The DC Defenders are arguably one of the best teams in the XFL. Their social media handle prior to their game against the LA Wildcats was all deked out in going 13-0, thinking that no team would stand in their way. In a way they were allowed to talk in that sort of sense. Last week they took care of an incomplete New York Guardians team in a 27-0 shut out and had a solid offensive outing from Cardale Jones, going for 276 yards passing with two touchdowns, and combined for over 100 yards rushing. The LA Wildcats, meanwhile, didn’t have enough in a late comeback against Dallas, and their direction was also going a bit south. There was every reason to believe that this matchup would be lopsided.
Well, it was lopsided. And every LA Wildcat left Dignity Health Stadium with a much different outlook to the 2020 season. A 39-9 win had twitter blowing up and really giving it to anyone who thought the Defenders find this an easy matchup.
In fact, just last week, the DC Defenders made a trade with the Wildcats with LA getting defensive captain Anthony Johnson. Johnson called it a prayer leaving just after the fiasco the Wildcats had letting go of their defensive coordinator after just one game.
Coach Winston Moss was given the game ball after the team first win in franchise history took place.
“This isn’t about me, this is about all of us. We’re just getting started. We gotta be ready to go to work on Tuesday.” said LA Wildcats coach Moss
Seems like the Wildcats had the last laugh in all of this.
In a crowd of just under 13,000, the Wildcats gave the fans what they were looking for. Jones had an off day throwing four interceptions. LA also got out to an explosive 27-0 lead in the first half all set up by a handful of turnovers. Josh Johnson bounced back as well throwing for over 275 yards and three touchdowns. He even managed a 45 yard strike, something he couldn’t muster up last week.
“I’m proud how we responded. Coach challenged us at the beginning of the week to not focus on our record, to not focus on their record,” Johnson said in a postgame interview on FS1. “It’s only one game.
“Now we gotta get our season rolling.”
“Josh really prepared, not only himself, but he got this team prepared,” Wildcats head coach Winston Moss said. “He challenged the players for more commitment, more dedication, and the results speak for themselves. I think that the players really found out what it took to go deep and dig deep and find out what they were made of. They had to really make a concerted effort to get this first victory. I know it was hard for them; they were pressed all week long and they responded very well today.”
Tre McBride also dazzled with over 100 yards receiving.
With the Wildcats getting their first win off their backs, their next step is raising their attendance. Bringing in under 13,000 in week 3 was the lowest attendance out of the four home games. In fact, out of the first 12 games this season, the Wildcats numbers Sunday afternoon were the lowest for any home game for any team thus far. They don’t return back to Los Angeles until March 8, but they are competing with an NBA hometown showdown with the Lakers and Clippers. The only benefit: kickoff is set for 6PM while the basketball showdown tips off at 12:30. As head coach Winston Moss mentioned in week 2: If you win, fans will come. The Wildcats found a way to win big against one of the better teams in the league. Now they have to worry about keeping afloat and being noticed.