Defenders Sweep the Battlehawks, Abram Smith has Big Day (3-18-23)

By: Darrell Owens

Headline Photo Credit: DC Defenders Twitter

ST. LOUIS-The fifth week of the 2023 XFL finished up this past weekend. In the first game of the week, we saw The Houston Roughnecks lose for the first time. The Seattle Sea Dragons won their third straight game with a 21-14 win over Houston. The Vegas Vipers grabbed their first win of the year 35-32 over The Orlando Guardians With the loss, the Guardians remain the only team to be winless so far this season. The Arlington Renegades took down the San Antonio Brahmas 12-10 at home for win number three. Lastly, the DC Defenders took on the Battlehawks in St.Louis. DC won the first matchup in DC 34-28 and was looking to sweep the regular season series.

The Battlehawks struck first with 9:57 left in the second quarter with a 36-yard field goal to give St.Louis an early 3-0 lead. On the next DC possession, Abram Smith would break through on a 62-yard touchdown run to give The Defenders an 8-3 lead after a converted two-conversion. After a big fumble by the Battlehawks, Abram Smith would punch in his second rushing touchdown of the day on a 5-yard run extending their lead to 14-3 heading into the half.

Battlehawks started the third quarter with a big kickoff return from Darius Sheppard that would set up another St. Louis field goal making the score 14-6. Then on the next DC drive, Abram Smith would collect his third rushing touchdown this time on a 70-yard run putting the Defenders up 20-6 with 12:16 left in the third quarter. The Battlehawks would fight back with a 5-yard George Campbell catch from AJ McCarren for a touchdown making things a little closer to 20-12.

Early in the fourth quarter, we saw D’Eriq King take off for a 10-yard touchdown run and after a Jordan Ta’amu two-point conversion DC seized a 28-12 lead. The Battlehawks would not go away. AJ McCarren would find Steven Mitchell Jr on a 50-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion to close the lead to 28-20 late in the fourth. St. Louis had one more chance to tie, but the XFL league leader in interceptions Mike Joseph would snag his 4th of the season to clinch the win for the Defenders. The DC Defenders (5-0) will return home to take on the Houston Roughnecks (4-1) on Monday, March 27th at 7 pm from Audi Field!