Battlehawks tie franchise-long win streak with victory over NY Guardians
ST. LOUIS - Professional football returned to St. Louis with a bang on Sunday afternoon, as the Battlehawks dominated the New York Guardians and emerged from The Dome at America's Center with a 29-9 victory.
The Battlehawks built a 23-3 lead in the first half, which was fueled by big plays on special teams. Wide receiver Keith Mumphrey fielded a kickoff in the second quarter, ran to the left and pitched it to safety Joe Powell, who had peeled off from the blockers and was running right with all kinds of room in front of him.
Powell took it all the way down the right sideline and to the house for the first kickoff return touchdown in XFL History, giving St. Louis a 12-3 lead.
The third-phase heroics didn't stop there. Receiver Carlton Agudosi broke through the a gap in the line to block a Guardians punt, which was recovered by the Battlehawks and returned to New York's 20 yard line. The block gave St. Louis's offense a short field for their next possession, which ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Matt Jones.
After the halftime break, the kicking game joined the fun. Kicker Taylor Russolino drilled a 58-yard field goal to extend the lead to 26-3. He made three field goals throughout the game, including the long one.
With the win, the Battlehawks tied the DC Defenders for the lead in the XFL's East Division. The Defenders, who were widely considered the XFL's best team heading into the week, were blown out by the LA Wildcats 39-9.
The Battlehawks will remain in St. Louis next week for their first Saturday contest of the season. They'll host the West Division's Seattle Dragons, who have stumbled to a 1-2 start.