Birmingham Stallions Dominate Houston Roughnecks On Road

Birmingham Stallions Dominate Houston Roughnecks On Road

Week five of the UFL kicked off Saturday night with a regional double header on FOX. Primarily, viewers got to witness the undefeated Birmingham Stallions take on the Houston Roughnecks in what was bound to be an entertaining matchup.

For the Birmingham Stallions, this team has been on a tear as of late. They’ve won 11 straight games, and are 4-0 to start the season. It doesn’t matter if Matt Corral or Adrian Martinez is starting at quarterback, this team continues to win no matter what.

The Houston Roughnecks are in a rather interesting position tonight. Formerly known as the USFL’s Gamblers, coached by Curtis “CJ” Johnson, the Stallions last loss was against that very team, in week five of the 2023 season. Mark Thompson rushed for 78 yards and 3 TD’s as Houston put the Stallions away.

Now, the two organizations will face off yet again, with quite a bit on the line, at least for Houston. Coming off of their first victory of the year last week against Arlington, every game is a must-win scenario for the Roughnecks if they want to make a playoff push.

First Quarter

The Birmingham Stallions received the football first, and looked impressive out of the gate, no surprise. Adrian Martinez started this game, and used his legs often and early in this one.

Ricky Person Jr. and Martinez put the Stallions into the red zone, and put the cap on this drive themselves. A penalty by Chris Odom allowed a fresh set of downs for Birmingham, and Ricky Person ran it in for the first score of the game. Just like that, the Stallions led 6-0.

Isiah Hennie had a spectacular return to set up the Roughnecks with excellent field position. Houston got to the red zone, but on 4th and 1, Reid Sinnett came up just short, and Birmingham took over on downs.

The Houston Roughnecks would step up defensively to get a stop. A penalty put Birmingham in a hole, and former All-USFL DE Adam Rodriguez came up with a huge sack to force a punt.

Heading into the next quarter, the Roughnecks had the ball, and were marching into Birmingham territory.

Second Quarter

After what was a fantastic drive for Houston, they came up just short in the red zone. Stallions safety Kenny Robinson had a touchdown-saving PBU on third down, and Houston settled for a 36 yard field goal courtesy of JJ Molson.

With C.J. Marable inactive tonight, Larry Rountree saw his first UFL action. He broke off a solid chunk of yardage to start the drive, which put the Stallions back in a rhythm. Once they got into the red zone, Rountree took it upon himself to run it in. With an unsuccessful PAT, Birmingham led 12-3.

Things wouldn’t go so smoothly for Houston on their ensuing possession. Birmingham’s defense forced a three and out, as an outstanding open field tackle from Kenny Robinson put a stop to this drive.

Birmingham got right to work offensively. A screen pass to Amari Rodgers went for a large gain, which led to Adrian Martinez dropping a dime to TE Jace Sternberger for a score. The Stallions still couldn’t convert on the PAT, but held a comfortable 18-3 lead.

The Houston Roughnecks could not get out of their own way. After Keke Chism made a great catch to put them into Stallions territory, Reid Sinnett was too high on a throw, and JoJo Tillery came away with the interception.

With the field position that the Stallions had, it was a pretty easy score for this offense that was rolling. Ricky Person Jr. added another rushing touchdown to his season total, and Martinez’ two point conversion made it 26-3.

Houston had another drive before the half ended, and made the most of it. Keke Chism made another incredible grab, which put the team at the one yard line.

On the very next play, Braedon Bowman had his number called, and scored a touchdown for Houston, allowing them to pull closer as halftime approached.

A boneheaded penalty by Houston allowed Birmingham to have excellent field position with just several seconds left. Ahmed could not convert on a 59 yard field goal, though, and Houston trailed 26-9.

Third Quarter

The Roughnecks had the first crack at it to begin the second half, but couldn’t carry over the momentum from the end of the second quarter. They punted, and the Stallions picked up right where they left off.

Adrian Martinez broke through the line for a 31 yard scramble, which set the tone for this drive. However, Deon Cain dropped a would-be touchdown, and the Stallions settled for their first field goal attempt of the night. Ramiz Ahmed hit it from 37 yards out, and it was 29-9.

Houston still had issues offensively. The defensive line from the Stallions put pressure on Sinnett, and the Roughnecks punted again.

With fifteen minutes left to play, Birmingham held full control of this football game.

Fourth Quarter

To open up the fourth quarter, the Stallions were marching into Houston territory. They couldn’t punch it into the end zone, though, and Ahmed hit a 27 yard field goal to give Birmingham a 23 point lead.

Houston took a decent amount of time on the clock as they marched into the red zone, but turned it over on downs. Daniel Isom made a couple of excellent plays to ultimately stop the Roughnecks from continuing the drive, and Birmingham took over.

Deon Cain had a rather rough outing tonight. On a key 3rd and 4, he dropped a pass that was right on the numbers, which led to a punt from Drue Chrisman.

Nolan Henderson came into the game for Reid Sinnett with a few minutes left in the game. This move makes sense, in an effort to protect Reid for next week. He connected with Justin Hall for a couple of large gains, but then threw an interception to Nevelle Clarke in the end zone.

This would effectively end the game. The Birmingham Stallions won their 12th straight game, dominating Houston 32-9 on the road.

Standout Playmakers

QB Adrian Martinez: Martinez was fantastic in his second start this UFL season. He only threw for 155 yards – but a few drops didn’t help those numbers out. His legs were pivotal in this one, though, as Adrian ran for 138 yards on just nine attempts.

RB Larry Rountree III: In his first UFL action of the year, Rountree did an outstanding job filling in for C.J. Marable. He rushed for 50 yards on just nine carries, and scored a touchdown that launched an onslaught of Stallions points in the second quarter.

TE Jace Sternberger: Jace only had two catches tonight, but they were both important ones. His touchdown allowed Birmingham to stretch the lead – something they didn’t relent the rest of the night.

S Kenny Robinson Jr.: Robinson has been in the NFL for a few years before joining the Stallions, and it’s evident as to why. His tenaciousness defensively sparked multiple big plays for Birmingham tonight, with a few key tackles and PBU’s.

LB DeMarquis Gates: The trusty veteran made his presence known tonight, with 7 total tackles. Gates has been a tremendous piece defensively this year, and is stepping up even more with the loss of Scooby Wright III for the season.

Houston Roughnecks

QB Reid Sinnett: Sinnett did what he could tonight, with very little support from his running backs. Reid threw for 203 yards and a touchdown, completing 71% of his passes.

WR Justin Hall & WR Keke Chism: Chism and Hall were unstoppable tonight, with 18 catches for 181 yards between the two. Chism, in particular, had his way with DB Mark Gilbert tonight with a couple of unreal catches.

Final Thoughts

The Birmingham Stallions cannot be stopped. Week after week, Skip Holtz and his team roll past opponents – especially those who are in the USFL Conference. At 5-0, Birmingham has essentially locked up a playoff spot already, one more win should do it next week.

For the Houston Roughnecks, this was a very disappointing loss. After taking a step in the right direction against Arlington last week, Curtis Johnson’s unit was outmanned and outcoached tonight. They had zero answers for Adrian Martinez, and defensively were pretty lackluster.

With a 1-4 record, it isn’t over quite yet for Houston given Memphis’ and Michigan’s struggles – but time is running out.

Week five of the UFL continues tomorrow, with the DC Defenders hosting the St. Louis Battlehawks at 12pm ET on ESPN.

What are your thoughts on this game between the Birmingham Stallions and Houston Roughnecks? Which UFL players impressed you the most? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!