ST. LOUIS – Players from the St. Louis Battlehawks and the D.C. Defenders were ejected in the waning moments of Sunday’s game for their roles in a scuffle between the two squads.
With 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Battlehawks trailing by 14 points, quarterback A.J. McCarron completed a touchdown pass to Steven Mitchell. The Battlehawks made good on their 2-point conversion attempt—McCarron to Mitchell, again—and closed the Defenders’ lead to six.
Rather than go for an onside kick, XFL rules allow teams to try to convert on a 4th-and-15 from the team’s on 25-yard line (only in the fourth quarter). McCarron was sacked by Davin Bellamy, sealing the game for the Defenders, 34-28.
Tempers had run high and things escalated from trash talking to shoving, and then to fighting. Coaches and teammates raced to separate the brawling players. One Battlehawks player tossed the helmet of an opposing player during the squabble. It’s unclear if the players will face an additional discipline.
In the end, linebacker Francis Bernard and offensive lineman Rod Taylor of the Defenders were tossed from the game, as was Battlehawks running back Brian Hill.
It was the highest-scoring game of the season thus far. The Defenders are 3-0 on the season, while the Battlehawks are 2-1.
The teams will see each other again in just two weeks, with the Battlehawks hosting the rematch inside The Dome at America’s Center.
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