BattleHawks top Renegades 15-9 in XFL opening weekend

Battlehawks safety Will Hill picked off a pass in the final seconds to seal the victory over the Renegades.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

ARLINGTON — The St. Louis BattleHawks claimed victory in their franchise debut, edging the Dallas Renegades 15-9 on Sunday.

Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu carried the offense in what was a defensive slugfest for much of the game. The Ole Miss product threw for 209 yards and a touchdown while adding 77 yards rushing. Ta’amu’s 37-yard, third-down run late in the fourth quarter set St. Louis up for the game-winning drive.

“One of my strengths is being able to use my legs when there is nothing downfield,”  Ta’amu said. “That opens up our offense a lot.”

The Renegades needed a score to at least tie the game in the final minute. St. Louis safety and defensive captain Will Hill picked off Dallas quarterback Philip Nelson, sealing the victory for the BattleHawks.

“The guys fought really hard. The defense played really well. The offense ran the ball when we needed to and really set the tone of the game,” BattleHawks coach Jonathan Hayes said. “I’m very proud of the guys – their resilience and how they continue to fight through the adversities.”

Running back Keith Ford bulldozed his way to the end zone in the second quarter, marking the team’s first touchdown.

The BattleHawks became the first team in the new XFL to win on the road. They’ll aim to continue success away from St. Louis next week in Houston against the Roughnecks.