Brahmas Clinch Final Playoff Spot with 20-15 Win Over Arlington

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by Roman Bruno

San Antonio, Texas - San Antonio Brahmas’ Running Back Anthony McFarland Jr.  made the most of his return having missed the last five weeks of the regular season. McFarland had two first half catch-and-run touchdowns for 52 and 37 yards as San Antonio (6-2) knocked off the Arlington Renegades (1-7) Sunday afternoon, 20-15, at The Alamodome. The Brahmas clinched a spot in the XFL Conference Championship Game against the St. Louis Battlehawks (6-2).


The Brahmas and Battlehawks will face off in the XFL Conference Championship on Sunday, June 9, with home-field advantage still to be determined. 


McFarland Jr. set individual game highs for touchdown receptions (2), receiving yards (118) and all-purpose yards (136) and tallied 113 receiving yards after the catch (YAC).


Quarterback Quinten Dormady came out hot with a strong first half, completing 10-of-13 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. It is the most passing yards for a Brahmas quarterback in the first half this season.


San Antonio got on the board just four plays into the game with a 52-yard dump off from Dormady to McFarland Jr., the longest play of the season for the Brahmas. Morgan Ellison ran in the one-point conversion to lead 7-0. 


Dormady connected with K.D. Cannon on their next possession for a 32-yard snag. It was Cannon’s first reception of the season. Dormady found Latimer two plays later for a gain of 25 to break into the red zone. Ryan Santoso capped the drive with a 21-yard field goal.


Dormady started the second quarter with another dime to Latimer for a 29-yard connection. The San Antonio signal caller was using his legs as well, scampering for a 16-yard run three plays later. The Brahmas tacked on another Santoso field goal, this time from 26 yards, to lead 13-0.


McFarland Jr. was not done making big plays, as he recorded his second touchdown of the game, this time a 37-yard catch-and-run. The Brahmas converted the one-point attempt to reach 20 or more points for the first time since Week 5. 


San Antonio’s defense continued to roll with a Delontae Scott sack on Luis Perez before the two-minute warning. The Brahmas took a 20-3 lead into halftime. 


Arlington opened the second half with their first touchdown of the game. Perez threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Sal Cannella. The two-point attempt was unsuccessful to make it 20-9.


The Brahmas made another stand on defense in the fourth quarter, stonewalling Arlington on fourth-and-inches. Wyatt Ray and Kelechi Anyalebechi came together to stop Renegades running back De’Veon Smith for no gain. 


Arlington found the endzone again with less than two minutes remaining, as Perez found J.P. Payton for a five-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, with the score now standing 20-15 in favor of San Antonio.


The Renegades opted to try the 4th-and-12 alternative kickoff, but Perez was sacked by Prince Emili to send the Brahmas to the playoffs.


Dormady completed 17-of-25 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns. It is the most passing yards in a game this season for San Antonio. Perez finished 22-of-33 passing for 209 yards and two touchdowns.


John Lovett was the team’s leading rusher with 37 yards on 11 attempts. Smith was the leading rusher for the Renegades with 38 yards on 10 attempts.


McFarland Jr. recorded three receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Latimer recorded six receptions for 116 yards. Sannella caught nine balls for 87 yards and a touchdown for Arlington.


The Brahmas (6-2) will host the undefeated Birmingham Stallions (8-0) next Saturday at The Alamodome. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. CT on ABC. The Renegades (1-7) will host the St. Louis Battlehawks (6-2) on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT.

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