New York Guardians (3-2) vs Dallas Renegades (2-3) @ Globe Life Park
In what started as a slow, defensive game, New York kept grinding it out and Luis Perez earned his team a 2nd victory as the new-look Guardians forge their identity under a new QB. It was a heated contest throughout, and at one point there was even a bench clearing brawl resulting in the ejection of Gerald Rivers (DT-DAL) and Jarron Jones (OT-NY)
In the post game presser Guardians coach Kevin Gilbride was quick to address the incident, and said lapses in discipline like that “drive him up the wall” and his team will need to keep their composure in the future, despite a big win on the road.
Perez may not have a pretty stat line, but he moved the chains when he needed to, and displayed the ability to put the ball up, as well as make plays on the ground. His trio of receivers in Colby Pearson (who had an 80 yard TD), Teo Redding and Mekale McKay proved deadly through the air, while Darius Victor and Justin Stockton ground it out in the run game.
The New York defense had a big day as well, and while Phillip Nelsen completed a score of short passes, they were able to take away almost all his options downfield. Dallas only ran the ball 14 times, but the run D was swift in closing gaps and shutting it down. They also did great in tip-ball drills, and converted two batted passes into interceptions, one for a score.
Key Stat 1: 16-30 Passing, 221 Yards, 1 TD, 1 INT (Luis Perez-QB)
Key Stat 2: 5 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 4 QBH, 2 TFL (Cavon Walker-DT)
Key Stat 3: 5 Rec, 95 Yards, TD (Colby Pearson-WR)
With Phillip Nelsen under center, the Renegades decided to throw the ball 50 times, while puzzlingly only handing it off to their RB’s on ten plays. Nelsen was asked to do a lot, and he did better than his stat line shows.
He kept his team in the game until the 3rd Quarter, while the offense could only generate momentum in the short-intermediate pass game. Both of his interceptions were tipped balls which could have been avoided, but they weren’t blatant bad reads on his end. He connected with Flynn Nagel early and often, but the pass game was very conservative despite high volume and he had just 4.3 Y/A on the day.
The Renegades defense held their own for a long time, and Josh Hawkins even picked off Perez, but they were unable to hold out through all the situations they were placed into. They broke on a 80 yard TD pass to Colby Pearson, and couldn’t find ways to stop that Guardians run game.
Special Teams was a lone bright spot. Austin MacGinnis continued to prove himself as a clutch kicker, and was 2/2 on the day. Austin Walter turned on his afterburners on a kick return and scored a XFL record 97 yard TD return, giving Dallas their lone end zone appearance.
Key Stat 1: 28-49 Passing, 210 Yards, 2 INT (Phillip Nelsen-QB)
Key Stat 2: 7 Rec, 46 Yards (Flynn Nagel-WR)
Key Stat 3: 7 KR, 235 Yards, 97 Long, TD (Austin Walter-RB/KR)
Luis Perez had decent production at QB, and could be considered a starter in many leagues, while Darius Vito continues to get the lions share of carries in NY. Colby Pearson, Teo Redding and Mekale McKay share most of NY’s targets, while their defense forced turnovers and allowed just 6 points.
Phillip Nelsen was a high volume passer, but didn’t find much production in that offense today. Cameron Artis-Payne is still probably one of the best RB’s in the league, but it’s just a question of whether he’ll get the ball. Flynn Nagel is a decent flex play with Nelsen in at QB, and Parham got a lot of targets, without finding the end zone.
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