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With the St. Louis Battlehawks beating the San Antonio Brahmas 18-15 with a heartbreaking comeback in week one, there were a lot of little things to fix going into next week. The Brahmas had set their eyes on the next team, the Orlando Guardians who were humiliated in week one with the loss to the Houston Roughnecks 12-33. Orlando needed to find a way to get a win on the stat line. After week one, both the Brahmas and Guardians were 0-1 and at the bottom of the standings of the south division.
On the 26th of February, the San Antonio Brahmas and the Orlando Guardians played at 3 in the afternoon. It wasn’t until the middle of the 1st quarter when San Antonio drove down the field first, scoring a passing touchdown from the former Notre Dame QB Jack Coan to the starting tight end Deon Yelder to the left corner of the end zone. The Brahmas failed at the extra point, leaving the game with a score of 6-0. Orlando got the ball back on the next drive and they answered back with a well called draw play for 38 yards to their running back Jah-maine Martin to put them into position to score. Paxton Lynch then got into shotgun and threw the ball in the left back side of the end zone and to their receiver Eli Rodgers to make the score 6-6 due to a busted coverage on the Brahmas defense. It took Orlando 7 plays to go 67 yards in 4 minutes and 12 seconds in response to the Brahma’s offensive score. Orlando also failed to convert their extra point as well, still making the game 6-6.
With San Antonio getting the ball back with almost 3 minutes until halftime, the Brahmas mustered a great offensive series with a beautiful one handed catch from the former Notre Dame tight end Alize Mack for 19 yards. With that catch driving the moment towards the Brahmas, QB Jack Coan took the snap and threw a beautiful ball to Alize Mack again, exposing the man to man cover 2 defense. Mack snagged the ball over the linebacker’s head in the end zone to make the game 12-6. The Brahmas converted the extra point as Coan threw a great fade into the endzone to T.J. Vasher.
Once halftime hit the Orlando Guardians’ coach Terrell Buckley was livid on the sideline for the poor performance of the Orlando defense while Hines Ward was all smiles with his team’s performance.
After halftime, the Brahmas’ defense stepped up to get the ball back from the struggling Guardians offense. Then the offense for the Brahmas looked the most efficient they have ever looked and drove down the field and scored with another fade route but this time to the slot fade route receiver Jalen Tolliver for a 24 yard touchdown on an important 3rd & 5. This score brought the game to a 19-6 score. The Brahmas’ offense went with a fake play action play on the extra point attempt and Coan threw to the tight end Deon Yelder for the extra point wide open in the end zone, improving the score to 20-6.
The Guardians’ offense returned to the field to answer but no dice; they were forced to punt due to the Brahmas’ impeccable defense. The Guardians’ punt team went onto the field but a Brahma defender came screaming through the line uncovered and blocked the punt, recovering it on the Guardians’ 7 yard line. The Brahmas would run the ball in the I formation into the endzone behind running back Jon Hilliman, making the score 26-6. Hilliman got the rock again on the extra point, making the score 27-6.
Due to the poor offensive production, the Guardians changed their quarterback from former NFL Bronco Paxton Lynch to the famous former Florida State QB Deondre Francois, a QB that was featured on Netflix’s Last Chance U. An improved offense took the field and scored once again in the 4th quarter as Francois found receiver Cody Latimer open in the flats to make the score 27-12.
The Brahmas’ offense took the field but saw no production on this drive, forcing them to punt to the Guardians. Orlando’s offense took the field but stalled out once again, forcing them to go for it on a 4th & 10 due to their punter being injured on the previous blocked punt. The Brahma defense picked the ball off on a go route and returned the interception back to the Guardians’ 23 yard line. The Brahmas then capitalized and scored the final points of the game as play would end with a 30-12 score.
It was impressive to see the Guardians hold Orlando to only 12 points this game, a huge improvement in comparison to their week one performance.
Come week 3, the San Antonio Brahmas need to step their game even more with them having to play the tough Houston Roughnecks. San Antonio is currently second to last in their division even with the win over Orlando, but the Roughnecks are currently leading the south division of the XFL. Will Hines Ward and the San Antonio Brahmas be able to handle the best team in their division? We will see on Sunday March 5th at TDECU Stadium in Houston.
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