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WATCH: Former P-R, Pitt QB Ben DiNucci Wows For First Seattle Dragons TD



Ben DiNucci (3) gets ready to hand the ball off at Heinz Field on November 9, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. -- DAVID HAGUE

It was a dream start for the XFL’s Seattle Dragons Sunday night, and the Dragons Faithful (if there is a Dragons Faithful) may want to simply remember a dream start.

Former Pitt (and Pine-Richland and James Madison and NFL) quarterback Ben DiNucci led the Dragons in a Week 1 matchup against the DC Defenders Sunday night, and he opened the scoring with a shovel pass touchdown flipped to former NFL wideout Josh Gordon.

The play, which has been compared to a play out of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ playbook, was the opening touchdown of the Dragons’ season.

It was an athletic play, heads-up play from DiNucci to cap an 11-play, 71-yard scoring drive, evading the pass rush, escaping the pocket and having the presence of mind to flip a pass to Gordon as he streaked toward the pylon.

Unfortunately for DiNucci and the Dragons, the rest of the night wasn’t as easy.

The Dragons struggled late, turning the ball over via interceptions, fumbles and three and outs on the way to a 22-18 loss to the Guardians Sunday night. DiNucci completed 35-of-54 pass attempts for 282 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.

DiNucci was a seventh round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, after spending time at Pitt and James Madison in college. He completed 91-of-167 pass attempts for 1,107 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions during three seasons at Pitt.

In two seasons at JMU, he completed 479-of-687 pass attempts for 5,716 yards with 45 touchdowns and 18 interceptions — building himself into an NFL prospect.

He spent a season with the Dallas Cowboys, making one start in three appearances during the 2020 season. He completed 23-of-43 pass attempts for 219 yards and ran six times for 22 yards.

The Dragons will be back in action on Thursday, Feb. 23 against the St. Louis Battlehawks.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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1 year ago

I completely missed the fact that the XFL was starting up. Not sure if I just wasn’t paying attention or if they did a lousy job of getting the word out. Either way, it feels too soon for more football.

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