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Walker and Phillips Lead Roughnecks to 34-27 Victory over Vipers

February 22, 2020 - XFL (XFL) - Houston Roughnecks News Release

Tampa, Fla. - P.J. Walker and Cam Phillips, the first two XFL Stars of the Week, once again shined for Houston as the Roughnecks (3-0) went on the road and defeated Tampa Bay (0-3), 34-27 Saturday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium.

Roughneck quarterback P.J. Walker, the first-ever XFL Star of the Week, threw a career-high 304 yards and three touchdown passes to wide receiver Cam Phillips, the league's week two Star of the Week to lead Houston. For the game, Phillips caught eight balls for a career-high and XFL-high 194 yards. It is the second straight game in which Phillips has caught three touchdown passes. He now has seven on the season.

Oh, and for the second straight game, the Roughnecks' defense came up with a timely interception to seal the game. This time it was DeMarquis Gates who picked off Vipers quarterback, Taylor Cornelius with 1:05 to play. Houston's defense was also stout on Tampa Bay's previous possession, when it held the Vipers scoreless on four straight plays from the one-yard line.

On the first play of the Houston's second possession and from its 16-yard line, Walker and Phillips hooked up on an 84-yard touchdown play. Walker, feeling outside pressure on both sides, eluded the defense and stepped up in the pocket and found a wide-open Phillips on the HOU 42, who scampered untouched the remaining 58 yards to pay dirt. It's the longest scoring play thus far in the XFL.

Walker finished the game completing 24 of his 36 passes with three TD to post a 120.0 rating. He also ran eight-yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.

The Roughnecks hit the road next Sunday, March 1 to face West Division foe, the Dallas Renegades, with a 3:04 p.m. (CT) kick-off. The contest will be nationally televised on FS1 from Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

Houston Notes

RB James Butler, who celebrated a birthday earlier in the week, rushed a career-high 74 yards on seven carries, including a season-long 30-yard rush.

P.J. Walker completed passes to eight different receivers.

P.J. Walker ran a season-high rush of 28 yards in the second quarter.

The Roughnecks gained a season-high 417 net yards, including a season-high 115 rushing yards.

The Roughneck now have interceptions in all three games it has played for a season total of five picks. Houston had two interceptions in each of the first two games of the season.

DeMarquis Gates is the fifth Houston defender to have registered an interception this season.

The Roughnecks on their first TD went for three points and converted on their first-ever three-point attempt, when Walker found wide receiver Sam Mobley open in the back of the end zone.


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