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Alabama in the Pros

Battlehawks fall to Sea Dragons in AJ McCarron’s return from injury

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

The St. Louis Battlehawks and the Seattle Sea Dragons squared off Sunday with playoff hopes on the line.

With a win the Battlehawks would be in the playoffs and with a loss, Seattle would be eliminated.  In A.J. McCarron’s return from injury, the Battlehawk’s offense couldn’t get going and the team fell 30-12 to the Sea Dragons.

Seattle took the first lead of the afternoon on a nine-yard touchdown run by running back, TJ Hammonds, and converted its two-point attempt to make the score 8-0 with 7:35 left in the first quarter.

St. Louis had a nice drive with a couple of minutes to go before the end of the first quarter and kicked a 45-yard field goal to cut the lead to 8-3.

The Battlehawks found a nice rhythm in the second half on offense and were able to capitalize on the Sea Dragons’ weak coverage with a 42-yard touchdown catch by wide receiver Darrius Shepherd with 9:51 left in the second quarter.

Unfortunately for St. Louis, Sea Dragons quarterback Ben Dinnuci had a big-time throw to wide receiver Josh Gordon converting on 4th and 1. This conversion led to a two-yard touchdown run by running back Jordan Vestry to make the score 14-9 with three minutes to go in the first half.

Jahcour Pearson busted the game open with 11:36 in the third quarter on a 68-yard touchdown run, stretching Seattle’s lead to 20-9.  But, just like the beginning of the game when the Sea Dragons scored, the Battlehawks responded towards the end of the third with a long 54-yard field goal cutting the lead to eight points.

With 13:14 left in the game, Seattle made a 47-yard field goal but was called for a penalty that pushed the kick back to a 52-yarder which they missed, giving St. Louis a chance.

Dinucci and the Sea Dragons’ offensive were rolling late in the fourth but were picked off in the end zone by defensive back Lukas Dennis on an aggressive throw, but they handed the ball right back over to Seattle on the next play after wide receiver Darrius Shepherd tipped the ball to cornerback Bryce Thompson.

The game was put on ice after Dinucci scampered into the end zone and converted their 1-point attempt making the score 27-12 with four minutes left. Seattle added a meaningless field goal with 10 seconds left in the game to finalize the score 30-12.

St. Louis will have another chance to punch their ticket against the Orlando Guardians next weekend, and the Dragons will be in with a win against the Vegas Vipers and a Battlehawks loss.


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