Stallions stomp Showboats, 39-21

Stallions stomp Showboats, 39-21

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Birmingham Stallions forced three Memphis Showboats turnovers Saturday at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium. Those turnovers were converted into 14 points for Birmingham (6-0), who cruised to a 39-21 victory over Memphis (1-5).

With the victory, the Stallions clinched a berth in the USFL Conference Championship game to follow the regular season.

Memphis jumped on top early. Quarterback Case Cookus hooked up with tight end Sage Surratt for a 10-yard touchdown pass to cap a 59-yard scoring drive and put the Showboats in front 6-0. Birmingham responded on its next possession with a 75-yard march that was capped by a Ricky Person 5-yard TD run. The 2-point conversion pass from quarterback Adrian Martinez to tight end Jordan Thomas put the Stallions on top 8-6 and they never trailed again.

A C.J. Marable 4-yard touchdown pass from Martinez put Birmingham on top 16-6. Memphis responded with a field goal to pull within seven points, 16-9.

With just under one minute remaining in the first half, the Showboats stuffed a Birmingham fake punt and looked to have some momentum. But disaster struck on the next play, Cookus was hit in the backfield and fumbled. Birmingham recovered at the Memphis 38-yard line with 41 seconds left in the half. Three plays later, Martinez found wide receiver Marlon Williams for a 28-yard score to take a 22-9 lead into the locker room.

By the end of the third quarter, Birmingham built the lead to 31-12 behind a field goal and an 80-yard scoring strike from Martinez to Kevin Austin Jr. The Stallions’ Williams caught another Martinez touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to give his team a 39-12 lead. Memphis’ Dee Anderson caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Troy Williams and also caught a pass for the 3-point conversion to account for the final score.

Cookus was 15-for-23 for 115 yards and one touchdown, but lost two fumbles. Williams finished 6-of-13 for 65 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Daewood Davis hauled in five receptions for 43 yards to lead Memphis. Darius Victor rushed for 42 yards on 11 carries. Defensively, Malik Lawal and Jarey Elder tied for a game-high eight tackles.

Martinez was 23-of-36 for 368 yards and four touchdowns to pace the Birmingham offense. Person was the Stallions’ leading rusher with 34 yards on 11 carries. Austin recorded 108 yards receiving on four catches, including his 80-yard TD.

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