New York Guardians 0-27 DC Defenders: Defenders record first shutout of XFL season after dominate victory over Guardians
The Defenders clinched their second win of the season (Photo: Scott Taetsch)

The DC Defenders recorded the first shutout of the new XFL season after a 27-0 demolition of the New York Guardians at Audi Field

Cardale Jones picked up where he left off against the Seattle Dragons, completing 23 of his 37 passes for 276 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. 

Matt McGloin went 8/19 for 42 yards and two interceptions, while Marquise Williams, who replaced McGloin in the fourth quarter, went four-for-eight for 50 yards. 

The DC defense were dominant from start to finish, forcing a shutout of the Guardians, including two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, a forced fumble and three sacks.

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Jones fires touchdown pass to Thompkins on opening drive

Both teams started the season with victories in week one and the game started with the Guardians going three-and-out and punting the ball away. 

DC put together a 13-play, 80-yard opening drive to start on offense and the Defenders were on the board first when Jones threw a 13-yard touchdown strike to DeAndre Thompkins

A trick play on fourth down saw New York’s backup quarterback Williams get to the edge and pick up the first down, but the Guardians turned the ball over just a few plays later. 

Darius Victor caught McGloin’s pass and was hit hard by Scooby Wright before Rahim Moore stripped the ball out and forced the turnover for DC. 

The Defenders managed to put points on the board on the next drive with Ty Rausa kicking a 27-yard field goal, giving the home team a 9-0 lead.

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Thurman scores defensive touchdown in third quarter

New York were looking to get going on offense, but were halted in their tracks on the next drive. McGloin’s deep pass down the right side was picked off by Matt Elam, a former first-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens and returned to the DC 49-yard line. 

The ball was punted away on the next four possessions in the game and the Defenders managed to add another three points at the end of the first-half, Rausa drilling a 36-yard field goal. 

DC started the second-half with the ball and after punting the ball away, their defense came up with the goods once again against the Guardians. 

McGloin was pressured by three DC players and threw a wayward pass, which was intercepted by Jameer Thurman and taken 46 yards to the house for a defensive touchdown. The one-point attempt afterwards was unsuccessful, giving the Defenders an 18-0 lead. 

DC had the ball back after forcing another punt. Khari Lee’s touchdown was ruled out for offensive pass interference, but Jones threw an interception when D’Juan Hines picked off the quarterbacks throw, which was batted up by Malachi Dupre.

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Hayward touchdown completes scoring in fourth quarter

DC forced another punt from New York before Rausa kicked a 26-yard field goal. Going into their next drive, the Guardians benched McGloin and Williams was brought into the game with 7:13 remaining. 

New York were facing a long fourth down to keep their drive going, but an incomplete pass saw the ball turned over on downs. The Guardians managed just four first downs, including one on a fake punt. 

The Defenders continued to flow on offense, Jones’s deep throw was hauled in by Rashad Ross for a 38-yard completion before the quarterback threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Hayward. DC went for the first three-point attempt of the season, but were unsuccessful. 

Jones and his DC team will go on the road for the first time this season when they take on the LA Wildcats, while the Guardians go to the St. Louis BattleHawks, who are playing at home for the very first time.