Some cringed when the the rebooted XFL announced its 2020 schedule would put the St. Louis BallleHawks on the road in the first two weeks of the regular season.
But with another win in Houston Roughnecks Sunday, St. Louis would make its home debut at the Dome at America’s Center Feb. 23 with a 2-0 record..
“That’s the goal now,’’ quarterback Jordan Ta’amu said earlier this week following a 15-9 franchise opening win at Dallas. “It would be nice to get another win under our bellies and come in here next week 2-0. I’m excited to see what this week brings.’’
Week 2 brings another trip to Texas, where the BattleHawks will face the Houston Roughnecks, a 37-17 winner over the Los Angeles Wildcats in their debut. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. and will be telecast on FS1 (Fox Sports 1).
Ta”amu, who accounted for more than 280 yards of total offense (209 passing, 77 rushing), and the Battlehawks defense, which limited Dallas to less than 260 total yards and no touchdowns, were keys to the win.
Running backs Matt Jones and Keith Ford combined for more than 100 yards on the ground to help St. Louis overcome poor field position for most of the afternoon.
“One of the first things we talked about when we entered the building was chemistry and that I had to be able to trust them and they needed to be able to trust me,’’ BattleHawks coach Jonathan Hayes said prior to practice on Wednesday. “I think that trust was proven on Sunday.”
Ta’amu impressive in XFL debut
Ta’amu, making his professional football regular season debut, directed an efficient and balanced BattleHawks offense.
The former University of Mississippi standout was 20-of-27 for 209 yards and a touchdown. His first week quarterback rating of 108.4 was the second best in the XFL in the opening week behind DC’s Cardele Jones (116.7).
“I thought Jordan did a great job of keeping his poise and coming over after each series letting us know what it was he thought he saw in the defensive coverages and then taking the input we gave him and processing it so that he could go out and use the next time we had the football,’’ Hayes said.
“We sprinkled the ball around and got it in a lot of different players hands, so we had good balance. There are going to be games where we’re not going to be able to that and we all realize it. But if you can keep that balanced formula, then you are going to be better off.”
Scouting the Roughnecks
The Roughnecks displayed a wide open attack in their week 1 win, led by quarterback PJ Walker who threw touchdown passes to four different receivers.
Walker, the XFL Star of the Week, was 23 of 39 for 272 yards.
The Roughnecks’ 315 yards of total offense was the third highest in the league to start the season.
On defense, Houston is tied for the league lead in interceptions (2) and quarterback sacks (5).
Tickets scarce for BattleHawks home opener
Tickets for the BattleHawks’ home opener against the New York Guardians Feb. 23 are “scarce,” acccording to St. Louis personnel.
“”We have a shortage of ticket inventory… but start planning for Game 4 if you can’t find a ticket for Game 3,’’ a BattleHawks spokesman said.
The BattleHawks will host the Seattle Dragons in week four of the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 4 p.m.
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