ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Battlehawks wrapped up the regular season Saturday in dominant fashion, cruising to a 53-28 home win over the Orlando Guardians.
The victory improved the Battlehawks to 7-3 in their second iteration and first full season in XFL history. For now, the win gives them stronger hopes of earning the XFL North’s final playoff spot. St. Louis will know its ultimate fate by Sunday.
A.J. McCarron rebounded from a rough penultimate regular season game. The former Heisman runner-up completed 28 of 35 passes for 420 yards and six touchdowns in the air. McCarron found Hakeem Butler and Steven Mitchell open for two scores each.
The game didn’t start out easy, and the Battlehawks trailed as late as the final minute before halftime. St. Louis built momentum as the game progressed and scored at least two touchdowns in each of the last three quarters.
The Battlehawks defense made key adjustments as the game progressed, allowing just one score in the final half and intercepting three passes between two Orlando quarterbacks.
St. Louis won three of its five home games in 2023 and packed another crowd of 30,000-plus in the Dome At America’s Center on Saturday, nearly triple the next highest average total among XFL teams.
The Battlehawks are now in a bit of a wait-and-see period. There will be plenty of scoreboard watching for the Seattle Sea Dragons game on Sunday evening. By the time that game ends, one of Seattle or St. Louis will have secured a spot against the D.C. Defenders for the first round of XFL playoffs next weekend.