By Will “The XFL STL Insider” Freeman
Jordan Ta’amu did not hurt the team, but neither did he excel the team this game. Jordan only threw for 119 yards with an average 6.6 per attempt. And rushed for 14 yards. He did make a play where it seemed liked he going to be sacked, but got out of it and threw it for a first down. Maybe it was first home game jitters, but he has shown that he can do more to excel this offense.
Running Backs: A
The Battlehawks running game dominated this game. First was a massive improvement of play with Christine Michael from the past two games. Including scoring the first touchdown at home. Matt Jones started the game including a long run of 47 yards and a rushing touchdown as well. We also saw more Lenard Tillery with Keith Ford inactive and was key in the receiving game of 21 yards to get a first down and help close out the game. The trio ran for a combined total of 139 rushing yards.
Receivers/Tight Ends: B
The receiving core did catch most of the balls thrown to them by Jordan Ta’amu, but there was few drops including one to Marcus Lucas that would have been converted to a first down. On the bright side De’Mornay Pierson-El did throw the ball to Alonzo Russell to get the first point conversion for the Battlehawks this season. I do believe that La’Damian Washington was hindered a little by that ankle injury that he was dealing within the week.
Offensive Line: A
The Battlehawks offensive line had an awesome game. Made holes for Christine Michael and Matt Jones to run through and gave Jordan Ta’amu enough time to throw the ball to his receivers. Starting right tackle Matt McCants was injured near the end of the second quarter and local player from CBC Brian Wallace came in and played well for the rest of the game. This group will be important for the Battlehawks success for the rest of the season.
One way you can tell your team’s defense is playing well is when the other team put a different quarterback in game. When it comes this game the Guardians put in all three of their quarterbacks in the game. They sacked their quarterbacks three times including one by Will Clarke who didn’t play the first two games because of a injured hamstring and was key to stoping the run game and caused a turnover on down on a 4th down play. The defense also got a turnover by Kenny Robinson with his first ever interception.
Special Teams: A
No penalties were called on the special teams this game. Taylor Russolino was 3/3 on field goals. Including a 58 yarder which is the longest field goal currently in the XFL. And the first ever kick return by a reverse run by Joe Powell for 84 yards. A blocked punt that caused a offensive score. And Marquette King has a good day punting and the crowd got into it by yelling boom every times he kicked.
All three phases of the Battlehawks played well this game. Offensive Coordinator Chuck Long did better with the play calling. Defensive Coordinator Jay Hayes had a brilliant game plan against the Guardians. And the penalty count for this game is the lowest for this season. Head Coach Jonathan Hayes praises the game environment of the home crowd and even though they played well in all three phrases he said they have to get better with the point conversions after the touchdown. A head coach that wants improve more after all three phases of the team played well is something that BattleHawk fans can get behind.
Offensive Player of the Game: Matt Jones
Defensive Player of the Game: Will Clarke
Special Teams Players of the Game: Joe Powell/Taylor Russolino
Extra Credit:Game day Experience: B
For the first Battlehawks home game the environment was electric. The entire crowd was into it the game. The announcer and game day hosts did a great job. The minor hiccups of the day came from the long lines at merchandise stands and concession stands. Including at some stands running out of beer. And for IPhone users like myself and my brother. They recommend saving are tickets in the Apple Wallet for easy entry into the game. I had no problem, but when my brother did the same at a different admission gate they said he had to show the barcode when it access through the app or else he could not get in. So there was a difference in communication between the gates it seems. I predict these things will get fixed for the Seattle game this Saturday.