Sunday, February 16, 2020 – In the second game of the inaugural XFL season, the Los Angeles Wildcats (0-1) coming off a 37-17 loss against the Houston Roughnecks in Houston, hosted the Dallas Renegades (0-1) who are also coming off a loss against the St. Louis Battlehawks with a score of 15-9. Although it was a very slow first half, the teams and crowd came alive during third quarter and kept the energy and drive going throughout the remainder of the game.
Both teams looked to win their first game but only the Renegades came out victorious with a final score of 25-18.
What some had feared was nothing more than a game that looked like Junior College football, the Wildcats and Renegades showed that their players had more than enough heart to make for an exciting football game. As the Alliance of American Football (AAF) came and went without completing an entire season, the XFL name already has a history as well as a legacy thanks to owner Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Though McMahon’s notoriety comes from the world of sports entertainment with the WWE, the original XFL’s innovation in presenting football to the masses with various camera angles and mic’ing players, something the NFL had incorporated, we can only expect new innovations for America’s now only B-League football.
Here’s the action as follows:
During the first quarter, Harlan Miller was able to pick off Landry Jones at the 32 yard line with the intended receiver being Donald Parham, allowing the Wildcats to hold possession of the ball 63% of the time with a total of 11 minutes as score remained 0-0 going into the second.
The second quarter fared better as fans continued to enter Dignity Health Sports Park. Elijiah Hood fumbled the ball allowing Tenny Adewusi to recover for Dallas at 13:29 at the Los Angeles 47 yard line. Kermit Whitfield recovered the punt at 7:28 taking the ball to the Wildcats own 33 yard line. The Wildcats finally get on the board with a 47 yard field goal by kicker Nick Novak at 3:11 left in the second quarter. The Wildcats lead 3-0. With only 30 seconds left in the half, Jones throws an incomplete pass to the end zone. A 10 yard penalty is called against Dallas leading to second and 16. Another flag is thrown before the play making it third and 21 with 14 seconds left in the half. It’s fourth and 21 as the Renegades tie it up 3-3 with 7 seconds left in the half.
The third quarter is underway and Martez Carter returns the kickoff to the Wildcats own 38 leading Adonis Jennings after a pass from Josh Johnson, gaining a first down on the Renegades 47. The Renegades take over at their own 40 yard line after a failed 50 yard field goal attempt by Novak. Jones scrambles out of the pocket and runs the ball for a gain of 8, from the Dallas 48 yard line. Jones is picked off by Will Smith, but a flag is on the play for unsportsmanlike conduct putting the ball on the Wildcats own 33 yard line. Johnson throws a Hail Mary to Jennings but pass interference is called on Treston Decoun. The Wildcats are third and 10 from the Renegades’ 15 yard line, Johnson passes to Brandon Barnes, who loses his helmet and a flag is tossed on the field against Donatello Brown, taking the Wildcats to second and goal from the 2 yard line. Wood fumbles on the carry and the ball is recovered by Greer Martini of the Renegades.
Jones completes a pass to Joshua Crockett for a 40 yard gain by Dallas. Now at the Renegades own 46, Dallas picks up another 8 by Flynn Nagel. From the Wildcats 37, Jones passes Sean Price, picking up 15 on the play, first and 10 on the 19 yard line. Jones is sacked by Cedric Reed for a 7 yard loss, it is now third and 18 from the 22 yard line. Incomplete pass on the drive intended for Donald Parham. Renegades make a 45 yard field goal and the kick is good, 6-3 Dallas.
The fourth quarter and it is Los Angeles’ ball on the Renegades 30 yard line. The crowds has come alive to support their home is first and 10 at the 19 yard line. Johnson scrambles out of the pocket and the pass is incomplete to Larry Rose. Smallwood makes the catch at the 10, making it third and one, before a second carry getting the Wildcats a first down. First and goal and the pass is incomplete to Smallwood in the end zone, making it second and goal. Touchdown by Nelson Spruce but the conversion is no good! The Wildcats take the lead 9-6 at 11:50 of the fourth quarter.
A 21 yard drive and a touchdown by Cameron Artis-Payne brings the score to 13-9 Renegades after the one point conversion. After a short possession the Wildcats punt the ball as Nagel picks up 45 yards, which is quickly followed by a neutral zone infraction for another 5 yard gain due to pentalty. The Renegade have the ball on the 8 yard line with two to go for a first down. A flag is tossed offsides on the defense, giving Dallas a first down, putting them at first and goal. Touchdown Renegades as Jones’ pass is completed to Parham. The conversion is no good and the score is now 19-9 with 4:55 remaining in the game.
Carter with a return for the Wildcats putting them at the Dallas 45 yard line. Johnson throws a touchdown pass to Spruce after a flag is on the play and elected to go for a three point drive putting them only down by one as the Renegades lead 19-18 with 4:37 left in the game.
Artis-Payne with a rush of 17 yards and a touchdown increasing the Renegades lead to 25-18 after a failed one point conversion. This could be all over the the Wildcats as there is 1:06 left in the game.
It’s first and 10 at the Wildcats own 31 yard line on the kickoff return by Carter. Second and 10, Johnson under heavy pressure and the pass is incomplete to Smallwood with 44 seconds left in this home opener. A third down pass to Brandon Barnes is incomplete and on fourth down, the Wildcats go for it but turn it over at the Dallas 31 yard line.
This one is all over as Dallas moves on to 1-1 on the season, 25-18 in a hard fought victory.