Rally Falls Short as Roughnecks Suffer First Loss
March 17, 2023 – XFL (XFL) – Houston Roughnecks News Release
The Houston Roughnecks lost their first game of the season as they fell to the Seattle Sea
Dragons on Thursday night by a score of 21-14 at Lumen Field. The game had an attendance of
Houston (4-1 overall; 4-0 in their division) still stands alone at the top of the XFL South Division,
while Seattle (3-2 overall; 1-2 in their division ) currently sits in third place in the XFL North
The game kicked off with both defenses standing their ground, as there were three consecutive
punts between the two teams to start. The Sea Dragons got on the board first with a 20-yard
touchdown on the ground to put Seattle up 6-0. The Roughnecks were shut out in the opening
quarter for the first time this season.
After a strip sack turnover by the Houston offense early in the second quarter, the defense
returned the favor as DB Sean Davis came up with an interception in Seattle’s end zone. A
9-yard touchdown and successful three-point try, both through the air, would put the Sea
Dragons up 15-0 heading into the half.
A second blocked punt by the Seattle special teams unit set them up with great field position in
the third quarter, inside the Houston 10-yard line. The Roughnecks’ defense stood tall, however,
as DB Ajene Harris came up with yet another interception in the end zone.
The Roughnecks’ defense continued to make big plays in this one, as OLB John Daka forced a
fumble early in the fourth quarter, recovered by DL Glen Logan. The first points scored by
Houston came with 7:22 remaining in the game, as RB Max Borghi punched it in from the
one-yard line. The Houston defense followed suit, as DB Ajene Harris picked off QB Ben
DiNucci for his second interception of the game.
A late 3-yard touchdown rush by Seattle was matched by a 47-yard touchdown reception by
Houston WR Justin Smith. A successful two-point try pass from QB Cole McDonald to WR
Deontay Burnett made the score 21-14, with 24 seconds left in the game. On a 4th & 15 to keep
possession of the ball, Houston converted with a 17-yard pass from Silvers to Burnett. The
game would end after another Houston turnover.
The Roughnecks will finish out their three-game road trip as they visit the nation’s capital in
Week 6. They’ll take on the D.C. Defenders on Monday, March 27 at Audi Field. Game 6 will air
on ESPN2 at 6:00 p.m. CT.
â The Houston Roughnecks are now 9-1 all-time, dating back to the 2020 season.
â QB Brandon Silvers completed a pass to 8 different receivers.
â RB Max Borghi scored his third rushing touchdown of the season (2nd in XFL).
â WR Justin Smith scored his first receiving touchdown of the season.
â OLB Chauncey Rivers and OLB Tim Ward each recorded a sack.
â DB Sean Davis recorded his third interception of the season (T-2nd in XFL).
â DB Ajene Harris recorded 2 interceptions this week and now has 5 on the season (1st in
â DB Jordan Mosley led the team with 8 total tackles.
â Houston’s defense came up with four turnovers in the game.
â Head Coach Wade Phillips head coaching is now 4-1 (.800) in the XFL.
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