Two New York Guardians Named to All-XFL Team

Geoff Magliocchetti
New York Guardians
Feb 23, 2020; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; New York Guardians kicker Matthew McCrane (16) celebrates with teammates after kicking a field goal during the first half against the St. Louis Battlehawks at The Dome at America’s Center. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

The XFL’s inaugural season will likely end prematurely, but a pair of New York Guardians are walking away with league honors.

The XFL revealed its 2020 midseason all-league squad on Thursday. With the announcement that the league no longer expects to play regular-season games (likely in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic), it likely becomes their year-end squad as well.

Two locals appeared on the de facto all-star team’s lineup, one on each side of the ball. Fordham alum and offensive lineman Anthony Coyle was part of the blockers’ guild, while fellow line staple Cavon Walker represented the defenders.

Coyle, a native of Tottenville, Staten Island, was called upon to take a bigger on the Guardians’ front line when several starters went down with injuries. His prowess was on prominent display during the past two games, both New York wins. Behind strong blocking from Coyle and company, Guardians rushers tallied 266 yards in victories over the Los Angeles Wildcats and Dallas Renegades. Prior to his XFL arrival, Coyle earned a pair of All-Patriot League nominations while representing The Bronx.

On the other side of the ball, Walker led a fearsome Guardians pass rush. New York (3-2) stands second in the XFL in sacks (13) at the time of the pause. Walker leads the way, both locally and nationally, with 4.5 sacks, hitting the quarterback nine other times. He came up particularly big for the Guardians in the aforementioned win over Dallas, earning five tackles, including two sacks in what became a one-sided 30-12 victory.

If these are truly the final XFL stats, the Guardians, locked in a three-way tie for the East division’s lead, are well represented in several categories. Darius Victor ranks fifth in the league in rushing (238 yards) while Jarrell Owens and Wes Sutton joined Walker as a trio of eleven players to register at least two sacks. On special teams, Matthew McCrane converted all eight of his field goal attempts (one of two XFL kickers to be perfect on the year).

The Guardians were set to host the undefeated Houston Roughnecks at MetLife Stadium on Saturday afternoon prior to the regular season’s cancellation. Six Roughnecks made the all-XFL squad, led by quarterback PJ Walker (1,338 yards, 15 touchdown passes) and receiver Cam Phillips (455 yards, nine touchdowns).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags