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Recap: Tampa Bay Vipers 25, DC Defenders 0

Vipers RB Jacques Patrick (29) pays tribute to his late father after a Week 4 TD. He and De'Veon Smith each had the league's first 100-yard rushing games.


WEEK 4: NY 17, LA 14 | STL 23, SEA 16 | HOU 27, DAL 20

TAMPA, Fla. -- Sunday night marked the second straight week that the DC Defenders fell to a winless team.

This time, the beneficiary was the Tampa Bay Vipers (1-3), who controlled the pace with a suffocating rushing attack during a 25-0 home win at Raymond James Stadium.

De'Von Smith notched the first 100-yard rushing game in XFL history with his 103-yard performance on 21 carries (4.9 average). Jacques Patrick had 94 yards, playing with a heavy heart after the recent passing of his father.

Quarterback Taylor Cornelius rarely missed a bit, going 24-for-31 for 211 yards and a touchdown, adding a rushing score. He's found a groove with offensive coordinator and play-caller Jaime Elizondo the past two weeks.

On DC's side in that same window, Cardale Jones has averaged 87.5 passing yards and struggled to a 0:5 TD:INT.


Patrick's grinding effort earned him his first-quarter score, and he followed with a tribute to his father:

Jacques Patrick punches it in for 6

Here's his emotional response during his sideline interview:

With talented tight end Nick Truesdell (knee) inactive, DeAndre Goolsby saw more attention, including this grab across the middle for a sixer.

DeAndre Goolsby with the 12-yard TD catch

"Corn Dog" put a DC Defender on a stick with this TD scramble:

Taylor Cornelius gets loose for 6


"I'm just happy for our players and our coaches. They are resilient bunch. Our players have a sense of how good we can be. We said it all along, there's a sign of a good team in there. We are going to enjoy the win, but there's a lot of different ways we can get better. We know that."

Vipers head coach Marc Trestman

"Glad to get the first win. We put a lot of work in. It's finally good to see the results show on the scoreboard."

Vipers RB Jacques Patrick


The Vipers were ready to strike:



Safety Rahim Moore registered his second interception of the season, in one of the rare bright spots of the night for the visitors.

Fellow safety Matt Elam and linebacker Jonathan Celestin gathered 12 combined tackles (nine solo for Elam, seven for Celestin).


Smith, Patrick and Cornelius churned out the win, but wideout Dan Williams also bullied DC's secondary with a seven-catch, 72-yard day on 11 targets, including a 38-yard play.

Defenders discuss defeat

"We have to tackle and we have to stop the run. They did a really good job of running the football, and they did it well all game.”

Defenders head coach Pep Hamilton

"They played their game. We missed on opportunities that we wanted to exploit. We just missed it. They played a great game overall, but not anything we weren’t ready for.”

Defenders QB Cardale Jones


Up Next: Week 5

  • The Vipers head out on the road to play the other team that got its first win against DC: the Los Angeles Wildcats. Watch it Sunday, March 8, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
  • DC hosts the East-leading St. Louis BattleHawks (Sunday, March 8, at 3 p.m. ET on FS1).

WEEK 4: NY 17, LA 14 | STL 23, SEA 16 | HOU 27, DAL 20