J’Mar Smith will making a return to the Stallions this week after sitting out last weekend due to illness. The team has also added Bo Scarbrough to the lineup, and it looks like we’ll see him play today.
On the Stars front, Case Cookus is still filling in for Bryan Scott. Last week Cookus lead his team to a win over the Panthers, but this will be his biggest test to date.
"He is a big and powerful man and I am anxious to see what he is going to do."
Head coach Skip Holtz talks about Bo Scarbrough's opener with the Stallions ⬇️
Case Cookus and the Stars will start out the game with possession, and Maurice Alexander had a great return bringing it all the way to the 45. Unfortunately, a holding penalty pushed them back 10-yards to start the drive. Paul Terry came up big on the next play, with a huge rush putting them in great scoring position early.
Paul Terry wasn’t done yet, Cookus went long only to find him for another first down and putting them within 10-yards of the end-zone. It didn’t take them long, after a couple attempts Cookus handed it off to Colburn to grab the early 7-0 lead.
TOUCHDOWN! 😤 @2mjayc caps off our opening drive with a score
Alex McGough would come in to start at QB for the Stallions this week, and wanted to even things out. He aired out the ball on a couple occasions, but could not find his receiver. After a quick three and out, they punted it back to Philadelphia giving them a chance to build upon their early lead.
The Birmingham defense stepped up on the next drive, forcing the Stars to give it back and give them another chance to get on the board.
Our defense is heating up in the first half 🔥🐎 #GiddyUp
Alex McGough would come back out for Birmingham, giving him another chance to find his rhythm. He looked much better this time around, moving the ball by air and ground. On a couple occasions McGough moved the chains himself with his legs.
When stuck on 3rd and long, McGough broke a few tackles only to find Michael Dereus wide-open in the end-zone for their first touchdown of the afternoon.
Things were now tied 7-7, but there was plenty of time left in the game for each team to pull away. Coach Andrus was hoping it would be his Stars.
Cookus continued where he left off on his first drive, once again moving the ball well and bringing them near the end-zone to end the first quarter.
Philadelphia would start the second quarters 10-yards away from another score. It didn’t take long for Philadelphia to make it happen. On the first play of the quarter Cookus handed it off the Paul terry for another touchdown and the lead.
SCARY HOURS 😱 @Paulterry55 is looking SCARY out there and adds to his big game with a score 💯
McGough was also back in at quarterback, looking to even things out once again this afternoon. There were a few nice plays on this drive, but they ultimately ended 6-yards short of a 1st down forcing them to punt it away.
Philadelphia ran into foul issues on their next drive, pushing them back to 3rd and 20 after moving the ball well to start. Th Stallions defense capitalized on the issues and blitzed Cookus to earn a sack and a punt.
With McGough back on the field, Philadelphia’s defense had a chance to prove they had it in them as well. They came out tough, and Amani Dennis was able to come in clutch to pick off McGough to give the Stars the ball once again.
Case Cookus would start out near their own 35, and had a great chance to add to teir lead. The Stallions defense almost picked him off, but the ball wasn’t fully secured. This was enough to force them to bring in the kicking unit. They added another three from 49-yards out, putting them up 17-7 with halftime 7:28 out.
J’Mar Smith would now come in for the first time in two weeks for Birmingham. This change proved to b a good choice for Coach Holtz, as the Stallions we’re moving the ball better than they had all afternoon.
Smith looked like he hadn’t skipped a beat, ending the drive with a nice pass to Marlon Williams for another Stallions Touchdown. The extra-point brought thm witin three of Philadelphia.
J’Mar Smith now had a chance to earn Birmingham’s first lead of the afternoon. Osirus Mitchell proved to be a worthy target for Smith, moving the chains on multiple occasions.
On third down J’Mar tried to connect with Mitchell in the end-zone, but there was just oo much coverage to get it done. With 10-seconds to go, Coach Holtz opted to bring in Brandon Aubrey. Unfortunately, Aubrey banked it off the goal post, keeping them score 17-14 in Philadelphia’s favor. The Stars would get the ball, but ran the time out to bring us to the half.
J’Mar Smith and the Stallions would start out the second half with possession and would hope to undo their missed-kick. The Birmingham offense was firing on all cylinders, and they moved the ball convincingly against the Star’s defense.
The drive ended with Smith handing it off to CJ Marable to grab another Stallions score and their first lead of the afternoon.
Starting the second half STRONG 🐎🐎🐎@TorranceMarable runs it in and puts us out in front 😤
Ending the drive they couldn’t grab another touchdown, but Brandon Aubrey had a chance to redeem himself. From 45-yards out Aubrey secured the field goal to give them a 24-17 lead with 24-seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Birmingham would start the quarter near mid-field, but couldn’t get the offense moving. They quickly punted it away giving Philadelphia a chance to get back into it.
Case Cookus and the Stars did their best to get back into rhythm, but he just couldn’t connect with his receivers. There was still time in the 4th, but Philadelphia would need to get some points soon to stay competitive.
The Philly d came out strong, keeping the Stallions pinned back and forcing a punt. But, they may have came out too strong, on the punt, the Stars roughed the kicker giving Birmingham the ball; continuing their drive.
J’Mar Smith capitalized on the Stars mistake, using the opportunity to run as much time off the clock as possible. With two-minutes to go the Stallions were now at first and goal, looking to extend their lead and put the game out of reach.
J’Mar Smith ultimately snuck it in himself to make it a two possession game. The extra-point was no good, but they now held a 30-17 lead oiver the stars with 41-seconds to go.
Philadelphia came back on the field, but they couldn’t perform a miracle. At the end of the day, they would now move to 3-2 on the season.
Philadelphia started out strong, but couldn’t keep it up to pull out the win. Case Cookus continued to shine on the field, so they should have a good chance to rebound next week when they take on the Tampa Bay Bandits.
Birmingham continued their undefeated streak, and at this point it seems like they may be the team to beat for the championship. It would be a surprise if we didn’t see them in the playoffs, but then we’ll learn if the home crowd has been giving them an edge this season. They’ll look forward to week 6 when they take on the Michigan Panthers who have been struggling to find their rhythm.
One game remains until we’re officially halfway through the inaugural USFL season!
Have you been enjoying the USFL so far? What has been your favorite matchup this week? Let us know down in the comments down below or join the conversation on Discord.