Birmingham Stallions Topple Renegades in Opening UFL Matchup

Birmingham Stallions Topple The Renegades in Opening UFL Matchup

We made it, the United Football League is finally here. The opening matchup of the weekend features the XFL and USFL champions going to battle. The Birmingham Stallions are the slight favorite, but it’s hard to count out Luis Perez and the Arlington Renegades. Not to mention, Arlington is playing host in today’s matchup.

Beyond the teams, the UFL owners are also in attendance today. Both Dany Garcia and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson went down to the field to present today’s game ball.

1st Quarter

The Renegades started out the game with possession, and were able to return the ball all the way to the 44-yard line in enemy territory to start to kick things off.

Luis Perez came out hot, marching his team down the field and moved them to the redzone withing just a few minutes.

Unfortunately on the next play the Renegades offense fumbled the ball giving the Stallions their first possession of the afternoon.

Birmingham fans got their first look at Matt Corral as QB, and it was a great start. He connected with Jace Sternberger on his first pass to give the team an early first down.

Just as it looked like Birmingham was going to march down the field, Darren Evans picked off Corral giving the Renegades another chance to break the ice.

Beyond the UFL owners, there were some other big names in attendance. Primetime Deion Sanders was at the came to support the new league, and he even joined the broadcast to speak on it.

Back to the game, the Renegades worked their way back down the field to the redzone, but had to convert on 3rd down to keep the drive alive. The couldn’t get it down, forcing them to settle for three.

Taylor Russolino came in and knocked it in from 38-yards to put the Renegades on the board. Birmingham would get the ball again and hoping to get some points in their column.

Birmingham would start their drive in response with Deon Cain taking the kickoff back to the Renegades 49.

2nd QTR

Birmingham entered the second quarter on their continued drive that had made it down to the Renegades 9-yard line. A delay of game call coupled by a deflected ball from Willie Tayler III led to a 27-yard Chris Blewitt field goal.

Arlington would start their responding drive at their 27-yard line after solid coverage by the Stallions. Perez would set up and launch a perfect strike to a wide open Isaiah Winstead for a 51-yard touchdown. Lindsay Scott would be subbed in for Luis Perez on the XP try for 2-points and Winstead would once again capitalize for the score. to go up 11-3

Perez now has scored the first touchdown in three straight new spring football iterations.

Birmingham would start their next drive at their 28-yard line with QB Adrian Martinez replacing Matt Corral. Martinez dazzled with his legs and speed, but also killed the drive thanks in part to an overthrown pass for Gary Jennings falling in the hands of Duron Lowe.

We’re now at the 2-minute warning, and the Renegades are hoping to add to their lead going into the half.

Arlington stalled out, failing to convert on 2nd and 3rd down, forcing them to punt it away. Martinez was hoping to add some points for the Stallions before the half, and secured a big 20-yard first down by running down the middle. Unfortunately, he took a big hit bringing Corral back into the game.

Corral came in and came in with a vengeance. He connected with Deon Cain on a solid 39-yard pass, giving the Stallions their first touchdown of the afternoon. Coach Holtz opted for a two-point attempt to tie the game. Ricky Person avoided a tackle and flipped (literally) into the endzone, narrowly securing the 2-points.

With only 3-seconds left the game was now tied 11-11.

3rd Quarter

Birmingham will start the second with possession, giving them an opportunity to take the first lead of the game. CJ Marable had an impressive run on 2nd down to put them near mid-field. The Stallions couldn’t keep up the momentum, going four and out an punting it away.

Corral and the Renegades now had their chance to put themselves back into the lead.

Birmingham’s defense too much for Arlington, and after a bad penalty the team was pushed back and forced to punt it away.

Things seemed to be stating slow, that is until Ricky Person Jr had a solid run to give them a first down. Then, the Renegades were called for roughing the passer, giving them 15-more yards and putting them in prime scoring position.

From the 2-yard line, Ricky Person Jr. continued his momentum, driving into the endzone to give the Stallions their firs lead of the afternoon.

Gary Jennings secured the 2-point conversion, giving Birmingham a 19-11 lead with 5:07 left in the 3rd.

Arlington was able to move it 30-yards from he endzone, but after being stuck at 4th down they decided to bring in Russolino for the field goal attempt.

The kick was good from 45-yards to add three for the Renegades. They now trailed Birmingham 19-14 going into the inal quarter.

4th Quarter

The Stallions now had a great shot to add some points and possibly seal the game to kickoff the 4th. After a solid drive by Corral and company the team was now in the redzone with a fresh set of downs.

Rickey Person Jr. continutes to shine, moving them even closer. Ont he very next drive CJ Marabe was able to drive it in to extend Birmingham’s lead over Arlington.

Amari Rogers fielded the conversion, an initially it was ruled incomplete. Luckily for the Stallions the call was reversed giving them a 27-14 lead over the Renegades with 11:25 left in the game.

Coach Stoops seemed to be looking for a change of pace, bringing Lindsay Scott in for one play. Luis Perez came back in, and he was definitely hoping to turn things around. With less than 10-minutes to go, things weren’t looking to great.

After a deep pass, Perez was picked off by Mark Gilbert giving Birmingham a great shot to close things out.

They had the ball, but were deep in their own territory. Birmingham was having trouble with time management, committing their third delay of game penalty. At 3rd down and against the goal line, Marlon Williams pulled in a solid catch for 17-yards and a first down.

The team looked to be stalling, but on a crucial 3rd down Deon Cain pulled it in. It was too close to call, but after review he was able to secure a fresh set of downs for Birmingham.

Coach Holtz was looking to end this game, and looked to be slowing things down to take as much time off the clock. Arlington called a timeout right before the 2-minute warning in hopes of stopping the Stallions on 3rd down.

Ricky Person Jr. was able to keep the drive alive, almost effectively closing out the game for the Stallions.

Arlington called their final timeout with 1:48 to go, but other than a miracle the Stallions were set to move to 1-0 for the third straight season. On 4th down Birmingham went for a 52-yrd field goal attempt. Blewitt couldn’t get it through the uprights, but with 22-seconds left the game was essentially over.

Conclusion

We’re still early in the season, but the Stallions continue to shutdown their competition. Coach Holtz hs always been one to look forward to the next game and now dwell on the victory at hand. That being said, you know he has to be happy with his teams performance in the new UFL. The Arlington Renegades will look to rebound next week when they take on the Michigan Panthers in Ford Field.

What are your thoughts on the opening UFL matchup of the season? Let us down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.