Birmingham, which had already earned the No. 1 seed in the South Division and a spot in next weekend’s playoffs, held off Tampa Bay 21-18 on Saturday to complete a 9-1 regular season. Tampa Bay finished 4-6.
Here are the top plays.
Don’t think about it
Tampa wasn’t intimidated by Birmingham’s record in the slightest and pounced first with a big INT from T.J. Neal.
Tampa Bay tried to parlay its early success on defense into magic on offense, but had its fourth-and-7 attempt thwarted by Birmingham’s defensive line.
Birmingham burst onto the scoreboard midway in the second quarter, first picking up substantial yardage via the pass …
… before Marlon Williams punched in the go-ahead score with a powerful rumble.
Stallions receiver Marlon Willams puts Birmingham on the board
Birmingham Stallions receiver Marlon Willams powers his way into the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown and the first score of the game.
Reading the defense
Alex McGough already has a passing TD and bought himself a rushing score late in the first half after faking out the defense on a read-option and barreling his way into the end zone.
Alex McGough breaks off a 17-yard rushing TD
Alex Mcgough’s 17-yard rushing TD increases the Birmingham Stallions’ lead to 14-0.
Tampa’s Derrick Dillon made magic happen with his hands, as he kept his eyes on the prize to complete a crazy catch, and speed off to the races for a USFL-record 75-yard score.
Tampa Bay struck with a home-run hitter late in the third, setting another record with an 81-yard house call on Rashard Davis’s punt return, bringing the score to 14-12.
Shed ’em off
CJ Marable put the Stallions in front with a statement rush early in the fourth, bouncing off a horde of defenders as he plowed his way past the pylon for another six.
We can score, too
Tampa had an answer for Birmingham’s haymaker, punching right back with a 12-play, 62-yard scoring drive of its own. De’Quan Hampton made the short TD reception to bring Tampa within three, 21-18.
The Bandits were unable to make good on the ensuing three-point attempt, which was ultimately the difference in the game.
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