On a beautiful temperate, sun-shiny evening down in the lone star state, the XFL kicks off week seven at Choctaw Stadium with the Arlington Renegades hosting the Seattle Sea Dragons.
As the season itself nears the twilight of its 10-game regular season, the Renegades (3-3) are seemingly still trying to find their groove. Just days prior to the contest with Seattle, the Renegades released former starting quarterback Kyle Sloter and acquired Luis Perez in a trade with the Vegas Vipers. The exchange included linebacker Ryan Mueller being sent to Vegas. With only a couple of days of practice before game day, the Renegades coaching staff opted to hold off on activating Perez. A controversial decision to say the least.
On the other hand, coming into week seven, Seattle has bounced back from a lackluster beginning of the season. After their initial two-game skid, they scratch and claw their way through a four-game win streak. And always in dramatic fashion.
The first half showcased some high-octane execution from both the offense and defense of the Sea Dragons. The defense continues to prove their ‘bend but don’t break’ reputation. They allowed the Renegades to accumulate only 9 points as the result of a Russolino 36-yard field goal and a De’Veon Smith rushing touchdown.
The offense put forth a nice balance of scoring drives; a pair of Dominik Eberle field goals, a rushing touchdown by Darius Bradwell, and a precision toss to the corner of the endzone from DiNucci to Gordon. Add to that, the successful 1 and 2-point conversions, respectively, racked up 21 points for Seattle in the first thirty minutes of the game.
Both Seattle and Arlington came out swinging in the third quarter. The Renegades begin the second half on offense and burn up over seven minutes driving 62 yards. They came up just shy on a 4th and 1 conversion from the Seattle 11-yard line. DiNucci and company step up to make the nearly 90-yard trek down the field, looking sharp and confident. That all came to a halt via the Renegades’ Will Hill III pick from an intended pass to Jahcour Pearson in the endzone, capped off by a 31-yard return.
Twenty-three minutes and fifteen seconds into the second half the Sea Dragons are finally able to pad their lead with an Eberle 48-yard field goal. With Seattle leading 24-9, 6:45 left in regulation, time is not on the Renegades’ side.
Putting his team squarely on his shoulders, De’Veon Smith wraps up a successful ten-play drive to punch it in from the 2-yard line, adding 6 to the Renegades’ total. But that’s where the scoreboard will stay. Seattle, back on offense, is able to convert two first downs in the last couple of minutes to burn up the remaining time on the clock. Final score, the Seattle Sea Dragons take down the Arlington Renegades 24-15.
Next Sunday, April 9th 4:00 PT Seattle will host D.C. This divisional match-up has all the makings for an intense battle at Lumen Field. The weather is forecasted to be dry with mild temperatures.