Showboats fall to Defenders 36-21

Showboats fall to Defenders 36-21

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The D.C. Defenders racked up a season-high 431 yards of offense en route to a 36-21 victory over the Memphis Showboats Sunday afternoon at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium.

D.C. (4-5) jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. The Defenders led the Showboats (1-8) 30-7 early in the fourth and cruised to the 15-point win from there. Jordan Ta’aamu led the way for D.C., passing for 237 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20-of-24 attempts. He also rushed for 38 yards and 1 touchdown, accounting for three of the Defenders’ five scores.

Darius Victor was a bright spot for the Showboats offense, rushing for 98 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries. Victor’s 6-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter pulled Memphis within one score, 14-7.

But D.C. answered quickly. Ta’amu drove his team 61 yards in seven plays, finding Alex Ellis with a 15-yard touchdown pass. That score came with 14 seconds remaining in the first half, put the Defenders back in front 22-7 and quickly restored momentum to the D.C. sideline. That momentum continued early in the third quarter. Ta’amu’s 1-yard touchdown run pushed the D.C. lead to 30-7 less than five minutes into the second half.

Vinny Papale scored his fifth receiving touchdown of the season early in the fourth quarter, hauling in a 14-yard strike from Josh Love, who came on in relief of Troy Williams. The two backup quarterbacks traded rushing touchdowns late in the game to account for the final score.

Love was 9-of-14 for 105 yards with 1 touchdown and two interceptions. Jonathan Adams was the top target for the Showboats, hauling in five receptions for 73 yards. Lamont McPhatter led the Showboats’ defense with nine total tackles, including his first sack of the season.

The Showboats wrap up the 2024 United Football League season at 6  p.m. Sunday, June 2 at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, hosting the Houston Roughnecks.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to