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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Sports

Roughnecks remain undefeated after rallying against the Dragons


Runningback James Butler (28) scored two touchdowns in the Roughnecks game against Seattle on Saturday afternoon | Andy Yanez/The Cougar

Runningback James Butler (28) scored two touchdowns in the Roughnecks’ win over Seattle on Saturday afternoon | Andy Yanez/The Cougar

The Houston Roughnecks (5-0) defeated the Seattle Dragons (1-4) 32-23 on Saturday afternoon to remain the only perfect team in the XFL and are now 3-0 at TDECU Stadium.

Quarterback P.J. Walker, who finished the game with 351 passing yards and three touchdowns, battled through three turnovers to lead the Roughnecks to victory.

“It just shows how tough we are as a team,” Walker said. “We play hard. We play together, and we just fight. We battle through adversity. I told the guys we were a little flat in the beginning, and we turned it around and picked it up.”

The Dragons capitalized on most of the Roughnecks’ mistakes, scoring a touchdown off of Walker’s fumble and one of his interceptions, but those plays did not seem to rattle the quarterback as he kept leading the Roughnecks down the field for three touchdowns in four of their final drives.

“The thing I was impressed with (Walker) was that he came right back and took us down the field again,” Roughnecks head coach June Jones said. “He didn’t let it bother him, and that is what the great ones have the ability to do.”

Two of Walker’s three touchdown passes went to receiver Cam Phillips, who finished the game with 122 yards on 10 catches.

“We started paying attention to detail,” Phillips said. “Just do our own jobs and not trying to do too much, and I think the game started to come to us.”

The duo continues to be one of the best in the league as they have now hooked up for nine touchdowns on the season.

The Roughnecks’ defense was a huge factor in remaining perfect as the unit forced the Dragons to punt the ball on three consecutive drives in the second half and fumble on their last possession.

“This team in the five games, we’ve (won) every way possible,” Houston head coach June Jones said. “We just got to keep fighting and hanging together and play until the last play.” 

The Roughnecks’ next game at TDECU Stadium will be on March 22 against the D.C. Defenders.

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