New York Guardians top Week 1 opponent in final camp scrimmage (Highlights)

Three first-half touchdowns from Matt McGloin let the New York Guardians end training camp with an exhibition win over their Week 1 foe.

The New York Guardians unofficially began their on-field existence and ended training camp on the right note on Tuesday late afternoon.

Matt McGloin threw three first-half touchdown passes en route to a 27-15 win over the Tampa Bay Vipers in a Tuesday scrimmage in Houston. The de facto preseason game was part of a quartet of dress rehearsals featuring each of the league’s eight new teams. Each squad was matched with its opening week opponent.

“There are still a lot of things that need to be cleaned up, but it was nice to see some big plays, a couple of deep balls that were good,” head coach Kevin Gilbride said to the XFL’s official site after Tuesday’s workout. “Defensively I thought we were sharp in the first half. In the second half, we committed too many penalties. It was more on us than them.”

Houston was the standardized site of each team’s camp proceedings. Teams practiced at different colleges in the area, but united at the University of Houston’s TDECU Stadium this for scrimmaging. The stadium will play host to the Houston franchise known as the Roughnecks.

The league avoided using the term “preseason” in describing Tuesday’s events and stats were not kept. But the score was kept in the faux games and the Guardians came out on top in theirs. The league’s new shootout-style overtime, in which teams get five attempts from their opponents’ five-yard line, was tested in each showdown regardless of the score.

New York was able to pull away from the Vipers with 13 unanswered points in the first half en route to a 20-6 lead. One of the touchdowns allowed the Guardians to showcase one of the XFL’s rules in the most satisfying way. McGloin found Colby Pearson for a deep gain, which appeared to end when the receiver fell on his own about 30 yards from the end zone.

Realizing he wasn’t touched, Pearson took advantage of the XFL’s NFL-style rule where a receiver must be down by contact, racing the rest of the way to complete a 76-yard scoring hookup.

Pearson also partook in the XFL’s tiered point-after-touchdown. His grab from McGloin from two yards out allotted them one point en route to the win. Teams will earn two points if they successfully convert the attempt from the five-yard-line and three if they score from the ten.

Receiver Teo Redding and tight end Jake Powell likewise found the end zone through McGloin’s arm. Rusher Darius Victor also added a score on the ground.

The Vipers earned a touchdown from receiver Daniel Williams. The team is coached by former Chicago Bears and CFL boss Marc Trestman. Notable names on the roster include quarterback Aaron Murray and receivers Antonio Callaway and Tanner McEvoy.

New York and Tampa Bay will officially open their respective histories on Feb. 9 at MetLife Stadium during the XFL’s opening weekend (2:00 p.m. ET, FOX). The teams will bookend the inaugural season with head-to-head matchups, as the Guardians visit Raymond James Stadium in the final week of the season on April 12.

Prior to their first showdown, the Guardians and Vipers, along with the rest of their XFL brethren, will trim their rosters from 70 to 52 players. Cuts could begin as early as Wednesday morning.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490.

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