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St. Louis Battlehawks Hold On Against San Antonio Brahmas

The UFL is built on unpredictability. There are unknown commodities of overlooked players, there are unique rules for two-point conversions and onside kicks, and there’s the chaos of the San Antonio Brahmas. 

The St. Louis Battlehawks were aware of this heading into their week 3 match with San Antonio on Sunday. The Brahmas had pulled off an 11-point comeback in the final 2:35 minutes the week prior against the Memphis Showboats. The Brahmas nearly completed a 13-point comeback in the final 10 minutes against St. Louis, but the Battlehawks defense had one last stop in them on a fourth-down in the final minute. The Battlehawks held on, defeating San Antonio 31-24 to move on to 2-1 on the season.

The St. Louis defense struggled throughout the day, but it stepped up in critical moments, such as on fourth down. Though the San Antonio offense has had success running an up-tempo pace this season, most of their Sunday drives involved shorter passes. Quarterback Chase Garbers was content with taking what the St. Louis defense provided him. The Brahmas had three drives over five minutes and won the possession battle with 33 minutes to St. Louis' 26.

Their longest drive came in the middle of the second quarter and reminded a red-hot St. Louis offense that the Brahmas wouldn't go down easy. St. Louis had easily scored touchdowns on each of their first two drives. Quarterback A.J. McCarron had started the game 13-for-15 for 88 yards.

Trailing 14-3 with 10:49 in the second quarter, the Brahmas sustained a 17-play, 65-yard touchdown drive that took 8:59 off the clock. The Battlehawks only had 1:49 remaining in the half to get on the board before halftime and only had time to score a field goal to make it 17-9 at halftime.

Receiving the ball out of halftime, St. Louis had the chance to create a possession lead. But on their first play from scrimmage of the half, Jahcour Pearson fumbled a screen pass into the hands of cornerback Darius Phillips.

Starting with the ball at the St. Louis 35-yard line, San Antonio could've quickly turned the game around by tying it at 17. But the Battlehawks' defense stepped up, forcing them to settle for a field goal.

The Brahmas' long drives seemed to throw off the pace of the Battlehawks' offense. After scoring a touchdown on their first two drives, St. Louis failed to do so for the next four, settling for three field goals.

But their next touchdown was the final point they needed for the win. Running back Jacob Saylors rushed 19 yards for a touchdown with 8:33 remaining to bring the score to 31-18.

The San Antonio offense responded with a 12-play, 60-yard touchdown drive to bring their deficit to six. The Brahmas had the opportunity to tie or win the game, receiving the ball again with 1:58 left, but St. Louis' secondary made it difficult for Garbers to find any open windows. The defense secured the win, forcing an incompletion from Garbers on fourth-and-four at the St. Louis 44-yard line with 21 seconds remaining.

McCarron entered victory formation for the first time this season to complete a complete performance for St. Louis. The Battlehawks will look to continue their momentum next week, hosting the 1-2 Memphis Showboats at The Dome on Saturday.

Cover Image via CJ Halloran/UFL/Getty Images

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