Renegades DB Joe PowellJohn Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
XFL Week 5 concluded Sunday night, with the San Antonio Brahmas hosting the Arlington Renegades.
The week kicked off on Thursday night with a thriller. The white-hot Seattle Sea Dragons knocked off the previously undefeated Houston Roughnecks 21-14. On Saturday, D.C. Defenders outlasted the St. Louis Battlehawks 28-20, while the Vegas Vipers defeated the Orlando Guardians 35-32.
D.C. remains the XFL’s lone undefeated team, while Orlando is its only winless squad.
The Renegades and Brahmas engaged in a fun, back-and-forth defensive battle that served as a fitting way to cap the week.
Renegades 12, Brahmas 10
Arlington came in searching for its third win of the season and to remain in the thick of the XFL South race. San Antonio was seeking its second win and to avoid falling out of contention by midseason.
San Antonio made some changes during the week to try to find a spark. Sunday marked the first game for running backs coach Jimmie Johnson in his new role as offensive coordinator. It also marked the first start for quarterback Reid Sinnett, who replaced Jack Coan.
Though Arlington jumped out to a 3-0 lead, the Brahmas quickly gained the momentum with a turnover. Tenny Adewusi picked off Kyle Sloter, and Sinnett capitalized on the short field with a six-yard touchdown strike to T.J. Vasher.
The pick marked Sloter’s fifth in four appearances.
Pat R @NFLQBTalk
Sloter has just thrown his 4th INT of the season (15th of his career) compared to 1TD.
At what point do we not see Kevin Anderson active as the QB1 for the @XFLRenegades.
Reid Sinnett looks to have more command of the @XFLBrahmas offense as they score a TD off the turnover. https://t.co/7JvaPLCw8e
Arlington responded with a promising drive, but it stalled near the goal line and resulted in Taylor Russolino’s second field goal of the game.
The two teams traded punts following Arlington’s second score, and Coan returned to the Brahmas’ offense just before the two-minute warning. He led San Antonio to a three-and-out, and some on social media were left wondering why there was a quarterback switch.
Coan’s second drive of the half went better, and San Antonio added to its lead with a Parkerr Romo field goal just before intermission. The Brahmas had the lead, the momentum and the backing of a notably energized crowd.
Wendy Lynn Bailey @1975Lakenheath
#XFL this game is a-rocking! Great crowd too. San Antonio Brahmas v Arlington Renegades
Arlington Renegades @XFLRenegades
Where’s Waldo*? 👀
(*renegades fans) pic.twitter.com/VBd5EF4oYK
San Antonio got the ball after the break, and Sinnett was back in at quarterback. The Brahmas picked up a critical 4th-and-1 on the drive thanks to a strong run by Jacques Patrick.
Unfortunately for the Brahmas, Sinnett was picked off by Joe Powell at the goal line.
Gabriel Romero @RomeroReports
Ball picked at the one yard line by Renegade Joe Powell. The Brahmas offense having a hard night.
Huckin Pigskin🐻🏈 @huckinpigskin
Reid Sinnett decides to show Kyle Sloter that he’s not the only who can throw a good INT. Renegades ball! #XFL #XFL2023
To make matter worse for San Antonio, Sinnett hobbled off after the play and was taken to the medical tent. He did not return.
Despite being backed up near its own goal line, Arlington managed to drive into the red zone—thanks, in part, to a pair of defensive penalties. The Renegades capped a 14-play, 98-yard drive with a De’Veon Smith touchdown plunge from a yard out.
Sloter was picked on the two-point conversion attempt, leaving Arlington with a slim 12-10 lead.
cass/vex ⎊ @sersisins
the renegades can pull off 1 good drive every 40 minutes approximately but theyre doing it right now!
That two-point margin held into the fourth quarter and set up a potentially exciting finish.
Anthony Miller @ByAnthonyMiller
End of the third quarter. Renegades lead the Brahmas 12-10. Defensive battle like we all expected. With Sinnett out, the defense has to pressure Coan and force him into bad decisions. Turnovers win games. #XFL
San Antonio’s attempt to respond went nowhere. The Brahmas picked up a holding penalty, had to burn a timeout, picked up four yards on 3rd-and-19 and promptly punted the ball back to Arlington.
The Brahmas defense did its job on the ensuing drive, though, forcing a punt after one first down. However, Coan and the San Antonio offense stalled again, and Powell returned the punt into Brahmas territory.
Anthony Miller @ByAnthonyMiller
Great return by Powell 29 yards into San Antonio territory. The Renegades have a chance to control the clock and put this game away. #XFL
Arlington had a prime opportunity to extend its lead and chew up the game clock, but San Antonio’s defense held yet again.
A big 11-yard sack by Jack Koerner took the Renegades out of field-goal range and forced a punt. Marquette King’s kick went into the end zone, and Arlington netted just three yards on the punt.
Preston Penn @TheRealPres10
San Antonio Brahmas’ @KoernerJack with one of the best executed, most wide open paths on a safety blitz I’ve ever seen. Renegades QB Kyle Sloter had no chance.#XFL2023 #XFL pic.twitter.com/w3rXNtyTQ4
Just a few plays later, Arlington got the ball back with Coan’s first interception—and San Antonio’s second—of the day.
This time, Arlington bled the clock to under 30 seconds before opting to punt and defend the field. The Renegades did exactly that, picking off Coan on his final desperation pass of the night.
Sloter had the one interception but finished a solid 14-of-26 for 148 yards. Smith led both teams with 44 yards rushing and the touchdown, while Brahmas running back Kalen Ballage led all players with 42 receiving yards.
San Antonio fans were naturally disappointed with the finish, but fans on social media seemed to enjoy the game overall.
The Brahmas defensive player getting the stop, doing the funny interview with the blood on his chin, and then his offense IMMEDIATELY throwing up a pick gotta be one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever seen lmao #XFL
Huckin Pigskin🐻🏈 @huckinpigskin
Man I was really hoping the Brahmas could figure out their offensive woes.
These two teams will meet again in Week 6, with Arlington playing host in the rematch. That game is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET on Sunday. Week 6 will kick off at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday when the Guardians host the Sea Dragons.
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