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Week 5 Preview: Get to know the BattleHawks

BattleHawks QB Taylor Heinicke (Left) and RB Matt Jones (Right) have ties to the D.M.V.

The DC Defenders (2-2) look to put a stop to their two-game losing streak when they host the St. Louis BattleHawks (3-1) at Audi Field on Sunday, March 8 at 3 p.m. ET.

The Defenders hope a return to Audi Field will be what they need to return to their winning, and scoring ways.

In the Defenders' two home games, the team has outscored its opponents 58-19. But since their 2-0 start, the team has been outscored 64-9 on the road.

The BattleHawks enter Week 5 with just one blemish, a tough 28-24 road loss in Week 2 to the undefeated Houston Roughnecks. St. Louis is riding a two-game win streak and is averaging 22.75 points per game, compared to the Defenders' 16.75 points per game.

The Defenders will have their hands full come Sunday, as the BattleHawks boast a prolific offense and staunch defense. The team boasts a bevy of notable names from college, the pros and the D.M.V.

Get to know some of the notable names on the St. Louis BattleHawks.


  • Home Field: The Dome at America's Center
  • Team Colors: Royal blue, grey, navy blue
  • Team President: Kurt Hunzeker
  • Head Coach: Jonathan Hayes
  • Record: 3-1 (15-9 Win at Renegades; 28-24 Loss at Roughnecks; 29-9 Win vs. Guardians; 23-16 Win vs. Dragons)

MORE: BattleHawks Roster | BattleHawks Depth Chart



  • Jordan Ta'amu --  82-for-109, 876 yards, 5 passing TDs, 2 INTs. 36 carries for 186 yards. 1 rushing TD. 


  • De'Mornay Pierson-El -- 21 receptions for 210 yards on 23 targets. 2 TDs. Long of 41 yards. 11 receptions for 180 yards on 20 targets. 16.4 avg. 1 TD. Long of 42 yards.
  • L'Damian Washington -- 16 receptions for 138 yards on 20 targets. 1 TD. Long of 36 yards. 


  • Matt Jones -- 67 carries for 244 yards. 3.6 avg. 1 rushing TD. Long of 47 yards.
  • Christine Michael -- 47 carries for 109 yards. 2.3 avg. 1 rushing TD. Long of 14 yards. 


  • S Dexter McCoil -- 30 combined tackles, 19 solo tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for a loss.
  • S Will Hill -- 21 combined tackles, 18 solo tackles, 2 INTs. 2 tackles for loss. 2 pass deflections.


  • #6 QB Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion: A two-time FCS All-American and the 2012 CAA Offensive Player of the Year. Finished his career ranked fourth in FBS history with 132 career TD passes and ranks third all-time in total offense with 16,279 yards. 
  • #7 P Marquette King, Fort Valley State: Former Oakland Raiders punter who led the NFL in punting yards in 2014. Named to All-Pro, Second Team in 2016.
  • #15 WR De’Mornay Pierson-El, Nebraska: From Alexandria, Va.  Attended West Potomac High School. Was signed by the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent following the 2018 NFL Draft. 
  • #23 S Kenny Robinson, West Virginia: Became the first player to forgo his college eligibility to enter the XFL Draft pool. Finished his two-year career at WVU with 123 tackles and seven interceptions.
  • #24 RB Matt Jones, Florida: Selected by the Washington Redskins with the No. 95 overall pick (third round) in the 2015 NFL Draft. Played in 20 games for the Redskins, starting in seven. Finished with 950 yards on 243 attempts, scoring six rushing touchdowns and fumbling eight times. 
  • #25 S Will Hill, Florida: A five-star recruit, USA Today High School All-American and a member of Florida's 2009 BCS National Championship team. Played in 26 games for the Baltimore Ravens during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Was named 2015 Week 12 AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for a game-winning blocked field goal return touchdown against the Cleveland Browns.
  • #28 CB Robert Nelson, Arizona State: College teammates with Defenders WR Rashad Ross. Was a member of the Baltimore Ravens practice squad for the 2017 season.
  • #33 RB Christine Michael, Texas A&M: Selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the No. 62 overall pick (second round) in the 2013 NFL Draft. Was a member of the Super Bowl XLVIII winning team. Was a member of the Washington Redskins practice squad during the 2015 season.
  • #41 CB Darius Hillary, Wisconsin: Was a member of 2018 Washington Redskins training camp. Waived before the regular season.
  • #44 S Joe Powell, Globe Tech: From Portsmouth, Va. Attended I.C. Norcom High School. Was a member of the Baltimore Brigade (AFL) during 2018 season.
  • #55 DE Andrew Ankrah, James Madison: From Gaithersburg, Md. Attended Quince Orchard High School. Was named FCS Defensive Player of the Year in and consensus FCS All-American in 2017. Was a member of the 2019 Washington Redskins training camp. 
  • #57 LB Terence Garvin, West Virginia: From Towson, Md. Attended Loyola Blakefield. Played in all 16 games for Washington Redskins during the 2016 season, finishing second in special teams tackles with eight.
  • #83 TE Wes Saxton, South Alabama: Was a member of the Washington Redskins practice squad during the 2016 sand 2019 seasons.
  • #89 TE Connor Davis, Stony Brook: From Bel Air, Md. Attended Fallston High School. 
  • #84 WR Alonzo Russell, Toledo: From Washington, D.C. Attended H.D. Woodson High School. Was named to First Team All-Met by Washington Post. 
  • #99 DT Jake Payne, Shenandoah: From Catharpin, Va., attended Battlefield High School.