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The Washington Post: DC Defenders top Seattle Dragons as XFL relaunches in D.C.

By February 12, 2020 One Comment
This article originally appeared on Feb 8, 2020, published by The Washington Post

A new era of football began on a cool, sunny Saturday afternoon at Audi Field with the return of the XFL.

The DC Defenders defeated the Seattle Dragons, 31-19, before an enthusiastic crowd of 17,163 in a relaunch of a league that lasted just one season in 2001.

As for the football itself, a few familiar faces played key roles to lead the Defenders to the win.

Quarterback Cardale Jones, who helped Ohio State claim the College Football Playoff national championship in the 2014 season, completed 16 of 26 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns. Former Redskins wide receiver Rashad Ross caught two passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.

“You had a good sense, based on the energy in the stadium, that we all love football,” Defenders Coach Pep Hamilton said. “. . . D.C. is a great sports town. The energy was great.”

The Seattle Dragons are led by former Redskins coach Jim Zorn. Zorn, who was 12-20 in his two seasons leading the Redskins, had no qualms about coming back to the District.

“No emotions about coming back to D.C., although nice job by the XFL making that happen,” Zorn said after the game. “I really enjoyed it here. It’s very familiar. I actually enjoyed it because of the familiarity of being here.”

“I thought [the environment] was awesome,” said Dragons quarterback Brandon Silvers, who passed for three touchdowns and two interceptions. “It’s a soccer stadium, but it looked damn good as a football stadium. They definitely got a nice home crowd.”

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