Late Drive By Renegades Gives Them the Victory Over Defenders In Season Finale (6-2-24)

On the afternoon of June 2nd Audi Field in Washington, D.C., was the site of the season finale for the DC Defenders and Arlington Renegades. Both the Defenders and Renegades have had disappointing seasons, and today they’re playing to finish the season strong and maybe build on that in the offseason. 

Photo Credit: Arturo Jones-LMS Network

To start the game, the DC Defenders won the coin toss and chose to defer. The Arlington Renegades take the field first on offense. On their opening drive, QB Luis Perez would complete a 5-yard pass to WR Isaiah Winstead and then complete a 12-yard pass to WR Deontay Burnett. The Renegades continue to march down the field and enter the red zone after a 26-yard rush by RB De’Veon Smith. Then, the Defenders’ defense stepped up and kept the Renegades out of the end zone and forced them to kick a field goal attempt. Arlington’s kicker Jonathan Garibay makes the 27-yard field goal to give the Renegades a 3-0 lead. After a nice kick return by returner Chris Rowland, DC would begin their first drive at the Arlington 32-yard line. With the great field position after the kick return, the offense of DC was off to a slow start. They would bring in their kicker, Matt McCrane, to attempt a 44-yard field goal. The field goal was good and the game was tied at 3. Both the Renegades and Defenders would go 3 and out on their next drive. After fielding the punt from DC, Arlington’s offense takes the field but not for long. An errant throw by Perez leads to an interception by CB Gareon Conley. This would take us to the end of the first quarter with the game being tied at 3.

Photo Credit: Arturo Jones-LMS Network

After getting the interception, the Defenders couldn’t capitalize off of it on the offensive end and turnovers the ball over on downs as a result. On the Renegades’ next drive, Perez and the offense would move the ball into field goal where they would kick and make a 40-yard field goal to reclaim the lead, 6-3. However, their lead was short-lived because, on the ensuing kickoff, Rowland would return one 83 yards for the touchdown, making the score 9-6. The Defenders would force Arlington to punt on their next drive. Then, the Defenders would add on more points after QB Jordan Ta’amu connected with WR Vincent Smith for a 43-yard TD reception. That would cap off a 7-play 80-yard scoring drive for DC and push their lead to 15-6. Right before halftime, the Renegades would march down the field on a 10-play 63-yard scoring drive. This scoring drive ended with a 5-yard TD reception from Perez to WR Tyler Vaughns. The DC Defenders take a 15-14 lead into halftime over the Arlington Renegades.

On the opening drive of the 2nd half, the Defenders would put together an 8-play 33-yard scoring drive that was kept alive by some costly pass interference penalties called against the Renegades. The first PI penalty came on a third down, and the next one came in the end zone, which resulted in the ball being placed at the one-yard line. RB Cam’Ron Harris runs it up the middle for the 1-yard touchdown, expanding DC’s lead 21-14. The Arlington Renegades answer back with an 8-play 18-yard scoring drive that ends with a 36-yard field goal. This would make the score 21-17. 

Photo Credit: Arturo Jones-LMS Network

In the fourth quarter, QB Perez hits WR Tyler Vaughns on a 35-yard TD reception for his second TD of the game, and also the 25-21 lead. The next offensive drive for DC, they were able to move the ball down the field methodically. As a result, QB Ta’amu connects with WR Brandon Smith on a 40-yard TD reception. This touchdown connection happened after their original touchdown was called back due to a penalty on the Defenders. This TD reception gave DC the 29-25 lead. On the kickoff, the kick returner for Arlington was called for safety after the replay showed him touching the ball while his body was in the end zone and the ball was on the 1-yard line, making the score 31-25. At this point of the game, DC was rolling and their defense had managed to get another interception for Perez’s second of the day. However, things would soon change because DC couldn’t capitalize off of the turnover and missed a 54-yard field goal attempt. After the missed opportunity by DC, the Renegades marched down the field and scored on a 7-yard TD reception by WR Deontay Burnett. With that, Arlington regains a 32-31 lead and holds on to win the ball game. Tough loss for the Defenders and not the ideal way to end your season.