UFL Week 2

Key Takeaways From Week 2 Of The UFL

On a weekend filled with lots of NCAA tournament action and Major League Baseball, the UFL gave their fans plenty to cheer about with a thrilling last-second comeback victory for the San Antonio Brahmas and another sensational kick from the Michigan Panthers’ Jake Bates.  

Key Takeaways From Week 2 Of The UFL

A Heartbreaking Loss

In the first of four UFL games this weekend, the Memphis Showboats lost an absolute heartbreaker to the San Antonio Brahmas with three seconds left on the clock. What should have been a decisive win for Memphis turned into a last-minute stunner when the Brahmas scored 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win the game 20-19.  

Despite another strong performance from quarterback Case Cookus and the Showboats’ defense who shut down San Antonio for most of the game, Brahmas quarterback Chase Garbers and his offense found their rhythm just in time. Garbers finished the day with 287 yards passing, and his three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to Martez Stevenson, Jontre Kirklin, and Cody Latimer, being just enough to secure the win. After scoring the second touchdown to Kirklin with 48 seconds remaining in the game, the Brahmas converted on a fourth and 12, taking advantage of the UFL rule offering the play as an onside kick alternative. Seconds later, Garbers launched a 10-yard touchdown strike to Cody Latimer to win the game.  

The Battlehawks Battle Back To Win A Close Game

In the second UFL game Saturday night, the St. Louis Battlehawks defeated the Arlington Renegades by a score of 27 -24.  Battlehawks quarterback A.J. McCarron threw for 248 yards and two touchdown passes to wide receiver Marcell Ateman, who had 114 yards on four receptions.  Renegades quarterback Luis Perez had an impressive outing, throwing 21/29 for 233 yards and one touchdown. Although the Renegades running back De’Veon Smith added another rushing touchdown, it wasn’t enough to win the game, and Arlington begins their season at 0-2. The home-field advantage might have been the difference for St. Louis. The game set a spring football attendance record with 40,317 fans at St. Louis’s The Dome at America’s Center cheering on the Battlehawks.

The Birmingham Stallions Remain Undefeated 

On Sunday afternoon, the undefeated Michigan Panthers hosted the number one team in the league, the Birmingham Stallions. While the two-time USFL Championship Stallions are enjoying a nine-game win streak dating back to last season, the Panthers defense made it a long afternoon for the Stallions. Although both teams had difficulty finding the end zone, scoring only one touchdown each, the Stallions came out on top with a score of 20-13. 

Panthers quarterback E.J. Perry struggled under pressure from the Stallions’ defense all afternoon and he was repeatedly sacked, losing significant chunks of yardage. Early in the game, Perry connected with Marcus Simms for a 76-yard touchdown for his first touchdown of the year.  The Panthers were strong on defense recovering a Stallions fumble and coming up with an interception of quarterback Matt Corral in the endzone.   

Stallions quarterback, Adrian Martinez shared the role with Corral. Martinez’s quickness and ability to run the ball proved effective as he scrambled on one play for 29 yards early in the game. Martinez was at the helm when Birmingham scored their only touchdown with a two-yard touchdown run by running back Ricky Person.    

The Kicking Game 

The real story of the game is a tale of two kickers. Chris Blewitt contributed four field goals, making him the leading scorer for the Stallions. But all eyes were on the Panthers kicker, Jake Bates after his sensational 64-yard field goal from last week.  Was it a fluke or could he do it again?  Bates didn’t hesitate to answer that question when he kicked a beautiful 62-yard field goal with room to spare to end the first half and nailed another kick from 52 yards in the second half.  This young man is the real deal and since he is undoubtedly headed to the NFL, UFL fans should enjoy his tenure while we can.

D.C. Defenders Get Even

In the final UFL game of the weekend, Jordan Ta’amu and the D.C. Defenders held off a fourth quarter comeback by Reid Sinnett and the Houston Roughnecks to emerge victorious 23-18. Ta’amu passed for 212 yards and two touchdowns, including an amazing one-handed reception by Briley Moore-McKinney.

The highlight of the day for the Roughnecks was a defensive touchdown. Cornerback Corn Elders intercepted a Jordan Ta’amu pass and ran it back 98 yards to score early in the game. Houston kept it close and even led in the third quarter thanks to a Reid Sinnet eight-yard touchdown pass to Keke Chism. But in the end, the Defenders’ were able to capitalize on Ta’amu’s second touchdown of the game, a 17-yard strike to Ty Scott.  Ta’amu followed up with a successful two-point conversion to Alex Ellis. The Defenders are now even at 1-1 while the Roughnecks fall to 0-2 on the season.  They will look for their first win on the road next week against the Michigan Panthers.  

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