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San Antonio Brahmas Squander a Gifted Opportunity to Steal a Much-Needed Win

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As week 3 came to an end for the San Antonio Brahmas, week 4 invited a very well-respected opponent from the west coast of the United States, the Seattle Sea Dragons. The Sea Dragons sit 3rd in the north division of the XFL with only 1 win and 2 losses, just like the San Antonio Brahmas that sit in the same position in their division. 

Kickoff had commenced and San Antonio had returned it to their 31 yard line as the 1st quarter clock started. The first two plays of the offensive series got the Brahmas down to 3rd & 1 on the 39 yard line. As San Antonio tried to convert for a 1st down, they ran a read option with the starting quarterback Jack Coan and he got wrapped up by the captain of the Seattle defense, linebacker Jordan Evans who is coming off of an injury. Coan lost yardage, forcing San Antonio to punt to Seattle’s underrated offense.

Seattle Quarterback Ben DiNucci, a former Dallas Cowboy, came onto the field hot n’ ready to throw the ball around the yard. DiNucci threw flat routes and big out routes and screens against the Brahmas defense. Eventually the carrying of DiNucci came to a stop on the Brahmas’ 18 yard line as they were denied on a post route to Josh Gordon who couldn’t hold onto the ball on a 4th & 1.

The Brahma’s offense got the ball back on the defensive stop. Quarterback Coan started to get rhythm with the starting running back Kalen Balladge with two passes getting the offense first downs. Coan had now found rhythm in throwing the ball and proceeded to throw to receiver Frank Brown on a well-run deep post route for a good 15 yards. Balladge ran for a couple of yards following the first down. Tight end Alize Mack was then found for a well-run 20 yard in route to help the Brahmas offense gather another first down. San Antonio couldn’t muster a 1st down later in the drive, making them have to settle for a 38 yard field goal from the kicker John Parker Romo.

Both defenses had been playing very well in the first quarter, making the game 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. Almost the whole second quarter each team’s defense was stonewalling each other and neither team could score up until there was 1 minute and 50 seconds left on the clock in the first half. Seattle’s offense started to find cracks in San Antonio’s cover 2 pass coverage, striking down the middle of the field to receiver Blake Jackson for a 25 yard pass that put Seattle on the 45 yard line. Seattle with that momentum proceeded to give the ball to their running back Morgan Ellison, getting them to San Antonio’s 25 yard line with 1 minute and 30 seconds left on the clock. Seattle decided to pass the ball and DiNucci got the snap and threw it to receiver Jahcour Pearson, who leads the XFL in receiving yards, ran a drag route and got Seattle inside the 5 yard line.

With 42 seconds left in the second quarter, DiNucci took a snap out of the shotgun and rolled out right to throw to his wide open receiver Juwan Green. This touchdown made the game 3-6 with 37 seconds left on the clock. Seattle attempted to go for a 3 point attempt and couldn’t find anything over the middle of the field as the Brahmas defense was all over it and didn’t allow the receiver to catch the ball.

The Brahmas offense somehow managed to find a good momentum stream and used it to get them to Seattle’s 40 yard line with only 4 seconds left on the clock in the second quarter. Kicker John Parker Romo managed to hit an amazing 57 yard field goal, making it the longest made field goal in the league, to bring the game to 6-6 going into halftime. 

With halftime over, both teams’ offenses once again couldn’t find anything to score off of after a more productive first half. It wasn’t until DiNucci found a rhythm of receivers to throw to as his receivers were making great catches close to sidelines. The Sea Dragons’ offensive linemen were also making great blocks for the running back Ellison to drain the clock. Seattle used this drive to finally find a way to score, not by touchdown, but by a 35 yard field goal by the kicker Dominik Eberle. This made the game 6-9 with only 2 minutes left in the third quarter.

The Brahmas had gotten the ball back but couldn’t find any momentum to move them down the field to score any points. The same went for Seattle, and this back and forth battle went on till the end of the third quarter and most of the beginning of the fourth quarter.

It wasn’t till there was only 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter that Seattle started to really move the ball around on this Brahma defense. The offense behind DiNucci really started to fire on all cylinders. This drive showed how mobile Ben DiNucci really was and how much experience he has had as a quarterback over his years of experience. With Ellison helping the offense put some more pressure on the San Antonio defense. They managed to get to the Brahmas’ 32 yard line with a great clutch catch from the receiver Jordan Veasy on a 3rd & 6, managing to drive down to the 1 yard line with a great comeback route to the sideline from former NFL receiver Josh Gordan with 3 minutes and 14 seconds left on the clock.

Seattle then proceeded to give the ball to the running back Ellison, as he leaped over the defenders into the endzone, making the game 6-15 with 3 minutes and 9 seconds left on the clock. Seattle proceeded to go for the extra point and give it to Ellison but no dice, they came up short still leaving the game 6-15.

The San Antonio Brahmas had 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter to score and tie or win this game. But on an offensive series it came down to a 4th & 1, Coan threw an inaccurate ball with a defender covering the receiver in the flats as they turned over the ball back to Seattle to essentially end the game with 1 minute and 56 seconds left on the clock. But for some reason Seattle wanted to throw the ball on a 2nd & 7 when they should have been draining the clock. DiNucci threw a pick towards the sideline and San Antonio had a chance with 1 minute and 45 seconds left on the clock.

The offensive linemen struggles started to show on the drive and Coan was sacked, pushing them further away on their 15 yard line. But Coan refused to let this offensive drive die like that. Coan threw the ball to an open running back Jacques Patrick for the 1st down on their 30 yard line with 1 minute and 12 seconds on the clock. After the first down nothing could be done, and so they had to go for it on their 36 yard yard line on 4th & 5. Alize Mack the tight end came up clutch with an out route to keep the drive alive with 41 seconds left on the clock.

The offensive drive once again came down to a 4th & 1 and the offensive line couldn’t hold Seattle’s linemen for long, causing Coan to throw a very inaccurate pass to Balladge to try to keep the game alive. But in the end, the San Antonio Brahmas came up short and lost to the Seattle Sea Dragons. San Antonio Brahmas are now 1-3 and still 3rd in their north division while the Seattle Sea Dragons improved their record to 2-2, also still sitting at 3rd in their division. 

The midseason week is coming up this weekend with week 5, as the San Antonio Brahmas are hoping to improve their record and hopefully upset the Arlington Renegades. The Renegades are 2nd in the south division at 2-2. This weekend’s game will be on Sunday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.      

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