On the verge of 0-3, the Los Angeles Wildcats defended their season by utterly dominating the then-undefeated DC Defenders 39-9 at the Digital Health Sports Park. As a result, the Wildcats rescued their season.
Over 12,000 edgy fans enjoyed offensive fireworks as Wildcats quarterback Josh Johnson threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver and former DC Defender Tre McBride on the opening drive of the game. They never looked back. The defense proceeded to hit, fluster and intercept several Cardale Jones passes early.
The beatdown intensified in the second quarter as the Wildcats scored three touchdowns to go up 27-3 at halftime. A Larry Rose one-yard touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter, 28-yard touchdown catch by McBride and a one-yard Martez Carter touchdown put the game essentially out of reach. Plus, the pass rush kept Cardale Jones from ever getting in an offensive rhythm. Carter finished the game with two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown.
The pass coverage was elite with four interceptions. The longest pass play was 26 yards. The run game was stuffed early other than a couple of first-down runs by Defenders running back Donnel Pumphrey and a 38-yard touchdown run by Nick Bossette late in the fourth quarter.
Johnson had his best game as an XFL player going 18-25 for 278 yards for three touchdowns and a 148.0 quarterback rating. In addition, almost every player and coach who mentioned Johnson spoke on his leadership and poise. His hamstring injury is improving as well. McBride led all receivers with five catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Nelson Spruce was right behind with two catches for 75 yards.
Below, a few post-game snippets from Defenders head coach Pep Hamilton, Cardale Jones, running backs Martez Carter, Larry Rose. Also, Wildcats head coach/general manager Winston Moss provides insights. https://anchor.fm/touchdowns-tangents/episodes/Kennys-Community-Conversations-XFL-L-os-Angeles-Wildcats-v-s–DC-Defenders-recap-eb1ghb
The Wildcats, (1-2) go on the road next week to play the New York Guardians, (1-2) at 11:00 a.m at MetLife Stadium.