The XFL Memphis Maniax
(1-0) scored the first win in team history yesterday by beating the Birmingham Thunderboltz
(0-1) on the Boltz Legion Field in front of 35,321.
This was the inaugural game for both clubs, and the only non-televised game on the Maniax schedule.
Memphis running back Rashaan Salaam
ran for 154 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns while quarterback Marcus Crandell
completed 11 of 19 passes for 173 yards. Crandell also completed a 49-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Daryl Hobbs
. Crandell had on interception. Kicker Jeff Hall
hit on a 40-yard field goal to secure the Memphis lead.
The Maniax opened up the game scoring 19 unanswered points in the first half, but relied on its defense in the second while only scoring once (field-goal) in the third quarter.
Once was enough. The Boltz only scored one touchdown in the first half, a 15 yard pass from quarterback Casey Weldon
to wide receiver Damon Gourdine
. However, in the second half, the Boltz scored back-to-back touchdowns on a 3-yard run by running back James Bostic, and a 32-yard TD pass from Weldon to wide receiver Quincy Jackson
The Boltz gave up two crucial turnovers. The first was a Weldon interception by defensive back Rico Clark
who ran the ball back 19 yards, to the Boltz 25-yard-line. That set up Salaam's second TD of the afternoon. The second costly turnover was a Boltz fumble on their own 25 yard-line, ending that possible scoring drive.
The Maniax open their home schedule this Sunday, Feb. 11th, against the Las Vegas Outlaws
who beat the NY/NJ Hitmen
in Las Vegas 19-0 Saturday night.