Renegades Cap Off Season With 32-31 Win Over Defenders

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by Luke Adams

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 2, 2024) –The Arlington Renegades (3-7, 2-4 XFL) took down the D.C. Defenders (4-6, 2-4 XFL) on Sunday afternoon at Audi Field, 32-31. Arlington closes out the season winning three of their last four games, after starting out the year with six consecutive losses.


The Renegades jump started the game with an impressive 10-play, 63-yard drive that concluded with a 27-yard field goal knocked in by PK Jonathan Garibay. On the ensuing kickoff, Defenders’ WR Chris Rowland ripped off a 55-yard return, setting D.C. up in Arlington territory for their first drive of the afternoon. PK Matt McCrane would convert on a field goal from 44 yards out, knotting things up at 3-3. Following back-to-back punts by both teams, QB Luis Perez would be picked off for just the third time this season, with D.C. CB Gareon Conley coming up with the interception.


Arlington’s defense came up with a big fourth down stop to begin the second quarter, with ILB Donald Payne picking up the crucial tackle for loss. The Renegades capitalized on the stop with a 40-yard field goal by Garibay just eight plays later, giving them a 6-3 lead. On the stemming kickoff, Rowland returned it 84 yards to the house for D.C., giving Arlington their first deficit of the game at 9-6. After another punt by the Renegades, the Defenders would score yet again, as QB Jordan Ta’amu connected with WR Vyncint Smith for a 43-yard touchdown. Trailing 15-6, the Renegades would find paydirt just before halftime, as Perez hit WR Tyler Vaughns in the back of the end zone for a five-yard touchdown. A successful two-point conversion reception by RB Devin Darrington from Perez made it 15-14 going into the half.


Starting on defense in the third quarter, the Renegades were hit with two big pass interference penalties (15 yards each). The Defenders would score once again, as RB Cam’Ron Harris punched it in from a yard out, putting Arlington down 21-14. The Renegades would settle for another field goal on their first drive of the second half, as Garibay converted from 36 yards out. Arlington forced a D.C. three-and-out and were driving as the third quarter came to a close.


The Renegades re-captured the lead early in the fourth quarter, as Perez found Vaughns in stride for a 34-yard touchdown, his second of the afternoon. Vaughns would make good on the two-point conversion rush, putting Arlington up 25-21. The Defenders responded with a 5-play, 69-yard scoring drive of their own, finished off with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Ta’amu to WR Brandon Smith. A successful two-point conversion from Ta’amu to TE Alex Ellis put D.C. back in front, 29-25. On the ensuing kickoff, Arlington WR Juwan Manigo gave himself up in his end zone, resulting in a wild safety for the Renegades.


A second interception thrown by Perez gave the Defenders the ball back. Arlington’s defense would come up huge with back-to-back sacks on Ta’amu, thanks to Payne and DT DaVonte Lambert, pushing McCrane to miss a 54-yard field goal. The Renegades marched down the field to regain the lead late, as Perez linked up with WR Deontay Burnett for a 7-yard touchdown. A one-point conversion rush by RB De’Veon Smith put Arlington up, 32-31, with 2:28 remaining. A fourth down stop on the last drive of the game gave the Renegades the win in their season finale.

POSTGAME NOTES


  • Arlington’s offense posted 335 total yards and picked up 24 first downs. They won the third down conversion battle, going 5-for-12 (42%), while D.C. went 4-for-11 (36%).
  • QB Luis Perez, who leads the UFL in both passing yards and touchdowns, went 23-of-37 (62%) for 215 yards, 3 TD, and 2 INT. He finished with a passer rating of 126.9.
  • RB De’Veon finished with 20 carries for 94 yards, both of which were game highs. He added three receptions for 17 yards.
  • WR Tyler Vaughns tallied five receptions for 84 yards and two scores. He finishes the season with three touchdowns.
  • WR Deontay Burnett scored the game-tying touchdown late in the fourth, to go along with four receptions for 29 yards. He finishes the season with two touchdowns.
  • Arlington’s defense posted three sacks, four tackles for loss, four pass breakups, and one forced fumble.
  • CB Ajene Harris led the team on defense, finishing with 7 total tackles (4 solo, 3 assist), 2 pass breakups, and 0.5 sacks.
  • PK Jonathan Garibay went 3-for-3 (100%) on the day, converting from 27, 40, and 36 yards out. He finishes 13-of-14 (92.9%) this season.
  • P Marquette King booted two punts for an average of 52.5 yards per punt. King leads all UFL punters in average yards per punt this season.

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