Matthew Colburn II #26 of the Michigan Panthers runs with the ball during the second quarter against the DC Defenders at Audi Field on May 12, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/UFL/Getty Images)
Matthew Colburn II #26 of the Michigan Panthers runs with the ball during the second quarter against the DC Defenders at Audi Field on May 12, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/UFL/Getty Images)
  • Michigan Panthers (4-2) at D.C. Defenders (3-3)
  • When: Sunday, May 12, 2024 at 2 p.m. ET.
  • Audi Field (Washington, D.C.)
  • Attendance: 12,222
  • Network: ESPN
  • Announcers: Lowell Galindo (Play-by-play), Tom Luginbill (Analyst), Harry Douglas (Sideline Analyst), Kayla Burton (Sideline Reporter)
  • Odds: D.C. -1.5, O/U 42.5 (DraftKings)

Both teams want this win to solidify their playoff chances. A win by Michigan will lock up their playoff spot, especially if Houston fails to win their game. Meanwhile, the D.C. Defenders need a win to keep pace with the St. Louis Battlehawks and the San Antonio Brahmas in the XFL Conference.

Paxton Brooks kicked off 71 yards and the ball was bobbled and recovered by Gavin Holmes. From his own 6-yard line, Michigan quarterback Brian Lewerke handed to Matthew Colburn for a 5-yard gain, and then handed to Colburn again and he broke it open for a 23-yard run. Lewerke completed a 5-yard pass to Siaosi Mariner, and then handed to Colburn who ran 53 yards to the D.C. 7-yard line. Lewerke kept the ball and ran 7 yards for the touchdown. The one-point conversion was good on a 2-yard pass to Samson Nacua, to make the score 7-0 for Michigan.

The Jake Bates kickoff went 69 yards and was returned by Chris Rowland to the D.C. 45. D.C. quarterback Jordan Ta’amu completed a 3-yard pass to Kelvin Harmon, and then handed to Keke Coutee who went right and rambled 28 yards up the sideline. An offensive holding call pushed the Defenders back 10 yards, and then Ta’amu could not complete a pass to Kaden Smith. Another pass to Harmon gained 6 yards, and then on 3rd down a pass to Cam’Ron Harris was short of the first down. The Defenders settled for a 43-yard Matthew McCrane field goal attempt which sailed wide to the right.

From his own 33-yard line, backup quarterback Bryce Perkins passed to Marcus Simms for a 7-yard gain, and then handed to Wes Hills for 7 yards and a first down. Perkins handed to Simms who stiff-armed a defender and rambled 15 yards to midfield. A handoff to Hills gained 3 yards, and then a pass to Nacua gained 9 yards for a first down on the D.C. 26.

Perkins handed to Hills for a 5-yard gain, and then a delay of game penalty knocked Michigan back 5 yards. On second and 10, Perkins could not complete a pass to Mariner. However, an unnecessary roughness call against D.C. gave the Panthers a first down on the D.C. 11.

Perkins handed to Colburn for a 10-yard rush, and then another handoff to Colburn made no gain. On second and goal, a handoff to Hills was steamrolled for a 1 yard touchdown rush.  The one-point conversion attempt drew a false start penalty, and the attempt was re-run from the 7-yard line. The conversion attempt failed when Perkins was sacked, making the score 13-0 for Michigan.

Rowland returned the Jake Bates kickoff to the D.C. 30. Then, Jordan Ta’amu completed a short pass to Ty Scott and he ran 70 yards for the touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, making the score 13-6 for Michigan.

Holmes returned the Brooks kickoff to the Michigan 26. Lewerke was back in at quarterback, and handed to Colburn for a 4-yard gain. Lewerke passed to Simms but the ball fell incomplete, and then passed incomplete once more to Simms. Michigan was forced to punt, however the punt was bobbled and the ball was recovered by Michigan’s Dashaun White on the D.C. 21-yard line.

A bad snap caused a fumble, and was recovered by Lewerke on the D.C. 34. On second down, Lewerke scrambled for 12 yards, but an offensive illegal block above the waist penalty pushed Michigan back 10 yards as the first quarter ended.

On third and 27, Lewerke could not complete a pass to Simms. The Panthers lined up for a 56-yard Jake Bates field goal, but an encroachment penalty gave D.C. a five-yard penalty. Bates then kicked a 51-yard field goal to make the score 16-6 for Michigan.

Rowland returned the Bates kickoff to the D.C. 37-yard line.  A handoff to Harris gained no yards, and then a pass intended for Coutee was tipped and fell incomplete. On third down a pass to Harmon was caught for 8 yards, but the Defenders were forced to punt.

The Brooks punt was downed at the Michigan 8-yard line. Perkins was back in, and handed to Hills who ran 16 yards for a first down, and then a pass to Simms gained 14 yards to move the markers again. Perkins passed to Cole Hikutini for an 18-yard gain, and then passed again to Hikutini for 20 yards more to the D.C. 25.

Perkins passed to Nacua for a 7-yard gain, and then handed to Hills for a 2-yard run. On third and 1, Perkins kept the ball and was 15 inches short of the first down. On fourth down, Hills was handed the ball but he slipped and was short of the first down marker. The Panthers turned the ball over on downs.

From his own 15-yard line, Ta’amu could not complete a pass to Rowland, and then passed 3-yards to Harmon. On third down, Ta’amu was sacked for a 7-yard loss, and the Defenders were forced to punt.

The Brooks punt was downed on the Michigan 49-yard line. Lewerke handed to Colburn for a 3-yard run, and then passed 11 yards to Trey Quinn to move the chains. Lewerke passed 8 yards to Hikutini, and then passed short to Nacua who gained 7 yards for a first down. A handoff to Colburn gained 5 yards, and then Lewerke overthrew Devin Gray on the right sideline, as the two minute warning was announced.

On third down, Lewerke passed to Samson Nacua who fought to get to the first down marker. With a fresh set of downs, Lewerke overthrew Gunnar Oakes. A pass to Hikutini was low and could not be caught, but an illegal formation penalty pushed the Panthers back 5 yards. A handoff to Wes Hills gained 4 yards, and then on third and 11, a draw play to Colburn gained 7-yards, but still short of the first down. A Bates 22-yard field goal made the score 19-6 for Michigan.

With 0:04 remaining, Bates kicked off low, and Cam’Ron Harris returned the ball to the Dc 48 as time ran out.

The score at halftime was 19-6 for Michigan.

The second half began with Chris Rowland returning the Bates kickoff to the D.C. 37. Ta’amu passed to Smith for a 7-yard gain, and then rushed for a 5-yard gain to move the markers. A pass to Scott sailed over his head, and then Ta’amu passed to Harmon for a 7-yard gain. On third down, Ta’amu scrambled for 2 yards just short of a first down. On fourth down, Ta’amu handed to Darius Hagans who lost 2 yards, and the ball was turned over on downs.

From his own 45-yard line, Perkins handed to Colburn who rushed for 16 yards, and then another handoff to Colburn gained another 7 yards. Another handoff to Colburn only gained one yard, and then Perkins faked a handoff and scrambled for 14 yards to the D.C. 17.

Perkins tossed to Nacua for 9 yards, and then handed to Hills who only gained one yard. On third and 1, a false start penalty knocked the Panthers back 5 yards. On third and 6, Perkins was pressured and forced out of bounds for an 8-yard loss. The Panthers settled for a 40-yard Bates field goal to make the score 22-6 for Michigan.

The Bates kickoff was returned by Rowland to the D.C. 37. Ta’amu handed to Harris for a 1-yard gain, and then passed to Alex Ellis for 10 yards and a first down. Ta’amu rushed, but was stuffed for a 4-yard loss, and then a pass to Harmon gained 10 yards. On first down, Ta’amu was sacked hard by Breeland Speaks for an 11-yard loss. The Defenders head coach Reggie Barlow challenged the play for a roughing the passer, but  the challenge failed. D.C. was forced to punt.

The Brooks punt was taken on a fair catch by Quinn at the Michigan 13-yard line. Lewerke handed to Hills for a 1-yard gain, and then threw an incomplete pass intended for Simms. A pass to a wide open Quinn hit the turf and was deemed incomplete. The Panthers were forced to punt.

The Brock Miller punt was taken by Rowland and returned to the D.C. 48. Deondre Francois came in at quarterback. He handed to Rowland for a 13-yard run, and then went back to Rowland for 6 yards more. Francois kept the ball and made 1 yard, and then Francois went down with an injury.

On third and 3, third string quarterback Jalen McClendon entered the game and rushed for 3 yards for the first down. McClendon threw a 3-yard pass to Coutee, but an illegal shit penalty gave them a 5-yard penalty as the third quarter ended.

McClendon could not find a target and scrambled to the sideline. However, an offensive holding call pushed them back 10 yards. On first and 25, McClendon was pressured, but completed a short pass to Harris who ran for 11 yards. A pass to Scott was almost caught, and then another pass to Scott was caught for a 17-yard gain to the Michigan 16.

A handoff to Harris lost 3 yards, and then a pass to Scott fell incomplete. On third and 13, McClendon was tackled as he attempted a pass to Harmon that fell incomplete. The Defenders settled for a 37-yard Matt McCrane field goal to make the score 22-9 for Michigan.

The Brooks kickoff was returned to the Michigan 31. Perkins handed to Colburn for a loss of 2 yards, and then another handoff to Colburn gained 4 yards. A pass intended to Simms was not caught, and the Panthers were forced to punt.

The Brock Miller punt went into the end zone for a touchback. From his own 25-yard line, Jalen McClendon threw an incomplete pass to Scott, and then passed to Rowland for a 3-yard gain. On third down, McClendon passed to Smith for a 4-yard gain, and the Defenders opted to punt.

The Brooks punt was taken by a fair catch on the Michigan 25. Perkins passed deep to Marcus Simms, but offensive pass interference negated the play. Perkins was pressured and nearly completed a pass to Hikutini, and then passed 13 yards to Wes Hills. On third and 7, a pass to Hills gained no yards, and the Panthers were forced to punt.

The punt was knocked out of bounds and Michigan was penalized for illegal kicking of the ball, and the ball was spotted the Michigan 49-yard line. McClendon passed deep to Coutee, but the pass was short and hit the turf. McClendon was sacked for an 8-yard loss, and then on third and 18, D.C. was called for too many men in the huddle. Now on third and 23, McClendon passed short to Smith, who ran for 8 yards. On fourth and 15, McClendon had to keep the ball and ran well short of the first down marker. D.C. turned the ball over on downs.

With 2:55 remaining, from his own 44-yard line, Lewerke handed to Colburn for a 20-yard gain, and then handed to Colburn again for 3 more yards as the two-minute warning was announced.

On third and 6, a handoff to Colburn only made 4 yards, and the Panthers were forced to punt.

The Miller punt was downed on the D.C. 1-yard line. With 1:08 remaining, McClendon passed 9-yards to Vyncint Smith, and then completed a pass to Hagans for 8 yards and a first down. With time ticking down, McClendon passed complete to Ellis on the sideline and then went to Smith for an 8-yard gain as time ran out.

The final score was Michigan Panthers 22, D.C. Defenders 9.

Box Score

SCORE BY QUARTER

TEAM	1	2	3	4	T
MI	13	6	3	0	22
DC	6	0	0	3	9


MICHIGAN PANTHERS

Michigan Panthers Passing
#	PLAYER			C-A	YDS	TD	I	C%	RTG
17	Perkins, Bryce		11-13	116	0	0	85	159.6
19	Lewerke, Brian		5-13	37	0	0	38	62.4
	
Michigan Panthers Rushing
#	PLAYER			ATT	YDS	TD	LNG	AVG
26	Colburn II, Matthew	16	137	0	53	8.6
31	Hills, Wes		10	37	1	15	3.7
17	Perkins, Bryce		2	13	0	13	6.5
19	Lewerke, Brian		3	0	1	7	0

Michigan Panthers Receiving
#	PLAYER			NO	YDS	TD	LNG	TGT	YAC
86	Nacua, Samson		6	45	0	9	7	17
09	Simms, Marcus		3	36	0	15	6	28
80	Hikutini, Cole		2	39	0	21	4	30
31	Hills, Wes		2	13	0	13	2	4
18	Quinn, Trey		1	11	0	11	3	6
14	Mariner, Siaosi		1	5	0	5	1	0
26	Colburn II, Matthew	1	4	0	4	1	4
15	Gray, Devin		0	0	0	0	1	0
84	Oakes, Gunnar		0	0	0	0	1	0

Michigan Panthers Defense
#	Player (Starter)	TotTk	Solo	Sack	TFL	Int	BrUp	FF
21	Nacua, Kai (FS)		8	8	0	0	0	0	0
03	Brooks, Nate (CB)	5	4	0	0	0	0	0
10	Dawkins, Noah (LB)	5	3	0	1	0	0	0
86	Nacua, Samson		3	3	0	0	0	0	0
07	Ballard, Corrion (SAF)	3	1	0	0	0	0	0
32	Whitehead Jr., Kedr	3	1	0	0	0	0	0
13	Torneden, Bryce (SAF)	3	3	0	1	0	0	0
30	White, Dashaun		3	3	0	1	0	0	0
11	White, Javin (LB)	3	3	0	1	0	1	0
96	Carter, T.J.		2	1	0	0	0	0	0
48	Willekes, Kenny		2	1	1	1	0	0	0
52	Tafua, Mika		2	2	0	0	0	0	0
06	Gipson Jr., Keith (CB)	1	1	0	0	0	0	0
57	Speaks, Breeland (DE)	1	1	1	1	0	0	0
97	Carter, Ron'Dell (DE)	1	1	1	1	0	0	0
99	Palmore, Walter (DT)	1	1	0	0	0	0	0
36	Alexander, Adonis	1	0	0	0	0	0	0
90	Gibbs, Jesus		1	1	0	0	0	0	0
55	Marino, Garrett (DT)	0	0	0	0	0	0	0

Michigan Panthers All Purpose Yards
Player			Tot	Rush	Rec	KOR	PR	IR-FR	TDs
Colburn II, Matthew	141	137	4	0	0	0	0
Hills, Wes		50	37	13	0	0	0	1
Nacua, Samson		45	0	45	0	0	0	0

Michigan Panthers Punting
Punter		NO	YDS	AVG	LNG	I20
Miller, Brock	5	239	47.8	67	1

Michigan Panthers Kick Returns
Returner	NO	YDS	AVG	LNG	TD
Holmes, Gavin	3	37	12	20	0

Michigan Panthers Punt Returns
Returner	NO	YDS	AVG	LNG	TD
Quinn, Trey	0	0	0	0	0

Michigan Panthers Field Goals
Kicker		Time		Dist	Result
Bates, Jake	2nd-13:29	51	GOOD
Bates, Jake	2nd-00:04	22	GOOD
Bates, Jake	3rd-7:08	40	GOOD
TOTAL	3-3	LONG OF 51



D.C. DEFENDERS

DC Defenders Passing
#	PLAYER			C-A	YDS	TD	I	C%	RTG
10	Ta'amu, Jordan		10-14	127	1	0	71	171.2
17	McClendon, Jalan	9-14	73	0	0	64	108.1
	
DC Defenders Rushing
#	PLAYER			ATT	YDS	TD	LNG	AVG
81	Coutee, Keke		1	28	0	28	28
12	Rowland, Chris		2	19	0	13	9.5
17	McClendon, Jalan	2	13	0	10	6.5
10	Ta'amu, Jordan		3	3	0	5	1
08	Francois, Deondre	1	1	0	1	1
28	Hagans, Darius		1	-2	0	-2	-2
03	Harris, Cam'Ron		3	-4	0	1	-1.3

DC Defenders Receiving
#	PLAYER			NO	YDS	TD	LNG	TGT	YAC
13	Harmon, Kelvin		6	37	0	10	7	9
19	Scott, Ty		2	87	1	70	6	58
86	Smith, Vyncint		2	17	0	9	2	10
89	Smith, Kaden		2	15	0	8	3	16
18	Ellis, Alex		2	14	0	10	2	8
03	Harris, Cam'Ron		2	14	0	11	2	15
28	Hagans, Darius		1	9	0	9	1	4
02	Smith, Brandon		1	4	0	4	1	-1
12	Rowland, Chris		1	3	0	3	2	1
81	Coutee, Keke		0	0	0	0	2	0

DC Defenders Defense
#	Player (Starter)	TotTk	Solo	Sack	TFL	Int	BrUp	FF
25	Baker, Deandre (CB)	6	6	0	0	0	1	0
90	Scott, Niles (DT)	6	2	0	0	0	0	0
43	Bernard, Francis (LB)	5	4	0	0	0	0	0
57	Hines III, Anthony (LB)	5	3	0	0	0	0	0
21	Nicholson, Montae	5	2	0	0	0	0	0
24	Kelly, Anthoula (CB)	5	4	0	1	0	0	0
07	Bellamy, Davin (DE)	5	3	1	2	0	0	0
15	Joseph, Michael (CB)	5	5	0	0	0	0	0
55	Sanogo, Momo		4	4	0	1	0	0	0
92	Fisher, Malik (DE)	3	1	0	0	0	0	0
39	Ramirez, Santos (SAF)	3	3	0	0	0	0	0
32	Johnson, Isaiah		3	3	0	0	0	1	0
33	Harris, Trent		1	0	0	0	0	0	0
72	Barnes, T.J. (DT)	1	1	0	0	0	0	0
91	Johnson, Dennis		1	1	0	1	0	0	0
06	Gardner, Ferrod		1	0	0	0	0	0	0
48	Mintze, Andre		1	1	0	0	0	0	0
09	Anderson, Deontay (SAF)	1	1	0	0	0	0	0

DC Defenders All Purpose Yards
Player		Tot	Rush	Rec	KOR	PR	IR-FR	TDs
Rowland, Chris	134	19	3	110	2	0	0
Scott, Ty	87	0	87	0	0	0	1
Harmon, Kelvin	37	0	37	0	0	0	0

DC Defenders Punting
Punter		NO	YDS	AVG	LNG	I20
Brooks, Paxton	4	171	42.75	48	2

DC Defenders Kick Returns
Returner	NO	YDS	AVG	LNG	TD
Rowland, Chris	5	110	22	33	0
Harris, Cam'Ron	1	13	13	13	0

DC Defenders Punt Returns
Returner	NO	YDS	AVG	LNG	TD
Rowland, Chris	2	2	01	2	0

DC Defenders Field Goals
Kicker			Time		Dist	Result
McCrane, Matthew	1st-8:49	43	MISS
McCrane, Matthew	4th-11:09	37	GOOD
TOTAL	1-2	LONG OF 37




GAME COMPARISON

STAT				MI		DC	
Total Yds			32		235
Pass Yds			145		177
Rush Yds			187		58
Penalties			8-55		6-50
1st Downs			18		9
3rd Downs			2-11		2-10
4th Downs			0-1		0-2
Total Plays			58		44
Avg Yds/Play			5.7		5.3
Avg Yds/Completion		9.1		9.3
Avg Yds/Rush			6		4.5
Sack-Adj Rush Yd(Avg)		195 (6.5)	81 (8.1)
Red Zone			2-5		0-1
Time of Poss			34:42		25:05
Turnovers (Def Pts Off)		0 (0)		1 (0)
Fumbles-Lost			1-0		1-1
Sacks (Def Yds)			3.0 (23.0)	1.0 (8.0)
TFL (Def Yds)			7 (34.0)	5 (25.0)
Alt. Kickoffs			0-0		0-0


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