Big plays propel Birmingham Stallions to USFL Championship Game

·2 min read

A couple of huge plays and a time-consuming drive powered the Birmingham Stallions to victory in a USFL semifinal on Saturday at Tom Benson Stadium in Canton, Oh.

The Stallions were the best team in the South Division during the regular season and they reinforced that by downing the New Orleans Breakers, 31-17.

Birmingham struggled early but got a pick-six and a kickoff return to take control of the second semifinal.

Birmingham, which is coached by Skip Holtz, will meet the Philadelphia Stars on July 3 in Canton for the USFL championship. Earlier, the Stars eliminated the New Jersey Generals, 19-14.

The big plays for Birmingham were courtesy of the pick by DeMarquis Gates, who returned it 71 yards, and the kickoff return by Victor Bolden, who took it back 90.

The pick-six:

Gates, by the way, plays with a floss pick in his mouth.

The kick-six, if you will:

The game-sealing drive devoured 87 yards and 15 plays before J’Mar Smith scored on a 2-yard run with 45 seconds left.

One player on New Orleans worth noting was tight end Sal Cannella, who had a dozen receptions for 154 yards. Do not be surprised if he turns up in an NFL camp later this summer.