HomeSportsNFLWATCH: XFL Runs Tribute Play to Mike Leach, Goes For Big Touchdown

WATCH: XFL Runs Tribute Play to Mike Leach, Goes For Big Touchdown

by Barkley Truax
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The XFL has already created some unique moments throughout its comeback season, but the Houston Roughnecks take the cake for best trick play.

Former LSU WR Jontre Kirklin caught an underneath pass from former Troy QB Brandon Silvers. It looked like a generic cross-field shallow route to the flats, but instead, Kirklin dropped back and heaved a deep ball to former USC WR Deontay Burnett for the 49-yard touchdown against the unsuspecting Orlando Guardians’ defense.

Check out the highlight of the Week 4 XFL slate below:

The Double Pass Has an Insane Origin Story

Offensive coordinator AJ Smith was visibly excited that his trick play worked, and praised his players for executing it to perfection after the game. The play is four years in the making and goes much deeper than just a 49-yard touchdown.

“I was a part of the 2020 staff with the Roughnecks. I remember in 2019, we got caught in a double pass. Prior to that season in the Air Raid, I was spending a lot of time with Mike Leach and they were running this shallow screen,” Smith said postgame. “I [told my team] that we need to put this in and I realized, if he catches it behind the line of scrimmage, he can throw it. 

“So, we put it in and we never ran it, but I’ve thought about it since 2019. It was four years in the making and to see it come to fruition tonight is just unbelievable.”

The play is the first-ever double pass to go for a touchdown in XFL history. The Roughnecks would go on to defeat the Guardians 44-16 and improve to 4-0 on the season, good for first place in the XFL South.

You can catch Houston in action once again this Thursday on the road against the Seattle Sea Dragons. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET live on ESPN. The Sea Dragons are on a two-game win streak entering the matchup.