BIRMINGHAM (Reuters) - Former Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam had a pair of first-half touchdown runs as the Memphis Maniax edged the Birmingham Bolts, 22-20, in the XFL opener for both teams Sunday.
Marcus Crandell and wide receiver Daryl Hobbs hooked up on a 49-yard touchdown pass and Jeff Hall booted a 40-yard field goal to account for the rest of the scoring for Memphis, which held on after taking a 19-0 advantage.
The Bolts pulled within two points on Casey Weldon's 33-yard TD strike to Quincy Jackson with 22 seconds remaining. Hobbs recovered the ensuing onside kick to seal the victory.
Memphis is in the Western Division while Birmingham is part of the Eastern Division.
In Saturday night action, Ryan Clement threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Las Vegas Outlaws past the New York/New Jersey Hitmen, 19-0, in the inaugural game for both XFL teams.
Clement, a standout at the University of Miami, completed 13-of-28 passes and did most of his damage in the first half. He completed passes to eight different receivers, including three to tight end end Ricky Brady and two to running back Rod Smart.
The pregame festivities began with fireworks and league owner Vince McMahon addressing the crowd, ending the speech by exclaiming,