The Birmingham Stallions have advanced to the championship game in the USFL’s inaugural season, after defeating the New Orleans Breakers in the semifinals to claim the South Division. It was an ‘MVP’ like performance from quarterback J’Mar Smith, as he finished with 190 yards passing to go with 48 on the ground. Christian McFarland led the Stallions in tackles with 11. New Orleans had good field possession on its first possession, starting at their own 42-yard line after taking advantage of a missed Birmingham field goal. On their first play from scrimmage, Sloter found Taywan Taylor for gain of 27 yards, moving the chains to the Birmingham 31. The drive continued for eight more plays capped by Jordan Ellis touchdown from the 1-yard line. Taylor Bertolet added the extra point to give the Breakers a 7-0 lead at the 7:25 mark of the first quarter.
Birmingham tied the game at 7-7 on its next possession, marching the ball 72 yards on 13 plays. On 3rd-and-8 from the Breakers’ 23-yard line, Smith connected with Osirus Mitchell for the touchdown on the second play of the second quarter. The Stallions led at halftime 21-14. After a long drive to start the second half, the Breakers settled for a field goal and Birmingham would respond with one of its own to start the fourth quarter. Birmingham’s defense came up huge in the second half getting stops. The Stallions drove the ball down the field in the fourth and killed as much clock as possible, before Smith would score a touchdown with 39 seconds remaining to put the dagger in the Breakers season.
Stallions take on the Philadelphia Stars for the title on July 3, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got playoff football in June. The rebooted USFL unlike the AAF and XFL before it completed a full 10-game regular season before holding its playoff semifinals Saturday from Canton, Ohio. Saturday’s winners, the Philadelphia Stars and Birmingham Stallions, will face off Sunday, July 3 in the USFL championship game. The teams played back in Week 5, when the Stallions shut out the Stars in the second half en route to a 30-17 win.
The Stars punched their ticket to the championship game by stunning a Generals team that lost just one game during the regular season and had beaten Philly twice. The Stars enjoyed a 10-0 halftime lead before New Jersey stars Darius Victor and KaVontae Turpin gave the Generals the lead with just under 11 minutes left. Philadelphia responded with a field goal, two defensive stands and the game-winning score, an 88-yard punt return by Maurice Alexander.
Birmingham advanced to the title game by winning its 10th game of the season and third over the Breakers. After falling behind early, the Stallions scored three second-quarter touchdowns to take a 21-14 lead into intermission. Birmingham tied the score on J’Marr Smith’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Osirus Mitchell.
They took their first lead on DeMarquis Gates’ pick-six of Kyle Sloter, who moments later tied the score on his 35-yard touchdown pass to running back Jordan Ellis. A short touchdown run by Smith with 45 seconds left in the game made the final score deceiving in how close the semifinal actually was. sources by