The New Orleans Breakers lost the previous game against the Generals, and actually have not beaten the New Jersey Generals, even in the first incarnation of the USFL. Coming into this game at 3-0, John DeFilippo’s squad was firing on all cylinders, taking down their respective opponents week by week.
Mike Riley’s Generals would put up a great fight against the juggernaut Breakers, but would ultimately lose 20-17, handing the Breakers their fourth consecutive win. This marks the first time the Breakers have ever beaten the New Jersey Generals in any capacity.
It was an entertaining first half of football. The New Orleans Breakers came out scorching hot, led by McLeod Bethel-Thompson – and their star running back, Wes Hills. It was a seamless drive down the field, resulting in an early score courtesy of Hills.
What a start to this game for the @USFLBreakers. Wes Hills caps off a six play, 62 yard drive with a walk-in touchdown to the left side.
Despite so much talent on both sides of the football, it was the defenses who would have the upper hand through much of the first and second quarters. Shalom Luani has been a key piece to New Jersey’s defense, and came up with a clutch interception towards the end of the first.
Then, New Jersey would find a way to strike. QB De’Andre Johnson somehow managed to find Cam Echols-Luper on a strike under pressure, who then took off down the sidelines for a 62 yard score. Just like that, the game was tied at 7.
Wow. De'Andre Johnson just made one heck of a throw under pressure to Cam Echols-Luper, who takes it to the house, tying things up in Canton. What a play.
Nick Sciba would add a field goal to New Jersey’s tally, as the half wound down. New Orleans had an opportunity to score, but an excellent defensive sequence kept the Breakers from adding to their lead.
Defense prevents more points from going on the board to end the first half 😤
Heading into halftime, the New Orleans Breakers held a 14-10 advantage.
Matthew Coghlin has been one heck of a kicker for New Orleans this season. He stayed perfect on the season today, knocking through two second half field goals (including the go-ahead game winner). Early in the third, he put the team in front 17-10.
Trey Williams missed the first couple of weeks due to injury, but no doubt makes a major impact for New Jersey and their backfield. He ran for the second most yards in the USFL in 2022, and ripped off a 20 yard scamper to tie things up late in the third.
The fourth quarter was a defensive slugfest. Neither team seemed to want to score, as the defenses stepped up their game in a big-time way. Coghlin did hit another field goal, which put the Breakers on top 20-17.
While New Jersey would have their opportunities down the stretch, Vontae Diggs and the Breakers defense had their way. The Generals were stuffed on their final attempts of the game, as Johnson was taken down for a short gain to seal the deal.
The New Orleans Breakers would remain undefeated, with a 20-17 win over the New Jersey Generals.
Since Week two of the season, one player has stood out above the rest. This would be none other than Breakers RB Wes Hills. Wes Hills didn’t take a single snap in week one of the season. Since then he has been the workhorse for the Breakers’ run game. Entering today’s game he led the league in rushing touchdowns with six, and added two more to the tally today. Last year, Darius Victor led the USFL with nine rushing TD’s.
Though McLeod Bethel-Thompson didn’t throw a touchdown today, he was still able to pull the reins and help settle the Breakers offense. In the second half of games this season is where you can see the “seasoned vet” that Bethel-Thompson is, really shows. After tossing an interception in the first half, he cleaned things up to help lead the team to their fourth straight win.
Vontae Diggs was a leader on the defensive side of the ball. When you needed a tackle, or a crucial stop, Diggs was there. Diggs may play outside linebacker, but he is built like a Strong Safety. No one could block Diggs coming off the edge today. He caused much havoc and mayhem in the backfield, and led the team today with 12 tackles.
The New Orleans Breakers will continue their USFL season next weekend, against the Memphis Showboats. Meanwhile, the New Jersey Generals will look to get back on track as they head to Detroit to face the Philadelphia Stars.
What are your thoughts on this game between the New Orleans Breakers and New Jersey Generals? Which USFL players impressed the most? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!