Former Trojans compete in XFL opening weekend

Published 11:34 am Tuesday, February 21, 2023

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The third version of the XFL got its 2023 season off to a start this past weekend and a number of former Troy University football stars were in action.

Former Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers led the Houston Roughnecks to a 33-12 win over the Orlando Guardians on Feb. 18. Silvers ended the contest 26-of-42 passing for 272 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions as the Roughnecks rolled up nearly 400 yards of offense. Silvers threw a 13-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and threw a 46-yard touchdown in the second.

Former Troy defensive tackle Trevon Sanders started at nose tackle for Orlando but did not register a tackle. Silvers and the Roughnecks will host the Arlington Renegades in a Texas rivalry this Sunday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. Sanders and the Guardians play the San Antonio Brahmas on Feb. 26 at 4 p.m. on ESPN.

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Receiver Damion Willis and the Seattle Sea Dragons dropped their Feb. 19 game to the D.C. Defenders by a score of 22-18 in what was considered the best game of the weekend by many. Willis caught one pass for three yards in the loss as a total of nine different Seattle receivers caught passes. The Sea Dragons also feature former NFL All-Pro Josh Gordon as a receiver. Seattle will look to rebound this Thursday, Feb. 23, against the St. Louis Battlehawks on FX.

Former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron also led the St. Louis Battlehawks to a come-from-behind 18-15 win over the Brahmas on Feb. 19. St. Louis trailed 15-3 in the final two minutes of the game before McCarron led the Battlehawks to 15 unanswered points.

With 1:25 left, McCarron threw an 18-yard touchdown pass and then converted a three-point try to cut the lead to 15-12. In the XFL, PATs are good for one, two or three points and there are no extra point attempts. A one-point try is one play from the 1-yard line, a two-point try is one play from the 5-yard line and a three-point try is one play from the 10-yard line.

With 16 seconds left, McCarron heaved a 13-yard touchdown pass to former NFL receiver Austin Prohel to give St. Louis the 18-15 lead. While McCarron’s PAT attempt was no good, the Battlehawks held on for the win.