Hines Ward Earns First Win As XFL Head Coach

Hines Ward is in the win column. He earned his first victory as the head coach of the XFL’s San Antonio Brahmas, beating the Orlando Guardians 30-12 Sunday evening.

Ward was given an ice bath to celebrate the franchise’s win and offered a brief interview after the game.

“It was well-deserved,” Ward said. “It was a great group effort. Players fighting their tails off, coaching staff put a great gameplan together.”

Ward’s team also moved their coordinators from the sideline to the booth after losing their Week One opener, Ward joking they would stay up there next week with the “good mojo” they have.

San Antonio was in control of the game throughout the second half. Their first points came on this playaction pass to TE Deon Yelder from a few yards out. The game was tight throughout the first half but the Brahmas took the lead with 1:01 left to play before the break to TE Alize Mack, a brief member of the Steelers’ practice squad, and a lead his team would not give up. Mack finished the day with four receptions for 48 yards and this score.

Running back Jonathan Hillman scored from one-yard out in the second half, his only carry of the day, and San Antonio led 27-6 through three quarters. Wide receiver Cody Latimer scored early in the fourth quarter for the Guardians to make it 27-12 but the Brahmas added a field goal and sat on their lead to victory.

Brahmas’ starting quarterback Jack Coan had a great game, finishing 16/24 for 165 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He added another 23 yards rushing. Ex-Steeler Kallen Ballage led the team in carries but managed only 23 yards on 12 totes. Defensively, former Steelers’ linebacker Delontae Scott tied for the team lead with five tackles while chipping in two tackles for a loss and a sack. Ex-Steelers’ punter Brad Wing averaged a healthy 49.5 yards per punt.

Orlando was highly penalized, 13 times, and turned the ball over once while San Antonio took care of the ball throughout. Guardians’ quarterback Paxton Lynch, a one-time member of the Steelers’ practice squad, went 9/19 for 79 yards, one touchdown, and zero picks. He was sacked twice.

It was a crucial bounceback win for Ward’s squad after losing in heartbreaking fashion during the XFL’s opening slate of games. The Brahmas are now 1-1 on the season will look to rise above .500 next Sunday March 5th against the Houston Roughnecks.


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