The Los Angeles Wildcats will try for the third time to record their first victory when they face the 2-0 DC Defenders Sunday at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The Wildcats’ defense, which has allowed a league-high 277.5 passing yards per game entering Saturday’s play, will attempt to contain DC quarterback Cardale Jones, whose 511 passing yards led the XFL entering Saturday’s play.
“He has been very, very impressive,” Wildcats coach Winston Moss said. “He’s shown mobility, he’s shown accuracy, he’s shown touch, he’s shown the ability to throw the deep ball, he’s been hitting his short targets.
“They have a really good scheme. They’re protecting him well. He’s doing a good job of taking advantage of what defenses … have … put in front of him.”
The Defenders have allowed a league-low one quarterback sack helping its offense average 29 points per game, second behind Houston’s 33-point average.
The game marks a return to Dignity Health Sports Park for Jones, who played six preseason games there for the Los Angeles Chargers from 2017-19.
D.C. is allowing a league-low 9.5 points per game. It recorded the league’s first shutout Feb. 15 in a 27-0 victory over the New York Guardians.
The Defenders roster includes three players acquired in trades from the Wildcats — defensive end Anthony Johnson, receiver Rashad Ross and safety Shamarko Thomas.
Johnson was a team captain who was placed on the reserve/left squad list Feb. 10 and traded to DC Feb. 14 in exchange for cornerback Bradley Sylve. He made 1.5 quarterback sacks in his debut with the Defenders.
Ross was second in the league in receiving yards entering Saturday’s play with 147 behind Nelson Spruce of the Wildcats, who has 192.
The Wildcats are coming off a 25-18 loss to the Dallas Renegades last Sunday where they were held to three points over the first three quarters, lost two fumbles inside Dallas’ 10-yard line and allowed touchdowns on three consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter.
“We need to play complementary football,” Moss said. “When the defense gets turnovers, the offense needs to cash in. The special teams need to create field position, which they did some and they gave up some. We need to eliminate the turnovers.”
Parking lots will open at noon for the 3 p.m. game. A Fan Fest will be held from noon-3 p.m. including musical performances by School of Rock from 12:30-1 0pm. and 1:30-2 p.m., games, face painting, massages, activities for children, food trucks and beers priced at $7.
Wildcats players will walk through the Fan Fest en route to the stadium, team President Heather Karatz said.
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