- Eric Martinez
Arlington Renegades rally in 4th quarter beating San Antonio Brahmas 12 to 10
Approaching game 5 of the XFL season, the Arlington Renegades were looking to get their first road win of the year. The previous two road games resulted in losses in St. Louis against the Battlehawks, and Houston in week 2 versus the Roughnecks. The Renegades' quarterback Kyle Sloter started his third straight game in San Antonio on Sunday evening. Arlington’s offense was ranked second to last in the XFL in yards per attempt, and in ranked last in offensive yards generated. The Renegades have relied on sure handed tight end, Sal Cannella, to make key first downs. Cannella is ranked fourth in the XFL receiving completions with 26 receptions.
San Antonio entered Sunday with a 1-3 record for the season. The Brahmas kicked off to the Renegades with hope that Sunday would produce a win to close the distance between themselves and the Renegades and first place Houston Roughnecks. The first quarter began with a Renegades 9 play, 45-yard drive that produced a 43-yard field goal by kicker Taylor Russolino to take a 3 to 0 lead. Renegades defense forced a punt on the first drive for the Brahmas. With 6:38 remaining in the first quarter, Kyle Sloter had a pass intercepted by Brahmas defense returning the ball to the Arlington 40 yard-line. San Antonio started quarterback Reid Sinnett to give the offense a spark.
Brahmas scored on a 6-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver TJ Vasher to take a 6 to 3 lead in addition to a successful 1-point conversion pass to TJ Vasher as well. Brahmas scoring drive lasted 3:37 for 7 plays and 33 yards. Renegades put together a 78-yard, 15 play drive in the second quarter to cut the lead 6 to 7 with a 25-yard field goal by Taylor Russolino. In what seemed to be a defensive struggle, Brahmas made a 45-yard field goal to end the half and secure a 10 to 6 lead going into halftime. Renegades came out of the half with a bend and don’t break mentality defensively.
On the first drive of the half, Renegades defensive lineman, Bunmi Rotimi, got to the quarterback to create an inaccurate pass that cornerback Joe Powell was able to intercept and spot the ball down at their own 2 yard line. Coach Stoops and staff had a plan to attack and secure the lead. Arlington put together the longest drive of the XFL season so far. The 14 play, 98 yard drive took 8 minutes and 35 seconds that took the 3rd quarter down to it’s final seconds when several key first downs set up a 1-yard rushing touchdown for Renegades running back De’Veon Smith to take a 12 to 10 lead with a failed 2-point conversion as well.
The Renegades locked down defensively in the fourth quarter. San Antonio offensively possessed the ball 4 times, however two possessions resulted in punts, and two resulted in 2 interceptions for the Renegades defense (Shakur Brown). Arlington escaped with a 12 to 10 win and now remains second place with a 3-2 record in the XFL South division. Both teams will meet again in week 6 in Arlington this time on Sunday afternoon. Brahmas drop to 1-4 on the season and will need to win as many games as possible if they would like to advance to play in a playoff game in the South division.