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 St. Louis Battlehawks

The Battlehawk Brief: Week 3

April 14, 2024 - United Football League (UFL)
St. Louis Battlehawks News Release

Fitting that with all the recent close finishes in the UFL, the St. Louis Battlehawks are back in San Antonio where they debuted the 4th Quarter 4th Down option play en route to their first win of last season.

For those who might be unfamiliar, in the UFL if a team is tied or behind during the fourth quarter, it may elect to retain possession after a score with a 4th-and-12 from its own 28-yard line.

With up to 3 points on an extra point conversion, that provides the potential for scoring up to 18 points on one extended possession and some incredible late game drama.

Kickoff for today's game is 2pm CT on ABC.

-Speaking of drama, there was nothing of the kind from running back Mataeo Durant. Inactive to start the season, Durant stayed positive and then responded to his start last week with 104 yards on the ground to help the Battlehawks beat Arlington. The total marked the first time in team history a player rushed for over 100 yards in a single game.

"I think that's been my career, though," reflected Durant. "At Duke, I was basically a career backup until Junior year. I got that opportunity to actually play a lot, seized that moment. Senior year, first time starting since high school, first game I came out and broke the Duke rushing record. I just feel like my career has been one of those things, when you get that opportunity, make sure people remember you."

They still remember Durant in his hometown of Plum Tree, South Carolina as the former McCormick High School star had his football jersey retired this past summer.

"Where I'm from, not many people get the opportunity to play at the professional level," he explained. "I always want to go back and show kids and other people that you can make it from our community...Just be an example of someone who had goals and reached them and didn't let his circumstances change his standards."

Durant began setting that example during his freshman year in high school, when he started mentoring Quincy, a local elementary school student.

"I stay on top of him and make sure he's making the right decisions while I'm here and he's at home," said Mataeo. "I've been like a big brother-figure to him and I try my best to try and lead him on the straight and narrow so he can take advantage of the opportunity that he has when he graduates."

-They may not be Siskel and Ebert, but if you're looking for a movie review, ask Mataeo Durant and A.J. McCarron.

"Mataeo's one of my best friends on this team, we go to the movies with each other every week," said McCarron.

The two began the movie tradition early last season and continue to grab dinner and watch a new movie usually the day before the team travels for each game.

And what is the best film they've seen of late?

"Dune 2," stated Durant. "It was long, but it was good."

-Freedom Akinmoladun is inactive for today's game due to sickness. With Mike Rose still sidelined by an ankle injury, Callahan O'Reilly will again get the nod at linebacker. O'Reilly had seven tackles and shared a sack with Travis Feeney in his UFL debut last week.

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United Football League Stories from April 14, 2024

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