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Defenders score 2 TDs in fourth quarter to beat Vipers

Feb 25, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; D.C. Defenders quarterback D'Eriq King (3) celebrates with wide receiver Chris Blair (1) after scoring a touchdown against the Vegas Vipers in the fourth quarter at Cashman Field. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Abram Smith and D’Eriq King rushed for touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the DC Defenders defeated the host Vegas Vipers 18-6 on Saturday.

King scored from 12 yards out on the first play of the fourth, and he added the one-point conversion run as the Defenders (2-0) took a 7-6 lead. They padded the advantage when Smith rushed for a 9-yard touchdown with 8:43 to play. King tossed a 2-point conversion pass to tight end Ethan Wolf.

The Defenders rushed for 229 yards, with 71 from Smith and 68 from quarterback Jordan Ta’amu. Ta’amu completed 11 of 23 passes for 93 yards.

The lone score for the Vipers (0-2) was DeAndre Torrey’s 2-yard rush, which came on the first play following a strip-sack of Ta’amu less than three minutes into the game.

Vegas quarterback Brett Hundley was 11 of 18 passing for 98 yards, and Rod Smith was the Vipers’ leading rusher with 38 yards on six carries.

–Field Level Media

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