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The USFL championship game is set for tonight at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.
The Stars enter the game with a 7-4 record. That Stallions are 10-1.
Each team won a semifinal game a week ago at Benson Stadium to reach the title game. The Stars were 19-14 winners over the New Jersey Generals, who entered the game 9-1. The Stallions were 31-17 winners over the New Orleans Breakers, their third win over them this season.
Here's how the game unfolded through our updates:
Stallions seal the deal, win first USFL Championship, 33-30
With 33 seconds left Stars quarterback, KJ Costello went deep and throws his second interception to Christian McFarland.The Stallions survived and win the inaugural USFL Championship title. Vic Bolden was named MVP after the game-winning touchdown. He finished with six catches for 64 yards.
Stars answered back, attempt 4 & 12 rule
The Stars were not going down without a fight. After throwing a pick-six. KJ Costello answered back with a touchdown pass to Chris Rowland to give the Stars a 33-30 lead. The Stars then took advantage of the new 4 & 12 rule at the 33-yard line but an incomplete pass turned into a turnover on down. The Stallions are on the verge of winning the first USFL championship.
Stallions regain the lead, 33-23
J'Mar Smith remained questionable due to a leg injury. Alex McGough remained in and led to a scoring drive. McGough found Vic Bolden Jr. on an 8-yard out. KJ Costello stepped after losing Cookus and on the first play, the pass was intercepted and 44 yards defensive touchdown by Scooby Wright III. The Stallions are two minutes away of claiming the USFL title.
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) July 4, 2022
Cookus carted off the field
The Stars took a major hit after losing Case Cookus as he was carted off the field. It is unclear what his injury was. Cookus has thrown for 222 yards and three touchdowns. KJ Costello is Cookus' backup.
Cookus throws his third touchdown to give Stars first lead.
The Stars are finally ahead. Case Cookus connected with Devin Gray on a 12-yard touchdown down the middle. The Stars then converted a two-point conversion as Cookus finds his go-to receiver, Jordan Suell. The Stars now lead 23-20 with 11:15 left.
Stallions make quarterback change
Alex McGough checked in for J'Mar Smith at quarterback late in the third quarter. Smith sideline due to cramps. The Stallions had an opportunity to pick up a two-possession lead but Brandon Aubrey missed a 38-yard field goal on fourth down. Stars now pick up the momentum in the early fourth.
Cookus finds Suell for touchdown, Stars lead 20-15
Case Cookus had to do some improvisation on his second touchdown pass. Cookus rolled out to his right then cut back to eventually find Jordan Suell open in the endzone for a four-yard pass. This is the second time Cookus has connected to Suell in the endzone. The Stars failed the two-point conversion and are now down 20-15 with 5:11 left to play in the third.
— USFL (@USFL) July 4, 2022
Scarbrough goes over 100 yards at the half
Bo Scarbrough was bound to have a 100-yard game after two big run plays in the first quarter. Scarbrough has 122 yards in only seven carries and a touchdown. Scarbrough ran a 69-yard run with an extra 15 due to a facemask call on the Stars that would result in a 28-yard field goal made by Brandon Aubrey. Scarbrough is averaging 17.4 yards per carry. The Stallions end the half with a 20-9 lead. The Stallions have been dominating the running game overall, recording 143 yards on the ground while the Stars have 57 yards.
— Birmingham Stallions (@USFLStallions) July 4, 2022
Stallions scored their second touchdown in two plays
Just minutes after the Stars were on the board, the Stallions answered back in only two plays. In what looked like a busted coverage on Philadelphia's secondary, Quarterback J'Mar Smith made them pay by throwing a 41-yard deep ball pass to a wide-open Marlon Williams. The Stallions lead 17-9 halfway through the second quarter.
— USFL (@USFL) July 4, 2022
The Stars finally found the endzone thanks to back-to-back plays by wide receiver Jordan Suell. Case Cookus first found Suell on a crossing route on 3rd & 16 for a first down. He then found Suell again on a go route for a Stars touchdown. Unfortunately, Luis Aguilar missed the extra point, failing to tie the game. Philadelphia trails 10-9 with 8:07 left to play in the second quarter.
Scarbrough gives Stallions first touchdown
Bo Scarbrough ran 36-yard, breaking one defender before taking it in for a touchdown for the Stallions. Birmingham regains the lead 10-3 with 1:24 left to play in the first quarter. Scarbrough has 48 yards in only two carries.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) July 4, 2022
Stars even the score
After going 3 & out on their opening drive, the Stars settled down and were able to get points on the board. Luis Aguilar lands a 32-yard field to tie the game at three with 3:49 left in the first quarter. The Stallions front line made a defensive stop on 3rd & 1.
The Stallions are on the board
After producing 55 yards of offense, the Stallions end their first series with a 42-yard field goal by Brandon Aubrey with 8:39 left to play. Birmingham leads 3-0. The defense set the tone by providing pressure on the Stars quarterback Case Cookus on the opening drive.
How to watch the Philadelphia Stars vs. Birmingham Stallions USFL championship game
The Stars-Stallions game is on WJW Fox, starting at 7:30 p.m.
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All-USFL players in championship game
The Stallions, who opened the season 8-0, had four players earn All-USFL honors — WR Victor Bolden Jr. (also all-league as a special teamer), OG Cameron Hunt, LB DeMarquis Gates, and K Brandon Aubrey
Two Stars have a pair of All-USFL performers, CB Channing Stribling and KR Maurice Alexander.
Skip Holtz, Bart Andrus are the USFL championship game head coaches
Skip Holtz is the head coach of the Stallions, while the Stars head coach is Bart Andrus.
Holtz spent the previous 17 seasons as a head coach in college at East Carolina, South Florida and Louisiana Tech. His teams went 118-98, including 8-4 in bowl games. His Louisiana Tech teams were 6-1 in bowl games, as he spent nine years leading the Bulldogs, going 64-50.
Andrus, who played QB in college at Montana, has been an assistant coach in the NFL and had extensive head coaching experience in assorted leagues, including the CFL, NFL Europe League and United Football League.
Maurice Alexander, Victor Bolden Jr. special on special teams
The USFL semifinal games a week ago were highlighted by return touchdowns, which made a big impact on each game.
In the win by the Stars, they fell behind early in the fourth quarter when they gave up punt return for a touchdown. No worries, though. They had answer.
Maurice Alexander showed why he earned all-league honors as a return man when he got loose for an 87-yard punt return touchdown in the final two minutes to lift the Stars to the title game. His TD gave the Stars a 19-14 win over the favored New Jersey Generals.
The Stallions got a lift from their all-league return man, too, Victor Bolden Jr.
Late in the first half, the Breakers rallied to tie the game 14-14. Moments later, the Stallions were back in the lead for good 21-14 because of Bolden, who took off on a kickoff return touchdown to end the half with a 21-14 lead. Bolden was named player of the game after producing 166 kickoff return yards.
“I knew it was going to be a big impact,” Bolden said of the return game last week.
“For me, you have some of the best athletes in this league that are back there with the ball under their arms in space" Stallions head coach Skip Holtz said. “The rosters are limited and a lot of these guys are playing a lot of plays. You don’t have guys who are just special teams players. Those are your safeties, your receivers, your running backs, they are playing a lot of plays. I think you see a lot of fatigue and athleticism come to fruition.“
This article originally appeared on The Repository: Live: Birmingham Stallions score vs. Philadelphia Stars updates