The D.C. Defenders capped off the opening weekend of XFL 3.0 last weekend with a come-from-behind win over the Seattle Sea Dragons at Audi Field.
This weekend, the Defenders were on the road with a trip to Las Vegas to face the Vegas Vipers. And, much like last week, the opponent jumped on the Defenders early, but Gregg Williams’ defense took over and led D.C. to an 18-6 win over Vegas.
The Vipers scored in the first quarter when, after a Defenders’ fumble, running back DeAndre Torrey plunged in from two yards out. Vegas missed the PAT conversion and held a 6-0 lead.
The Defenders’ offense did nothing the rest of the first half and went into halftime trailing 6-0.
The second half was a different story.
The Defenders got their first points when kicker Matthew McCrane connected on a 47-yard field to cut the Vegas lead to 6-3.
Hey Defenders Fam… we’re coming back to @AudiField 2-0.
— D.C. Defenders (@XFLDefenders) February 26, 2023
The D.C. defense continued to dominate, holding the Vipers scoreless in the second half. The Defenders’ offense finally got things going, as quarterback D’Eriq King scored from 12 yards out to give D.C. its first lead. The Defenders converted on the PAT to extend their lead to 10-6.
After a Vegas fumble, running back Abram Smith took the King handoff and scored from nine yards out. D.C. went for two and converted as King found tight end Ethan Wolf in the end zone for the conversion.
D.C. quarterback Jordan Ta’amu completed 11 of 23 passes for 98 yards and also rushed for 68 yards on 12 attempts. King came in and rushed for 32 yards and a touchdown. His only pass attempt was the 2-point conversion to Wolf.
As a team, the Defenders rushed for 229 yards and two touchdowns. They averaged 5.5 yards per attempt.
The Defenders held the Vipers to 178 total yards.
Next up for the 2-0 Defenders is a return home to host the St. Louis Battlehawks.