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The Roughnecks Come Away With A Win Over The Dragons, 32-23

Houston got a taste of their own turnover medicine and nearly paid dearly for it. PJ Walker would throw two picks and fumble for the Roughnecks but a second-half surge of 18 unanswered points and Seattle collapse allowed Houston to steal a win.

Box Score

1st qtr:
SEA: Daniels 1 run (2 pt. conv. failed) 6-0

2nd qtr:
SEA: T. Williams 17 run (Daniels to Proehl; 2 pt. good) 14-0
HOU: Walker 50 pass to Holley (3 pt. conv. failed) 14-6
HOU: Butler 1 run (Walker to Holley; 2 pt. good) 14-14

3rd qtr:
SEA: Lacayo 47 FG 17-14
SEA: Daniels 1 run (2 pt. conv. failed) 23-14
HOU: Butler 8 run (3 pt. conv. failed) 23-20

4th qtr:
HOU: Walker 5 pass to Phillips (2 pt. conv. failed) 23-26
HOU: Walker 11 pass to Phillips (1 pt. conv. failed) 23-32

First Half

Houston struggled last week offensively against Dallas and right off the bat Houston head coach June Jones wanted to remedy the slump. Unfortunately, he called his first shot and the first Roughnecks drive failed. Actually the first two Houston drives would come up empty.

Seattle now with quarterback B.J. Daniels at the helm would strike first. They would recover a Houston fumble during the Roughnecks’ second drive. From the Houston 18 the Dragons would punch it in on a one-yard sweep to the right from Daniels to take a 6-0 lead.

After a missed Houston field goal Seattle would drive right back down the field. An eight-play, 54-yard drive would culminate in a Dragon touchdown this time from Trey Williams. The 17-yard rushing touchdown by Williams plus the two-point conversion from Austin Proehl gave Seattle a shocking 14 point lead, the largest against Houston this year.

But here come the Roughnecks.

Houston would respond on two consecutive drives. First PJ Walker would hit Nick Holley on a dump off in the open middle. Holley would race 50 yards for the score. On the next drive running back James Butler would plow into paydirt from one yard out. Tack on the Holley two-point conversion and we have a tie game going into halftime, 14-14.

Second Half

Seattle so far looked far from their 1-3 record in the first half and it continued. An impressive 10 play drive would end in a Dragons field goal to break the tie.

Houston’s first drive of the third quarter would end disastrously when a PJ Walker pass was route-jumped by cornerback Marko Myers who would return it to the Houston one-yard line. Daniels would run it in a play later for the touchdown to take a nine-point lead.

The Seattle turnover mask is an obvious nod to 90’s R&B group Jodeci.

Houston would need to fire back or face an insurmountable lead. A Cam Phillips 48 yard catch and run would set up an eight-yard touchdown run by Walker to cut the Seattle lead to 23-20.

With 9:04 left in the game, Houston would finally take the lead. Cam Phillips would haul in a five-yard strike from Walker to take a 26-23 lead.

Seattle’s offense started to stall and sputter giving way to a Houston comeback.

The Roughnecks’ next drive would be an eight-play 66-yard drive that would eat nearly four minutes.

Phillips would cap off the drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Walker for his league-leading ninth touchdown reception of the year. After a failed one-point conversion Houston would lead 32-23.

With 1:58 left DeMarquis Gates would strip-sack Daniels and recover the fumble. Gates would be ejected after throwing a punch while under the pile for the loose ball.

Gates would be ejected for his imitation of Johnny Cage’s nut punch from Mortal Kombat. Yet another 90’s icon paid homage in the game.

End Of Game Controversy

That would essentially end the game. I think. The last kneel down for Houston left 0:02 on the clock on their own 22 on fourth down which would give Seattle a chance to tie the game. Head of XFL officiating Wes Booker said the game was called and it would be too much trouble to get everyone back on the field. Even though I cover the Houston Roughnecks the XFL officiating should have given the Dragons their last shot with regulation left.

Overview

Roughneck receiver Cam Phillips broke out with 10 catches for 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns. This after being held to one catch and nine yards last week against Dallas.

Seattle quarterback B.J. Daniels got his first start following an impressive performance last week and it was the right decision for the struggling Dragons. Daniels completed 64% of his passes and rushed for a pair of touchdowns.

Nick Holley and Sam Mobley got into the act for the Houston receiving corp, too. Holley, who is the Roughneck’s utility man hauled in four tough receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown. Mobley had six catches for 95 yards.

Seattle has two players with former NFL players in the family. Austin Proehl is the son of Ricky Proehl who played in the NFL as a wideout from 1990-2006 winning two rings with the St. Louis Rams “Greatest Show On Turf”. Safety Godwin Igwebuike is the nephew of former kicker Donal Igwebuike, who played in the NFL, CFL and Arena Football League.

Next up for Houston (5-0) is a trip to the Big Apple to take on the Guardians Saturday. The Dragons (1-4) will head home to redeem themselves against the LA Wildcats.


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Vidal Espinoza
An Austin native covering the Tennessee Titans for Overtime Heroics and Texas State Bobcats football for Underdog Dynasty. Texas State alumni, Oilers/TItans fan since '86, former punter and former cartoonist.
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