Former Enterprise football star TJ Barnes made his XFL debut as the league’s first season since 2001 got underway this past weekend.
Barnes and the New York Guardians got the season off to a hot start with a 23-3 win over the Tampa Bay Vipers on Feb. 9.
Barnes was a member of a defensive unit that kept the Vipers out of the end zone all night and forced three turnovers with six sacks.
Barnes led the Guardian defensive line with four tackles as the Guardians harassed Tampa quarterback Aaron Murray all day.
Barnes – who was an all-state offensive and defensive lineman at Enterprise – went on to earn All-ACC honors at Georgia Tech as a defensive lineman before playing in the NFL for various teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets and Buffalo Bills.
Barnes was a starting defensive tackle for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football before it folded last year. After the league folded, Barnes signed a contract with the Carolina Panthers before the 2019 season began. After being released by the Panthers, Barnes signed with the XFL.
Former Troy Trojans Brandon Silvers, Jonathan Massaquoi, Dujuan Harris and Trevon Sanders all made their XFL debuts over the weekend, as well.
Silvers started at quarterback for the Seattle Dragons as they fell to the DC Defenders in the first game of the weekend. Silvers is credited with the first touchdown of the new XFL as he found receiver Austin Proehl in the first quarter.
With the Dragons trailing 24-19 with 12:55 left in the fourth quarter, Silvers’ pass intended for Proehl was intercepted by former Alabama star Bradley Sylve and returned 69 yards for the game-clinching touchdown.
For the day, Silvers completed 21-of-40 pass attempts for 217 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Fellow Trojan Massaquoi started at linebacker for the Defenders in the game and sacked Silvers in the game. Massaquoi totaled three tackles, two tackles-for-loss, one sack and one quarterback hurry in the Defenders win.
Harris and Sanders both play for the Los Angeles Wildcats, who lost 37-17 to the Houston Roughnecks.
Harris only carried the ball two times for six yards in the loss, while Sanders recorded two tackles and a tackle-for-loss on defense.