Best of XFL Week 7: An instant classic in Orlando, a hurdle TD and an April fools joke
9: 30 PM ET
We are getting down to the nitty gritty of the XFL regular season in Week 7 with just three weeks left until the playoffs begin.
The Seattle Sea Dragons (5-2) won their fifth straight game, looking poised Friday night against a Arlington Renegades (3-4) team that is still hoping to challenge the Houston Roughnecks for the No. 1 spot in the South division.
The San Antonio Brahmas and Vegas Vipers faced off Saturday afternoon and flashed some of the best plays of the season (see below).
In the most surprising game of the week, the Orlando Guardians put up a fight against the previously undefeated D.C. Defenders for an instant XFL classic. Want to know what happened? Scroll down.
There is one Sunday matchup this week to watch — the 4-2 St. Louis Battlehawks visit the 4-2 Houston Roughnecks (2 ET on ESPN, ESPN ).
All the best highlights from Week 7 are below.
Every XFL game will be streamed live on ESPN and are available on the ESPN family of networks (ABC, ESPN and FX).
Recaps | Best Plays
Tweets | Quotes
This weekend’s games
Seattle Sea Dragons 24, Arlington Renegades 15
The Sea Dragons entered their first showdown with the Renegades of the season on a four-game win streak.
The first quarter was relatively quiet. The teams traded field goals — highlighted by a 44-yard FG from Dragons K Dominik Eberle — and entered the second quarter tied at 3.
After another Seattle field goal, the Sea Dragons defense said “my turn”. Qwynnterrio Cole returned an interception 15 yards to set the Sea Dragons up on their own 43. Quarterback Ben DiNucci then hurled a 47-yard pass to WR Jordan Veasy, and two plays later, RB Darius Bradwell‘s two-yard rushing touchdown gave the Dragons a 13-3 lead.
However, the Renegades said “not so fast”. Arlington QB Drew Plitt drove the offense down the field to set up De’Veon Smith for a one-yard rushing touchdown with one minute left on the clock before halftime.
That’s when DiNucci put on his best no-huddle offense, drove down the field and found Josh Gordon in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown pass. The Sea Dragons then succeeded on a two-point conversion and led 21-9 entering halftime.
The Renegades attempted a fourth-quarter comeback to no avail. The Sea Dragons won a fifth-straight game and are on a roll a few weeks before the playoffs begin.
Sea Dragons pick up 5th straight win as they take down the Renegades
The Sea Dragons are able to get the road win over the Renegades, giving them five straight victories on the season.
Vegas Vipers 26, San Antonio Brahmas 12
The Vipers (2-5) defeated the Brahmas (2-5) on Saturday afternoon, winning their second game in the last three weeks.
After a game-opening touchdown drive for the Brahmas, the Vipers responded with one of their own. QB Jalan McClendon led the Vipers down the field and hit Sean Price with a 33-yard touchdown pass and found Cam Sutton in the end zone for a 2-point conversion.
Entering the second quarter with a 8-6 lead, the Vipers then added a field goal. Brahmas WR Fred Brown responded loudly with a 96-yard kickoff return — the first of the XFL season. The Brahmas couldn’t score on the two-point conversion for the second time of the half but took the 12-11 lead in the second quarter.
Unfortunately for San Antonio, it would be all Vegas from that point on. The Vipers went on to score 14 unanswered points, including a TD where Rod Smith hurdled into the end zone, keeping the Brahmas scoreless in the second half.
McClendon completed 21 of 31 passes for 264 yards with two touchdown passes. Brahmas QB Kurt Benkert, who suffered a chest injury and sat out a possession in the second quarter, finished 22-of-31 with 179 passing yards, a touchdown pass and one interception.
Brahmas’ Fred Brown gets first kickoff return TD of the XFL season
San Antonio takes the lead as Fred Brown takes the kickoff to the house for the first kickoff return touchdown of the season.
Orlando Guardians 37, D.C. Defenders 36
The undefeated Defenders visited the winless Guardians and, well, I’m not sure anyone could have predicted what unfolded in Orlando Saturday night.
It would take too long to list every time each team scored. But here is the spark notes version. The game started out wild with a first quarter that saw four touchdowns — two from each team. The Defenders entered halftime with a slim 22-18 lead.
The second half was one for the ages. Both teams traded scores up until the very end. The Guardians punted with just over two minutes to go and the Defenders took that opportunity to head down the field and attempt a 63-yard field goal with time expiring.
Plot twist: It was short and wide. The Guardians (1-6) defeated the previously undefeated Defenders (6-1).
Guardians QB Quinten Dormady had himself a game. He completed 27 of 34 passes and threw for 328 yards with three touchdowns in addition to three rushing touchdowns. That’s six touchdowns against the best team in the league.
An instant XFL classic.
Cody Latimer scores 44-yard TD
Quinten Dormady finds Cody Latimer for a 44-yard touchdown.
St. Louis Battlehawks at Houston Roughnecks
The Roughnecks host the Battlehawks in Houston on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Watch this matchup on ESPN and ESPN .
Over the defender… piece of cake, right?
Wrong. What a play by Jordan Thomas.
INCREDIBLE GRAB FROM JORDAN THOMAS 🤯@XFL2023 | @XFLGuardians pic.twitter.com/B5uj5ZtuOM
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) April 1, 2023
They had us in the first half, not going to lie.
Every Defenders’ touchdown of the first half.
#ICYMI here’s some first half TDs #DefendDC | #XFL2023 pic.twitter.com/fGb3SFEmfF
— D.C. Defenders (@XFLDefenders) April 1, 2023
That throw and catch?!?
D’Eriq King to Briley Moore for the TD!
WHAT A THROW AND CATCH 🤯@XFL2023 | @XFLDefenders pic.twitter.com/3Nnr6IjFnE
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 1, 2023
What a hurdle.
Rod Smith gets it into the end zone by flight.
Vegas’ Rod Smith goes airborne for hurdle TD
Rod Smith scores the Vegas touchdown as he hurdles a defender for an impressive score.
Take it to the house!
Fred Brown with the the first kickoff return touchdown of the season.
The first kick return for a TD in the @XFL2023 and it was a thing of beauty. 😌✌🏾.
Fred Brown got close a couple times this year. He finally got it 🔥pic.twitter.com/KVE2TgP7lI
— Skubie Mageza (@SkubieMageza) April 1, 2023
Did you see that flash?
Gordon in the end zone — a tale as old as time.
Josh Gordon makes stellar catch in corner of end zone for TD
Josh Gordon is able to keep a foot down for an impressive touchdown catch in the back corner of the end zone.
Not an ‘April Fools’ joke
Orlando gets their first win!
what a night in Orlando. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/oYeVF8i9Ur
— Orlando Guardians (@XFLGuardians) April 2, 2023
Cowboys in the building
The Renegades’ NFL neighbors take in a game.
— Russ Brandon (@RussBrandonXFL) April 1, 2023
A new Sea Dragon?
Word around the block is that former NFL running back Phillip Lindsay is headed to Seattle.
There’s a new Sea Dragon #LurkingInTheFog 🐉 pic.twitter.com/zpXn91suUR
— Seattle Sea Dragons (@XFLSeaDragons) April 1, 2023
“I’ve got to make an announcement…”
Don’t get between a referee and his job.
“I’ve got to make an announcement! MOVE!” 😂 pic.twitter.com/HRDUoD3whl
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) April 1, 2023
“We’re relocating to LA”
Happy April Fools! Did you fall for it?
An official statement from the St. Louis Battlehawks and the XFL: pic.twitter.com/MPBcL5CyOj
— St. Louis Battlehawks (@XFLBattlehawks) April 1, 2023
“That man has a family”
The stiff arm> touchdown.
THAT MAN HAS A FAMILY https://t.co/C0vcD0ef9P
— Vegas Vipers (@XFLVipers) April 1, 2023
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.