Roughnecks Lose to Battlehawks, BUT still #1 in Division

Written by B. Keith Crear III | Photo credit: XFL Houston Roughnecks

The Houston Roughnecks lost to the St. Louis Battlehawks 24-15 on Sunday afternoon at TDECU Stadium. The Roughnecks (4-3 overall, 4-0 in the XFL South Division) remain in first place in their division, while the Battlehawks (5-2 overall, 2-2 in the XFL North Division) move into a tie for second place in their division.

The Roughnecks' defense set the vibe early on forcing a fumble on the Battlehawks' opening play. The Roughnecks' offense, however, was unable to capitalize on the turnover, and the Battlehawks took a 6-0 lead on a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback A.J. McCarron to wide receiver Gary Jennings.

The Roughnecks got on the board early in the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cole McDonald to wide receiver Deontay Burnett. The Battlehawks responded with a touchdown of their own on a 5-yard pass from McCarron to wide receiver Hakeem Butler, and they led 17-6 at halftime.

The Roughnecks cut the deficit to 17-9 on a 25-yard field goal by Hunter Duplessis early in the third quarter, but they were unable to get any closer. The Battlehawks added a 50-yard field goal late in the third quarter to extend their lead to 17-9.

Both teams went scoreless in the third quarter. There were a combined five punts between the two teams as the score remained 17-9 heading into the fourth.

The Roughnecks' defense forced another turnover early in the fourth quarter, this time a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by William Likely. The Roughnecks trailed 17-15 On St. Louis’ next drive, McCarron connected with WR Darrius Shepherd for a 10-yard score, making the final score, 24-15.

QB Cole McDonald drew his first start of the season. He went 15/32 for 106 passing yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. He added 8 carries for 40 yards, and lost 1 fumble.

The Roughnecks will look to rebound from their loss when they travel to take on the Dallas Renegades in Week 8.

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