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Battlehawks can't pull off comeback in home loss to undefeated DC Defenders

The Battlehawks couldn't pull off another comeback. It was the first home loss in the team's history.

ST. LOUIS — For the first time in team history, the St. Louis Battlehawks sent their fans home disappointed with a 28-20 home loss to the undefeated DC Defenders Saturday.

The Battlehawks had a chance to rally from behind like they have all season long but came up short. Battlehawks quarterback A.J. McCarron completed a 50-yard touchdown pass to Steven Mitchell Jr. to narrow the deficit to eight points with four minutes remaining. However, he threw an interception with 55 seconds remaining to seal the win for the Defenders.

The Defenders were led by running back Abram Smith, who ran for 218 yards and three touchdowns. Smith piled up 132 of those yards and two of the touchdowns on just two plays, a 62-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 70-yard touchdown run in the third.

McCarron completed 22 of 34 passes and had two touchdowns to go along with an interception and a lost fumble.

The game was also a return to the Dome for Jordan Ta'amu, who completed 12 of 18 passes and ran for 23 yards for the Defenders. 

Ta'amu led the Battlehawks to a 3-2 record in the abbreviated 2020 season before short stints with multiple NFL teams.

Darrius Shepherd set the Battlehawks up with short fields twice, with an 80-yard kickoff return to start the second half and a 52-yard return in the second quarter. The Battlehawks could only turn those opportunities into a field goal and a punt.

The Defenders are in first in the XFL North with a 5-0 record. The Battlehawks and Seattle Sea Dragons are both two games back with 3-2 records. The Battlehawks hold the tiebreaker over the Sea Dragons after beating them in Week 2.

The Battlehawks will take on the Vegan Vipers next Saturday at 6 p.m.

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