ORLANDO (Florida Sports Wire)) – Despite a strong defensive effort in the first half, the Orlando Guardians (0-2) fell to the San Antonio Brahmas (1-1) in the Guardians’ home opener at Camping World Stadium on Sunday.
San Antonio struck first on the game’s opening drive when quarterback Jack Coan hit tight end Deon Yelder for a three-yard touchdown pass, giving the visitors a 6-0 lead.
The Guardians matched the Brahmas’ score with a touchdown pass of their own from quarterback Paxton Lyncph to receiver Eli Rogers for eight yards to tie the game at 6-6. It was Rogers’ first touchdown catch of the season. The Guardians ran the ball efficiently on the first drive with running back Jah-Maine Martin at the helm, including a league-best 38-yard rush to put the team in scoring position. Lynch went 3-of-3 for 41 yards on the possession en route to his second touchdown pass of the season.
Late in the first half, the Brahmas found the end zone again with a 19-yard touchdown pass to tight end Alize Mack. Coan’s second touchdown pass of the day. and a successful two-point attempt put San Antonio up 14-6.
Orlando was bullish on the defensive front tallying seven tackles-for-loss and holding the Brahmas 0-for-4 on third down. The Guardians’ defense allowed negative seven rushing yards in the first half.
The Brahmas found the end zone six minutes into the third quarter on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Coan to Jalen Tolliver. A successful one-point conversion put the Brahmas up 20-6 with 8:50 left in the third quarter.
A blocked punt set up the next San Antonio score. A one-yard rush by running back Jonathan Hillman and a successful one-point conversion left the Brahmas up 27-6.
Early in the fourth quarter, Orlando quarterback Deondre Francois found tight end Cody Latimer for a 4-yard touchdown pass to pull within 15 points, 27-12. Francois’s first touchdown pass of the season resulted in Latimer’s second touchdown catch.
A fourth-quarter goal from Brahmas’ kicker Parker Romo accounted for the final score.
POSTGAME NOTES: Running back Jah-Maine Martin’s 38-yard rush in the first quarter is the longest by any XFL player so far this season…Orlando is tied for tops in the XFL in season tackles-for-loss…Orlando’s negative-seven net-rushing yards allowed in the first half is the least amount allowed in a half this season…defensive back Mike Lee tallied a game-high in total tackles with eight, including two tackles-for-loss and a sack….defensive lineman Stansly Mapogna got to the quarterback for his second sack of the season…wide receiver Cody Latimer’s five catches led all Guardian receivers,,,Javaonta Payton’s 47 yards led all Guardians receivers…defensive lineman Caeveon Patton added two tackles-for-loss.