Bob Stoops is a champion once more.
The longtime Oklahoma soccer coach guided the Arlington Renegades to the XFL title Saturday, defeating the league-best D.C. Defenders 35-26 within the championship recreation performed at San Antonio’s Alamodome.
Arlington went simply 4-6 within the common season, however that was sufficient to safe the second playoff spot within the South Division. They took down the 7-3 Houston Roughnecks within the divisional playoff earlier than upsetting the Defenders, who went 9-1 within the common season, within the title recreation.
The victory concludes the primary season of XFL version 3.0.
“I feel what this primary season of the XFL has confirmed to us as homeowners, to the soccer group whom we embrace as a result of we love the sport of soccer — it has confirmed that we will do it. We will do that. We will create, in time, day-by-day, the perfect spring soccer league on the earth,” league co-owner Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson mentioned in an interview earlier than kickoff.
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Here is how the Renegades received the XFL title:
Arlington scored on its first possession, when Luis Perez linked with Sal Cannella for a 41-yard landing, then compelled a three-and-out when the Defenders’ Josh Hammond was unable to corral a move from Jordan Ta’amu. A holding penalty on the Renegades’ ensuing drive worn out Kelly Bryant’s speeding landing, however Arlington overcame the setback within the waning moments of the primary quarter when Perez linked with Tyler Vaughns on a 9-yard landing to cap the 8-minute, 45-second drive. A profitable two-point conversion pushed the Renegades’ result in 14-0.
The primary quarter stats had been about as lopsided as you will ever see. Arlington ran 24 performs to D.C.’s 4, had an eye-opening 174 to -1 benefit in complete yards and held the ball for 12:47 of the opening quarter-hour.
D.C. lastly put a drive collectively, stringing three first downs collectively after Arlington held a 10-0 benefit in that division within the first quarter, however the drive ended when Joe Powell intercepted Ta’amu’s tipped ball ultimately zone.
The Renegades took one other 6:50 off the clock on the following drive, however had been compelled to accept a discipline objective to increase the result in 17-0.
Scary second in second quarter
There was a major delay within the second quarter following a scary collision on the sideline between Hammond and a photographer. The photographer was attended to by trainers and medical personnel and was ultimately positioned on a backboard and carted off the sector.
The Defenders lastly obtained into the top zone when play resumed, capping off the 10-play drive on Abram Smith’s speeding landing with 32 seconds to go. Arlington managed to get one other discipline objective earlier than halftime to enter the break with a 20-6 benefit.
Smith additional minimize into the deficit, to 20-12, with a 52-yard landing on the Defenders’ first possession of the second half. However Arlington prolonged the lead again to 14 factors as Leddie Brown completed off a 12-play, 71-yard drive with a 7-yard landing run.
After exchanging punts, the Defenders scored once more as Ta’amu and Hammond linked on a 72-yard bomb to chop the deficit again to 26-20 with 9 seconds to go within the quarter. A private foul penalty, mixed with an unlawful kick penalty on the kickoff, although, helped set Arlington up in nice discipline place and so they instantly took benefit as Perez hit Brown for a 30-yard landing and 32-20 lead because the third quarter concluded.
Ta’amu was picked off once more on the Defenders’ subsequent drive as Brandon Rusnak made an acrobatic play.
Arlington turned that into one other discipline objective for a 35-20 lead then bled quite a lot of clock with a prolonged drive following a D.C. three-and-out. A fumble gave the Defenders the ball again and Hammond scored a 23-yard landing with an amazing catch and run to chop the deficit to 35-26 however with 1:17 to go.
D.C. went for it on fourth-and-15 after the rating to be able to attempt to preserve possession — one of many XFL’s many quirky guidelines — however Ta’amu was picked off once more.