USFL: Birmingham beats New Orleans 31-17 to advance to title game

For the first time this season the Birmingham Stallions left the friendly confines of the Magic City as they headed to Canton, Ohio to take on the New Orleans Breakers in the second of two USFL postseason playoff matchup. It turned out to be a productive business trip for the Stallions as they defeated the Breakers 31-17.

After a missed 52-yard field goal attempt by the Stallions, the Breakers would capitalize by going on a 9-play, 58 yard drive that ended with a one-yard run from Jordan Ellis that put the Breakers up 7-0 with the converted PAT.

The Stallions used a 13-play, 72-yard drive to tie the contest at 7-7 when J’Mar Smith connected with Osirus Mitchell on a 23-yard touchdown pass with 14:55 to go in the first half.

The Stallions defense contributed to the scoring on the Breakers next drive, DeMarquis Gates picked off Kyle Sloter and took it 71 yards to the house to put Birmingham up 14-7 after the PAT. New Orleans tied the game late in the half, completing a 10 play, 88-yard march that ended by scoring on 4th and 4 from the Stallions’ 35 yard line when Ellis got in the endzone again via a pass from Sloter.

The Stallions responded on the ensuing kickoff as Victor Bolden, Jr took it home from 90 yards out, giving Birmingham back the lead at 21-14.

New Orleans cut the lead to four points via a 23-yard field goal off the foot of Taylor Bertolet, making score 21-17. The Breakers would draw no closer as the Stallions scored ten points in the game’s final frame- a 38-yard field goal from Brandon Aubrey and a 1-yard run from J’Mar Smith that sealed the game later in the quarter. Smith went 17/27 for 190 yards and a touchdown and also ran seven times for 48 yards and another score.

The Stallions will lock horns with the Philadelphia Stars in the USFL Championship Game, July 3, at 7:30 p.m. EST.

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