Recap: Dallas Renegades 25, Los Angeles Wildcats 18
CARSON, Calif. -- A 3-3 halftime score gave way to a furiously paced second half, as the Dallas Renegades (1-1) emerged with a 25-18 road win Sunday over the Los Angeles Wildcats (0-2) at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Despite losing the turnover battle 3-2, Dallas broke through on the ground after the break. Landry Jones threw for 305 yards in his return from the sidelines, and Cameron Artis-Payne finished with 131 scrimmage yards (99 rushing) and two key second-half scores.
The Wildcats welcomed back their own quarterback in Josh Johnson, who connected twice for a touchdown with Nelson Spruce, who may finish Week 2 as the league's leader with 192 receiving yards across his first two contests.
DALLAS RENEGADES 25, LOS ANGELES WILDCATS 18
- Box Score
- Top Moments
- This is the XFL: Renegades come back to win
- Morris: Artis-Payne, Jones find a way to finish
Artis-Payne churned out a pair of scores from 21 and 17 yards out in the fourth quarter with some brilliant work turning the left corner:
Wildcats wide receiver Nelson Spruce owned the middle of the field for most of the contest and took two trips into the end zone of his own.
RENEGADES TALK ABOUT WIN
"They were playing too high...As long as they did that we knew where we could throw the ball...and a lot of time they had five in the box which allowed us to run the ball."
“Just make a play. I trust Landry fully; it’s his first day back. Something we’ve been working on since OTAs. For him to have that trust in me to go make a play, to bring energy to this team and then come out with a great team victory — you know, it wasn’t pretty in the beginning, but we found a way as a team at the end of the day — and that’s all you can ask for."
STATS OF THE GAME
Artis-Payne found plenty of room to work late and allowed Dallas to control the pace after the break.
The Renegades wound up averaging 6.4 yards per carry. LA? 3.2.
Artis-Payne took over once the Renegades started to establish the run, winding up with a ludicrous 7.1 yards-per-carry average. The former NFL carrier's two scoring cutbacks to the left should convince Dallas to lean on the ground game more strongly in the near future.
After a slow first half and two interceptions plagued him into the third quarter, Jones found another level with the deep ball in the second half, finishing with 305 passing yards, a 70% completion rate and a solid rate of 7.6 yards per attempt.
Highlights: a connection with Joshua Crockett for 39 yards and a red-zone score to athletic TE Donald Parham, who stood out on his own with five catches and 76 yards on 11 targets.
Spruce's six-catch, nine-target, 89-yard and two-score day was the highlight of an LA effort that came up just short. He's quickly developing into one of the most reliable wideouts in the XFL, following his 11-catch, 15-target Week 1. This time, he aided in Josh Johnson's return following a Week 1 absence.
Linebacker Will Smith registered one of LA's two picks, defended another pass and collected six total tackles (two solo).
WILDCATS DISCUSS DEFEAT
"We're making progress. We got better today. The guys have to stay the course. They have to take care of their bodies. They have to do the little things. The little things get you beat. The turnovers, the penalties, the good teams that win games do not beat themselves."
"As an offense, we were moving the ball. We didn't get points on the board when we had the opportunity, which was the difference in the game. We'll look at the tape and fix what we gotta fix."