense started to wake up at the beginning of the 2nd quarter. The Defenders’ defense pressed for a quick 3 and out and got the Roughnecks’ offense off the field. DC’s offense started the second quarter hot, however, they were not able to make it to the end zone. With a missed field goal attempt, the Defenders seemed to be stuck in a slump.
However, things drastically changed once Abram Smith ran in a touchdown. The momentum did not slow down. Santos Ramiez had a 40-yard inception that resulted in a touchdown and a successful two-point conversation by Josh Hammond. While the offense was getting rhythm, the defense did not lighten up. The Defenders took over the second quarter and led going into the half, making the score 17-8.
Going into the third quarter the Defenders’ momentum did not slow down. Jordan Ta’amu connected with Alex Ellis for a touchdown to extend the Defenders’ lead. The Roughnecks get a pulse with Cole McDonald connecting with Deontay Burnett for an 85-yard completion that resulted in a touchdown. The third quarter ended with the Defenders in the lead 26-14.
That DC energy continued all the way through the fourth quarter. Lucky Jackson had a 30-yard touchdown. Chris Blair got the two-point conversation, which increased the lead for the Defenders. Cole McDonald brought some life back to the offense after marching down the field. Max Borghi had a one-yard run which resulted in a touchdown. The Defenders kicked a 50-yard field goal. McDonald also ran for a yard and got a touchdown. Even with the Roughnecks’ efforts, they were not able to catch up to the Defenders. The Defenders won their sixth straight game. Final score was 37-26.