Las Vegas, NV—The last few weeks the XFL has been very exciting and the games have been competitive to say the least.
The Vegas Vipers secured its first win of the season with a 35-32 slugfest contest at Cashman Field.
Quarterback Luis Perez led the Vegas offense by going 20-of-28 for 269 yards with three touchdowns. He is the only quarterback to win games in both the 2020 version of the XFL and the 2023 version of the XFL.
The Guardians got their offense going early with QB Paxton Lynch opening drive with an 8-yard pass to Lance Lenoir and hit a Latimer for a 16-yarder. Orlando mixed in a few running plays to keep the Vipers off balance. Lynch hit Charleston Rambo for a 14-yard pass to move the ball to the Vegas 5-yard line. An offside penalty against Vegas gave Orlando 1st and goal on the 1-yard line. Quinton Flowers ran it in for the score. The 1-point conversion was good making the score 7-0 for the Guardians.
Perez finally got the offense going on their second possession started their drive on the Orlando 40. On 3rd and 5 Perez hit Jeff Badet for a 35-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion pass to Smith was good, giving the Vipers the lead over Orlando 8-7.
On the next possession, Perez connected with John Lovett for a 27-yarder to the Orlando 34. The crafty quarterback hooked up with Lovett for a 30-yard gain to the Orlando 3-yard line. A rope to a wide-open Rod Smith in the end zone gave Vegas their second score. The 2-point conversion attempt failed, making the score 14-7 for the Vipers.
The Guardians took the ball on their own 30. Lynch went three and out and Orlando gave the ball back to Vegas. Perez went to work on his own 35. Perez got two quuick first downs and then the drive stalled. Bailey Giffen nailed a 39-yard field goal to make the score 17-7 for the Vipers.
The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter and in the fourth, setting up a climatic finish. With six minutes left in the game Perez found Badet for a 25-yard touchdown, upping the Vipers’ lead to 35-26. Both teams punted, Orlando got within three with 72 seconds to play when Dormady connected Cody Latimer for a 45-yard score. The three-point conversion failed.
Rod Smith ran the ball 18 times for Vegas, finishing with 62 yards and two touchdowns. Badet led all Vipers receivers, catching five passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
With 1:11 remaining, instead of an onside kick, Orlando went for it on 4th and 15 on their own 30, but Quinten Dormady was sacked.
Dormady was sacked on 1st down. With 6-seconds remaining Dormady had time for one play. However, a false start penalty negated their chance and the game ended.
With 42 seconds remaining, Vegas took over on their own 27. Perez connected to Cinque Sweeting for a first down on the Vegas 45. With 20 seconds remaining the game, Vegas lined up in the victory formation.