For the second straight week the Tampa Bay Vipers outgained their opponent, this week by a total of 289 yards to 199 yards, but it wasn’t enough as the Vipers fell to the Dragons 17-9. The loss puts the Vipers at 0-2 and in a big hole in the XFL East.
The game was a defensive battle until the second quarter where kicker Andrew Franks put the Vipers on the board. In the third quarter is where things started heating up. The hard work of the Vipers defense paid off as Tarvarus McFadden pulled in an interception from Seattle QB Silvers and ran it back 78 yards for a Vipers touchdown. The Dragons awoke from their slumber on the next possession and Silvers threw a deep pass to Reynolds for a 68 yard touchdown.
Mistakes are the big takeaway from this game. The Vipers were penalized for 99 yards including another personal foul in the 3rd quarter that could have seen #71 Isaiah Williams ejected for headbutting a Dragons player who hit the Vipers QB late. On the ensuing play Quentin Flowers was intercepted on the Vipers 1 yard line by #57 Frazier, who stepped into the endzone. The Dragons then went for 2 and got it to bring the score to 14-9 Seattle. The final score came with 1:43 left as kicker Lacayo hit a 27-yard field goal and the final score was 17-9.
Coach Trestman has been trying to use a two quarterback system that seems a little flat. Several times he put Flowers in for several downs only to take him out on 3rd down, and after the team was in a hole they needed to dig out of.
The Vipers defense was running on all cylinders and the team rallied around the Defense as they held the Dragons to 12 yards of total offense in the first quarter and 199 yards in total for the game. The Vipers lead the league in total offense (683) and total defense (425).
The Dragons had great fan support as a reported attendance of 29,172 showed up, and it was loud. There were several penalties due to the noise. Next week the Vipers will be at home for the first game of the season at Raymond James after a 6 day 2 game 8,000 mile road trip. The Houston Roughnecks will be in town and as of this writing they are 1-0.