Guardians end road slump, roll past Renegades

No XFL team had scored fewer touchdowns than the New York Guardians. Another half without one left them tied at halftime and forced to confront what had been their most difficult quarter of football.

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The Guardians had yet to score a single point in the third quarter this season. They changed that with the highest-scoring quarter of any team in the league.

New York rode a 21-point outburst after halftime to a 30-12 victory over the Dallas Renegades on Saturday. It was the Guardians’ first win on the road, where they’d been outscored 56-9 in two previous contests.

The onslaught began with an eight-play, 76-yard drive coming out of the break, with backup QB Marquise Williams turning his one touch into a 1-yard TD to break a 6-6 tie. Guardians starter Luis Perez needed just one play himself for the next score, as he connected with Colby Pearson downfield and watched his wideout split two defenders en route to an 80-yard touchdown.

Two plays later, Ryan Mueller batted down a Philip Nelson pass and plucked it out of the air before rumbling 33 yards for another score, giving New York a 27-6 lead.

Dallas’ most notable moment came on the following play — a 97-yard kickoff return for a TD from Austin Walter. The Renegades were without QB Landry Jones, who suffered a knee injury in last week’s loss to the Houston Roughnecks. Nelson completed 28 of 49 passes for 210 yards with two interceptions.

Perez went 16 of 30 for 229 yards with a TD and INT. The Guardians ran for 144 yards, led by Darius Victor’s 58 yards. Defensive tackle Cavon Walker generated two sacks and four QB hurries for New York, which has allowed an XFL-low nine touchdowns this year. Its defense didn’t allow an offensive touchdown for the second time this season, and surrendered just 27 yards in the fateful third quarter.

Both teams remained in second place in their respective divisions, with the Guardians now just a half-game behind the East-leading St. Louis Battlehawks. The Renegades, meanwhile, fell to 0-3 at home.

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