Brahmas keep playoff hopes alive, avenge loss against Renegades


Courtesy of XFL

MARCH 19, 2023: The Arlington Renegades against the San Antonio Brahmas at The Alamo Dome on March 19th, 2023 in San Antonio, TX. (© Alonso Ramirez/XFL)

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Brahmas have had less than an ideal start to their first professional season.

The new-found team came into Sunday with a “must-win” mentality, falling 1-4 in the new league with half of their season remaining. 

The Brahmas dealt with more adversity in Thursday’s practice, losing their starting quarterback Jack Coan and running back Kalen Ballage on back-to-back plays, nearly dubbing the inaugural season a bust.

“You want to talk about an all-time low towards the end of practice,” coach Hines Ward said after Thursday’s practice. “It was an all-time low.”

The former NFL wide receiver led his team to a 15-9 win against the Arlington Renegades on Sunday afternoon at Choctaw Stadium.

“Bunch of resilient dudes that we got in our locker room,” Ward said. “Thursday, our starting quarterback goes down, our center steps on his ankle. Literally, [the] next play, we lost [Ballage]; he tore his Achilles.”

The win not only redeems the Brahmas’ 12-10 loss against the Renegades last weekend but also keeps the team’s playoff hopes alive with a 2-4 record with four games to play.

Fortunately for the Brahmas, the team signed former Green Bay Packers quarterback Kurt Benkert on Wednesday, March 22, just in time to save the season.

“He literally got in Thursday morning,” Ward said. “Did all the [plays] at practice, [he] really didn’t know much of what was going on.”

Both Benkert and third-string quarterback Jawon Pass combined for 9 of 20 passing yards with 51 total yards. Running back Jacques Patrick, however, led the team with 82 of the team’s 111 rushing yards to guide the Brahmas in the sluggish, much-needed win.

With the game tied 9-9 in the fourth quarter, Brahmas place-kicker John Parker Romo made both a 48-yard and 46-yard field goal to position San Antonio for the win. 

The D.C. Defenders are currently first in the league with the only perfect record, currently at 5-0. 

The Brahmas are third in the South Division, one game behind the 3-3 Renegades and two games ahead of the 0-6 Orlando Guardians. 

San Antonio will play its final road game of the regular season against the Vegas Vipers at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 1.