New Orleans Tops Philadelphia In Entertaining Sunday Showdown

Heading into the USFL’s opening weekend, we knew Philadelphia vs. New Orleans was going to be an exciting matchup.

The Philadelphia Stars are led by Bryan Scott and Head Coach Bart Andrus, who tore things up in The Spring League’s 2020 season. Meanwhile, Larry Fedora and Kyle Sloter were reunited on the New Orleans Breakers, as they both worked together at North Carolina.

After a slower start in the first half, things got quite exciting down the stretch. Let’s take a look at what went down in the USFL’s third game of the week.

First Quarter

Davin Bellamy opened up the game with a statement, sacking Bryan Scott on the first play from scrimmage. Philadelphia rebounded, however, and marched down the field efficiently on their opening drive.

Kicking has been a major issue for multiple teams to start the season, which was evident in this game as well. Matt Mengel missed a 45 yard field goal attempt, and New Orleans dodged a bullet early. The Breakers were not able to capitalize, and punted the ball quickly right back to Philadelphia.

That being said, the defense stepped up. Vontae Diggs jumped a route on Scott, and took the interception to the house, putting the Breakers on top 7-0.

Second Quarter

Philadelphia had an incredible drive down the field that stretched between the end of the first into the second period. However, on four attempts from inside the ten yard line, the team could not find a way to punch it in, as the Stars remained scoreless.

New Orleans failed to take advantage, and punted the ball away once again. This allowed Philadelphia to hang around, despite the Breakers outplaying them defensively.

Speaking of the Breakers’ defense, they forced another punt from the Stars – and then proceeded to block it in the endzone, resulting in a safety. This gave the Breakers a 9-0 lead, and the ball in great field position.

Philadelphia held their own, not allowing New Orleans to get into a rhythm offensively. This gave the Stars the football back, and this time they did something with it.

After spending most of the quarter slowly but surely marching down the field, Bryan Scott hit Bug Howard in stride for the score, making it a 9-7 ball game.

With not much time left in the half, the score remained at 9-7 heading into halftime, as New Orleans held the advantage.

Third Quarter

Philadelphia’s positive momentum carried over into the second half. Kyle Sloter was drilled on a pass, which led to Channing Stribling with the interception on the other end, giving the Stars an opportunity to take the lead.

A decent drive gave Matt Mengel another field goal attempt, and this time he knocked it through, giving Philadelphia a 10-9 lead early in the third.

New Orleans continued to struggle offensively, unable to find a stride. Kyle Sloter, in particular, threw too many errant passes, looking awfully sloppy in his debut. Philadelphia was forced to punt again, which sparked a bit of life for the Breakers.

An excellent possession gave the Breakers a chance to regain the lead, and they took advantage of it. TJ Logan ran it in from eleven yards out, and a successful two point attempt gave New Orleans a 17-10 lead.

Philadelphia struck back quickly. Darnell Holland found some open space, and sprinted into the endzone for a 42 yard score. With a few minutes left in the third, the game was tied at 17 a piece.

Fourth Quarter

New Orleans continued to put together impressive drives. The team seamlessly marched down the field once again, regaining the lead on a Jordan Ellis touchdown run. A missed XP made it a 23-17 ball game early in the fourth.

Bryan Scott created some magic with a few excellent throws, but another missed field goal from Mengel kept it a six point affair. Interestingly enough, New Orleans went for it on a fourth down despite being up six, and failed to convert.

This gave Philadelphia another crack at it, but things didn’t go as planned. Bryan Scott was hit in the pocket, losing the football, and the Breakers recovered deep in Stars territory.

Austin MacGinnis missed a field goal attempt for New Orleans, but Philadelphia could not get it going offensively. Another three and out led to a Stars punt, with not much time left in the game.

Punting turned out to be the dagger, as the Breakers were able to run out the rest of the game. New Orleans won the game 23-17, capturing the Sunday afternoon victory.

Final Thoughts

Even though things got off to a slow start offensively, both teams put it together in the second half. While kicking continued to be a glaring issue for both the Stars and the Breakers, you can see the improvements offensively from one half to the next.

If Philadelphia could have finished their scoring opportunities in the second half, odds are they would have won – especially since they dominated time of possession. But, at the end of the day, the Breakers did enough to get the job done. Defensively, they were outstanding down the stretch.

With today’s final score, Philadelphia drops to 0-1 on the season, and New Orleans improves to 1-0.

What did you think of Philadelphia vs. New Orleans? Are you excited for the other matchups today? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!