The Tampa Bay Vipers lost their first home game at Raymond James Stadium 34-27.
— Tampa Bay Vipers (@XFLVipers) February 22, 2020
Fans early in the game booed Taylor Cornelius to be replaced by quarterback Quinton Flowers. The hometown favorite, Flowers, played in Raymond James during his college career at South Florida.
Flowers led the Vipers to their first touchdown of the season but Cornelius came back in late in the first half for good. Flowers did not play the entire second half.
The Vipers played their best game of the season after going 0-7 in the red zone in their first two games.
In the team’s first two games, the offense struggled only scoring a total of 12 points against the New York Guardians and Seattle Dragons. However, Tampa Bay’s offense looked improved this week despite the loss.
Dan Williams scored on a 20-yard screen pass from Cornelius helping Tampa take a 27-26 lead at the end of the third.
The lead was short-lived, though, as PJ Walker scored from 17 yards out giving Houston the lead 34-27 after converting a two-point attempt early in the fourth quarter. Walker now has six passing touchdowns in his last two games.
In the fourth quarter, Tampa was able to move the ball well setting up 1st & goal at the two-yard line. After four tries, the Vipers left with nothing.
Houston got the chance to put the game away and gave the ball to the Vipers with 1:53 remaining.
Down seven with no timeouts left, Cornelius threw an interception with 1:12 left to put the game away.
Tampa will host another home game to the DC Defenders. The Defenders are 2-1 after losing their first game of the season at the Los Angeles Wildcats, 39-9.
DC has scored a total of 67 points in their first three games.
Quarterback for the Defenders, Cardale Jones, had his worst performance on the season going 13-26 for 103 yards, no touchdowns and four interceptions.