ORLANDO (Florida Sports Wire)) – The Houston Roughnecks defeated the Orlando Guardians 44-16 Saturday night at Camping World Stadium. Houston grabbed a big lead early, withstood a charge from Orlando and then pulled away in the fourth quarter.
The Roughnecks found the end zone first with a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brandon Silvers to wide receiver Travell Harris to go up 6-0 on the game’s opening drive.
Houston followed up its touchdown with a scoop-and-score defensive touchdown by cornerback William Likely.
A two-point conversion put the Roughnecks up 14-0 with 9:53 left in the first quarter. The Roughnecks scored a third time in the first quarter with a 49-yard double-forward pass for a touchdown from wide receiver Jontre Kirklin to wide receiver Deontay Burnett to go up 20-0.
After a 35-yard drive put together by the Guardians’ offense, a 33-yard field goal by kicker Jose Borregales got the Guardians on the board, trailing 20-3 with 9:16 left in the first half.
With 1:01 left in the second quarter, the Roughnecks struck with a Silvers to Kirklin 42-yard touchdown pass to make it 26-3.
A special team’s miscue helped the Guardians get on the board. Houston’s kickoff didn’t reach the 20-yard line in the air, giving Orlando possession at the Roughnecks’ 45-yard line.
With 39 seconds left in the first half, Paxton Lynch hit tight end Jaylen Smith for a 31-yard over-the-shoulder touchdown grab in the back end of the end zone. A one-point conversion, the first after-touchdown conversion of the season by the Guardians, made it 26-10 at halftime.
The Guardians struck fast early in the third quarter. An 81-yard touchdown pass from Lynch to Charleston Rambo pulled the Guardians within 10, 26-16, and it seemed as though momentum had shifted. But with 2:08 left in the third quarter, a one-yard rush by running back Dejuon Lee put the Roughnecks up 32-13.
To open up the fourth quarter, Houston extended its lead to 38-16 after a 59-yard touchdown pass from Silvers to Harris.
A one-yard rushing touchdown by Lee for the Roughnecks accounted for the game’s final score.
● Paxton Lynch’s 81-yard touchdown pass to Charleston Rambo is the longest play in the XFL this season
● The Guardians converted their first extra point of the year after a one-point conversion pass from Deondre Francois to Charleston Rambo
● Jaylen Smith’s 31-yard touchdown grab in the second quarter is the longest catch by a tight end in the XFL this season
● Paxton Lynch had a season-high 267 passing yards
● Linebacker Tegray Scales recorded his first sack of the season in the first quarter of the game
● Linebacker Terrance Plummer tallied a season-high seven tackles
● Trumaine Washington recorded a season-high five tackles