XFL Game of the Week: Battlehawks vs. Defenders

Story posted March 15, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by James Morrison

The DC Defenders will go on the road to face the St. Louis Battlehawks Saturday night in a North Division showdown.

The Defenders are 4-0 on the season and the Battlehawks sit right behind them with a 3-1 record.

St. Louis lost in DC in Week 3 in a high-scoring game that saw a near comeback for the Battlehawks.

The crowd will certainly be a factor as the people of St. Louis lost their NFL team the Rams but the interest is certainly still there.

Another storyline for this game is the return of Jordan Ta’amu to St. Louis as he was the quarterback for the Battlehawks in the 2020 season before the season was shut down.

Ta’amu is having a solid season for the Defenders as he has 568 passing yards and 185 rushing yards so far this season.

Although the quarterback to watch out for in the red zone is D’Eriq King who has four rushing touchdowns on the season.

Abram Smith will also be a part of the run game that only gained 135 yards the last time these teams played.
As for the receivers the Defenders roll with Lucky Jackson, Josh Hammond, and Chris Blair although none have topped 200 yards on the season.

DC rarely involves a tight end in the passing game but when they do it will be Ethan Wolf.
On defense, Michael Joseph is the player to watch out for as he has three interceptions and two of which he has returned for touchdowns this season.

Kicker Matthew McCrane is nearly perfect on the year going seven for eight on field goals with a long of 47.
For St. Louis quarterback AJ McCarron has put up MVP-type numbers so far this season with 850 yards and nine touchdowns in four games he has been the face of the franchise.

On the ground, Brian Hill will be the emphasis of what they want to do but the passing game is key for the Battlehawks.

The receivers group is very deep for St. Louis and features Hakeem Butler who has over 200 yards this season, Darrius Shepherd, Austin Proehl, Steven Mitchell and Marcell Ateman.

On defense, linebacker Willie Harvey leads the group while defensive back Nate Meadors has two interceptions on the season.

The kicking game is a bit shaky as kicker Donald Hageman has made just 50 percent of his attempts this season.
This game will come down to who can defend against the contrasting offenses the best.

It will be how well St. Louis can handle the Defenders' run game in the red zone and how well the Defenders can handle the passing game.

Another factor in how this game will turn out is the crowd will affect the game as St. Louis attracts a large crowd.

James Morrison is a Junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email jpm6920@psu.edu.