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Recap: St. Louis BattleHawks 29, New York Guardians 9

Highlights: St. Louis BattleHawks 29, New York Guardians 9


More Week 3: HOU 34, TB 27  |  DAL 24, SEA 12  |  LA 39, DC 9

ST. LOUIS -- With the support of a wild crowd for the XFL debut at The Dome at America's Center, the St. Louis BattleHawks (2-1) controlled their 26-9 victory Sunday over the New York Guardians (1-2).

St. Louis never trailed in Week 3 and sustained their drives thanks to an effective 1-2 run tandem of Matt Jones (95 yards, one touchdown) and Christine Michael (44 yards, one TD). 

A lateraled kickoff return also went for a BattleHawks touchdown thanks to Joe Powell's finish, and a jaw-dropping 58-yard field goal from Taylor Russolino provided plenty of moments to mark in pro football's return to The Lou.

The Guardians, meanwhile, failed to get anything going on offense with erratic quarterback play. Matt McGloin battled ineffectiveness and injury. Marquise Williams moved downfield at times but couldn't convert. Third-stringer Luis Perez got a late audition and threw a touchdown, but by then, New York was far from contending.


The BattleHawks played smash-mouth football on their opening drive, needing just four run plays to score.

Jones broke off a 47-yard run before Michael took a carry 14 yards up the gut for St. Louis' first points at home.

In the second quarter, St. Louis popped off a trick play. Powell took a lateral from Keith Mumphery for a touchdown -- the first kickoff returned for a sixer in XFL history.

XFL's first ever return TD

BattleHawks comment on win

"Obviously I want to express my thanks and our teams thanks to the people who came out. It was a great crowd, and it really ignited our players, and I can see why our 12th man is so important.”

BattleHawks head coach Jonathan Hayes

"We have a lot of potential. We have a great coaching staff. We have a great group of guys: offense, defense, even special teams. Going out there today it was that NFL feeling. We’re all playing a high level, feeding off one another."

BattleHawks RB Christine Michael


New York's shoddy discipline allowed the BattleHawks to dictate the pace.



Cornerback Ranthony Texada flew all over the field, registering six tackles (four solo), one sack and a pass defensed.

Though perhaps helped by playing against loose defensive looks from an opponent winning big, New York's run game looked effective; the Guardians averaged 5.3 yards per attempt as Tim Cook and Darius Victor each netted 50 yards -- including a 33-yarder from Cook.


While the Guardians' ground game finally showed life, Jones and Michael again set a fine argument that they're the best 1-2 backfield punch in the XFL, combining for 139 yards on 28 carries (5.0 average). 

St. Louis pressured the cavalcade of Guardians quarterbacks, getting sacks from Will Clarke, Andrew Ankrah and Casey Sayles.

Sayles is probably the big winner, though, because he also got Girl Scout cookies:

Football for Girl Scout cookies? It's a deal.

Guardians discuss defeat

"Congratulations to St. Louis. They were well prepared. They had innovative ideas on special teams. We did not play smart. We made foolish penalties. I told our team I was very disappointed."

Guardians head coach Kevin Gilbride

"Right now as a team, we have to keep building together, stay strong together -- and just regroup.”

Guardians RB Justin Stockton


Up Next: Week 4

  • New York heads back to MetLife Stadium to host the Los Angeles Wildcats (Saturday, Feb. 29, 2 p.m. on ABC).
  • The BattleHawks stay at home, welcoming the Seattle Dragons (Saturday, Feb. 29, 5 p.m. ET on FOX).

More Week 3: HOU 34, TB 27  |  DAL 24, SEA 12  |  LA 39, DC 9