Muscle Sport Magazine

Stallions, Generals, Breakers Riding High

We are just passed the halfway point in the USFL season and the cream is rising to the top, per se, with three of the eight teams beginning to separate themselves from the pact. The Birmingham Stallions remain the only unbeaten club at 6-0, with the New Jersey Generals right behind them at 5-1. The New Orleans Breakers (4-2) only losses have come against the two aforementioned teams.

Here’s our Week 6 recap:

Philadelphia Stars (3-3) – 35, Tampa Bay Bandits (3-3) – 28

Both offenses were clicking in the weekend’s opening matchup, with Philadelphia’s Matt Colburn II rushing for 140 yards and three touchdowns and the Bandits Jordan Ta’amu lighting it up for over 300 yards and four scores passing. The game was tied at 14 heading into the second half and the Stars were looking good after the third quarter with a two-touchdown advantage.

But the Bandits were fast from done, scoring on the first play of the final stanza to make it a one-score game. Colburn answered that emphatically with a 44-yard run up the gut for a touchdown and a 35-21 lead. Ta’amu led the Bandits down the field for another score but the Philadelphia defense held them from there for the victory.

Birmingham Stallions (6-0) – 33, Michigan Panthers (1-5) – 17

The home town favorites got off to a surprisingly slow start and trailed 10-3 in the second quarter. But they scored the next 10 points and led 13-10 headed into the locker room. The Panthers hung in there and at cut the score to 19-17 after three quarters. Jef Fisher’s club was stingy on defense, especially on the ground.

The Stallions used both of their quarterbacks, with J’Mar Smith struggling with efficiency but finding his receivers for two touchdowns. Birmingham head coach Skip Holtz had planned to bring in Alex McGough all along and his mobility played a part in a drive that led to a touchdown. A turnover by the Panthers led to another score – a rushing touchdown by McGough – to put the game out of reach for Michigan. A valiant effort, for sure, but not good enough to ruin the Stallions perfect 6-0 record.

New Orleans Breakers (4-2) – 26, Pittsburgh Maulers (1-5) – 16

Heading into the game, the Breakers knew that they had to keep up with the Birmingham Stallions in the South Division and lucky for them, their opponent was the hapless Maulers, who have been a huge disappointment in all facets of the game. New Orleans quarterback Kyle Sloter was once again sharp and Pittsburgh appeared unprepared and confused as they trailed 10-0 at halftime.

The third quarter was not much better and the Breakers extended their lead to 17-3. Just when it seemed that the Maulers would make it a game, Vlad Lee (who was signed off the street and led Pittsburgh to their only win of the season last week in grand fashion, beating the Gamblers on the final play from scrimmage) threw a pass on third-and-goal which resulted in an interception and 97-yard touchdown return by Ike Brown, making the score 23-3.

Lee then threw for one score and rushed for another, cutting the deficit to seven with just over five minutes left in the game. But the Breakers were able to put together a time consuming drive that resulted in a field goal with less than a minute remaining, putting the final nail in the coffin.

New Jersey Generals (5-1) – 26, Houston Gamblers (1-5) – 25

The Houston Gamblers have endured some heartbreaking losses this season, but this one may perhaps be the most bitter oil to swallow yet. They started off fast versus the North Division-leading Gens, scoring a touchdown in the first minute of action at Protective Stadium.

That was answered by De’Andre Johnson on New Jersey’s first drive with a 19-yard scoring pass to KaVontae Turbin. It then became a game of field position favoring the Generals. Johnson had too leave with an injury and former starter Luis Perez hit Turbin on the right sideline, who then scampered into the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown and a seven point advantage.

Gamblers quarterback Clayton Thorson knotted things up at 14 before with a scoring pass to Mark Thompson. On the ensuing drive, Perez fumbled deep in his own territory and that resulted in another Houston touchdown, making it a 19-14 game at the half.


A blocked field goal by Houston ended up becoming a turnover during the return, giving the ball back to New Jersey and they were able to take advantage of the error, scoring a touchdown early in the fourth quarter for a 20-19 lead. But the Gamblers defensive line was once again able to put pressure on Perez and he lost the handle on the football, only for it to be scooped up and returned 60 yards by Chris Odom for a 25-20 lead.

But with plenty of time left on the game clock, Perez was able to lead the Generals down the field and won it with a one-yard sneak on fourth down and two seconds remaining. The clock expired as his second effort was enough to break the plane.

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