Penalties or Refs?: Roughnecks lose to Defenders

 Photo credit: Houston Roughnecks


For Immediate Release:  The Houston Roughnecks found themselves on the losing end in back-to-back games as they fell to the D.C. Defenders on Monday night by a score of 37-26 at Audi Field. The game had an attendance of 12,492.


Houston (4-2 overall; 4-0 in their division) still stands alone at the top of the XFL South Division, while D.C. (6-0 overall; 5-0 in their division) leads the XFL North Division.


Houston got on the board first in this one, as RB Max Borghi punched in a 4-yard touchdown, set up by a facemask penalty against the Defenders’ defense. A successful two-point try pass attempt from QB Brandon Silvers to WR Cedric Byrd put the Roughnecks up eight. On the other end, after a defensive pass interference penalty put the ball at the 1-yard line for D.C., the Houston defense stood tall, holding them to a 33-yard field goal. After one quarter of play, the Roughnecks led 8-3.


The first points of the second quarter came just after the two-minute warning, as D.C. punched in a 1-yard touchdown. On the ensuing drive, down 9-8, Houston found themselves on the wrong end of a pick six. A successful two-point try pass made the score 17-8 going into halftime, in favor of the home team.


The Roughnecks’ defense gave up a 1-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the second half, making the deficit 23-8. After another Houston punt, D.C. would tack on a 32-yard field goal, pushing their lead to 26-8. Houston’s offense responded accordingly, as QB Cole McDonald connected with WR Deontay Burnett for an 85-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 26-14. D.C. responded with a 30-yard touchdown pass of their own, pushing the lead back up to twenty. The following drive, RB Max Borghi punched it in for a 1-yard touchdown, his second of the game. Another field goal by the Defenders made the score 37-20. A 1-yard touchdown rush by QB Cole McDonald made it 37-26 with just under two minutes remaining. After a failed 4th & 15 onside attempt, the game would end with D.C. in victory formation.

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