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A.J. McCarron leads Battlehawks to dominant win over Vegas Vipers

AJ McCarron leads second comeback victory of XFL season for St. Louis Battlehawks.

The St. Louis Battlehawks and A.J. McCarron took care of business against the Vegas Vipers with a dominating 29-6 win Saturday.

McCarron and the Battlehawks struck first early in the second quarter with a four-yard touchdown to wide receiver Gary Jennings on a jet sweep.

They converted the two-point conversion on the next play with a touchdown pass to wide receiver Darrius Shepherd, making it 8-0 Battlehawks.

After an 11-play 75-yard drive late in the second quarter,Β  St. Louis came away with an 11-0 lead on a 40-yard field goal from kicker Donny Hageman.

A short series from the Viper’s offense gave the Battlehawks the ball back with 55 seconds to go before halftime, and they took full advantage of that. Three plays were all it took for McCarron to deliver a 30-yard touchdown pass to Shepherd, and the Battlehawks took a 17-0 lead going into halftime.

Vegas started with the ball in the second half but quickly turned the ball over when quarterback Luis Perez missed his receiver and was picked off by cornerback Lavert Hill.

The Battlehawks used the turnover momentum and had another long drive that was capped off by a one-yard rushing touchdown from running back Kareem Walker, stretching the lead to 23-0 late in the third quarter.

Perez and the Vipers’ offense had finally put together a nice drive, but disaster struck on the eighth play as Perez was once again picked off by Hill. Thankfully for Perez, St. Louis wasn’t able to capitalize on the turnover and turn it into points and they were forced to punt the ball away.

Former Green Bay Packers quarterback, Brett Hundley entered the game with four minutes left in the third quarter replacing Perez, but still, the offense sputtered as they turned the ball over on downs.

Hundley and company found the end zone on a 17-yard pass to wide receiver, John Lovett, but failed on their two-point conversion making the score 23-6 with 7:05 left in the fourth quarter.

Any chance of a potential Vipers comeback was put to rest on the next drive when McCaron threw his third touchdown of the night to a familiar face, wide receiver Darrius Shepherd.

On the next drive, Vegas turned the ball over on downs and St. Louis ran the clock out to end the game.

McCarron finished the night 23-29 with 236 yards and three touchdowns. At one point, he had 19 straight completions. Despite an efficient state line, McCarron did experience some adversity. Late in the third quarter, his helmet communication went out and he had to call the offensive plays entirely on his own without the help of offensive coordinator Bruce Gradkowski. Thankfully for the team, they were able to get the issue resolved a few drives later.

Next up for the 4-2 Battlehawks, will be a matchup on Sunday, April 2 at 1:00 PM CT against the Houston Roughnecks.


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