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Rebels in the Pros: Jordan Ta’amu’s march for MVP continues

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And Demarquis Gates continues to make plays.

New York Guardians v St Louis Battlehawks Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images

It should come as no surprise that the two best teams in the newly-formed XFL are led by two former Rebels. The St. Louis BattleHawks and the Houston Roughnecks have started the season a combined 5-1, with the only loss coming via head-to-head match up in week two.

If you haven’t noticed, week three was another good week for those former in the Red and Blue. Here’s how they did:

St. Louis BattleHawks 29, New York Guardians 9

Jordan Ta’amu didn’t have the eye-popping numbers he showed in the first two weeks, but what he did show was an ability to get the ball into the hands of his playmakers and let them make plays. The BattleHawks were playing at home for the first time and the fans showed up in big numbers in the first professional football game in St. Louis since 2015.

The defense shut down New York as Channing Ward added a tackle but the show was on offense as Ta’amu’s 12-for-18 day for 119 yards through the air paced the ‘Hawks. That was all the offense would need, and St. Louis moved to 2-1 and are atop the Eastern division.

Houston Roughnecks 34, Tampa Bay Vipers 27

Demarquis Gates keeps auditioning for a full-time NFL gig and somebody soon is going to take notice. Gates was the best player on the field, flying around to make eight tackles and record the only interception for the Roughnecks, sealing the victory.

Quarterback Phillip Walker headlined the offense and figures to be a quick addition to an NFL roster once the season wraps up as well. Through three games, the Houston signal caller has 748 yards passing and another 87 on the ground.

On the other side of the field, Daronte Bouldin helped the Vipers to their best offensive output on the season. Gaining yards hasn’t been an issue—Tampa Bay out-gained their first two opponents— but scoring down near the goal line proved difficult. Not so much in week three as the Vipers scored more (27) than they had in weeks one and two combined (12).

Like Gates and Ta’amu, Bouldin is auditioning for a roster spot in the NFL, and through three games, general managers seem to be noticing.

This week’s schedule:

Who: Seattle at St. Louis
When: Saturday, 4:00pm CST
TV: FOX

Who: Houston at Dallas
When: Sunday, 3:00pm CST
TV: FS1

Who: D.C. at Tampa Bay
When: Sunday, 5:00pm CST
TV: ESPN2