Former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones first made a name for himself with the Buckeyes in 2014. The 6-foot-5 passer started just 11 games in his college football career but earned 2014 Big Ten Championship game MVP honors and won the College Football Playoff national championship at the end of the season.
Jones spent parts of four years in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle Seahawks before he became one of eight quarterbacks allocated to an XFL team, the DC Defenders.
It’s safe to say Jones did not disappoint in his XFL debut.
Jones kicked off the new football league by leading the Defenders to a 31-19 win against the Seattle Dragons on Saturday at Audi Field in Washington, D.C.
While the former Buckeye finished with an impressive stat line in his first XFL game– he completed 16 of 25 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns while throwing zero interceptions — there was one trick play in particular that wowed the more the 17,000 fans in attendance.
Cardale Jones Trick Play TD
Is it too early to call Cardale Jones the face of the XFL? Because I don’t think so.
Call that whatever you want, but it looked exactly like I expected plays in the XFL to look like. Jones handed the ball off to running back Donnel Pumphrey, who then tossed it to wide receiver Eli Rogers, who flipped it back to Jones. He found a wide-open tight end Khari Lee for the touchdown pass after some nifty moves.
If that doesn’t take you back to Cardale Jones’ days at Ohio State, I don’t know what will.
Defenders fans must have loved it as well, because M-V-P chants broke out during the game for the former fourth-round NFL Draft pick. I’m sure Defenders head coach Pep Hamilton, the former Michigan assistant coach, is glad he’s got Jones on his sideline this season.
It’s still very early in the XFL season, but owner Vince McMahon had to have been pleased with his league’s first game. Football fans across the country sure seemed to enjoy it. But then again, they’re probably just craving any form of football since the Super Bowl.
XFL Week 1 Results
D.C. Defenders 31, Seattle Dragons 19
Houston Roughnecks 37, Los Angeles Wildcats 17
New York Guardians 23, Tampa Bay Vipers 3
St. Louis BattleHawks 15, Dallas Renegades 9