Battlehawks suffer first loss in franchise history

1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 8:05:00 PM CST February 16, 2020 in Sports
By: Jack Soble, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer

HOUSTON - After a week-long run of dominance, the St. Louis Battlehawks' all-time franchise win percentage dropped 50 points on Sunday evening with the worst loss in franchise history, a 28-24 defeat in Houston at the hands of the now 2-0 Roughnecks.

Of course, it was also St. Louis's first loss in franchise history. In the second game of the team's existence, costly turnovers plagued the Battlehawks. Quarterback Jordan Ta'amu, a former Ole Miss standout, completed 30 of 37 passes for 284 yards - a solid 7.7 YPA - but threw two interceptions, including one in the fourth quarter that all but sealed the game.

The Battlehawks ran a deep passing play on 2nd and 14, and Ta'amu threw it down the right sideline to a receiver who was never open. Cornerback Jeremiah Johnson picked it off and ran it back to the St. Louis's six yard line.

Three plays later, Roughnecks quarterback PJ Walker found receiver Cam Phillips in the end zone on a designed roll-out. The score was Phillips' third of the game and the subsequent extra point gave Houston a 28-18 lead, from which St. Louis would not recover.

The game did not end before a Missouri Tiger made his mark on the scoresheet, however. Former Mizzou receiver L'Damian Washington took a quick screen pass 36 yards for a touchdown with 1:41 left in the fourth quarter, but by then it was too little, too late. Walker and the Roughnecks got the ball back and were able to run out the clock.

Football will return to St. Louis for the first time since 2015, after which the Rams left for Los Angeles, on Sunday, February 23. The Battlehawks will host the New York Guardians at 2:00 p.m. at The Dome at America's Center.

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