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 Houston Roughnecks

Roughnecks Fall in Close One to Defenders

April 8, 2024 - United Football League (UFL)
Houston Roughnecks News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - After falling short in the first game of the season last week, the Houston Roughnecks traveled to our nation's capital to face the DC Defenders.

The Roughnecks are now 0-2 on the season and still hold the fourth spot in the USFL conference.

Getting into rhythm proved to be difficult for both teams. Houston began the game with a quick three and out, followed by Hunter Niswander's punt being blocked by Defenders linebacker Momo Sanogo. Despite starting their opening drive on the opponent's 11 yard line, DC wasn't able to capitalize after a Jordan Ta'amu pass was tipped and intercepted by Corn Elder who returned it for a 98 yard pick-six to make it 6-0 Houston. Later in the quarter, DC was able to piece together an 11 play, 60 yard drive capped off by a one yard Darius Hagans touchdown run to even the score 6-6 at the end of the first.

At the start of the second half, Roughnecks' signal caller Jarrett Guarantano went down with an apparent back injury, making way for the former University of San Diego quarterback Reid Sinnett to take over the rest of the game. Sinnett, looking rather comfortable filling in for Guarantano, completed 9 for 13 with 74 yards through the air during the second quarter. Sinnett moved the Roughnecks down the field and capped off his first drive with a 51 yard J.J Molson field goal. Ta'amu and the Defenders, however, were able to respond with a 21 yard touchdown catch by tight end Briley Moore-McKinney to go up 12-9. Molson was then able to add another field goal, this one good from 43 yards, to tie the game up at 12 headed into the half.

DC went into the fourth quarter determined to put points on the board, Ta'amu and the Defender's offense pieced together another drive that ended in a Matt McCrane field goal. After another Houston possession that ended with a punt, DC was able to come right back down the field and score again with Ta'amu finding wide receiver Ty Scott to go up 23-18.

Houston was almost able to drive down the field and answer back, but a few costly penalties would prevent them, ending the game with a score of 23-18 in favor of DC.

The Roughnecks will continue their road trip, heading up to Michigan to take on USFL Conference foe the Michigan Panthers on Sunday, April 14. The game will air on ABC, with a kickoff scheduled for 12 p.m. ET.


After entering the game in the second quarter, QB Reid Sinnett threw for 221 yards and a touchdown.

OLB Reuben Foster came up with six total tackles, leading the Roughnecks for the second consecutive week.

DE Ethan Westbrooks recorded two sacks, making his total three for the season. DE Chris Odom recorded a sack on his season debut.

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