The 2022 USFL Championship between the Birmingham Stallions and the Philadelphia Stars was historic for the alternative football community. With a 33-30 score the game hit the opening line over by a 18.5 point margin. In fact, it was the 4th game this season that finished with 60 or more combined points. The three others had combined scores of 70 in week 8, 63 in week 6, and 61 in week 2. The Stars played in 2 of the 3, and the Stallions played in the other remaining game.
Now let’s focus on just the championship game. J’Mar Smith and Case Cookus duked it out for most of the game. However both would be sidelined late due to injuries. Smith finished the night with a QBR of 97.2, a completion percentage of 55.6% and 131 yards. Before his injury Cookus finished with a QBR of 117.3, a completion percentage of 58.6% and 222 yards. Case Cookus also threw three touchdown passes, while Smith only threw one. When J’Mar Smith was unable to finish the game, Stallions Week One starter Alex McGough was able to close out the game. Throwing only ten passes McGough completed 7. He threw for a touchdown while also getting intercepted once. KJ Costello had the opportunity to win the championship. He would end up on the bad side of a pick six to Scooby Wright. That pick six would ultimately seal the game, and the title, for the Stallions.
A dominant force for the Stallions in the championship game was running back Bo Scarborough. He ended with 135 rushing yards in 13 attempts, one touchdown, and his longest run was 70 yards. Bo Scarborough was a huge issue for the Philadelphia Stars defense. An issue they would not be able to resolve.
Birmingham was also dominant on the defensive side. The Stallions had four sacks, while the Stars only had one. Turnovers had a much closer margin. Birmingham forced two turnovers, while the Stars again only had one. Even though they weren’t perfect, the Stars defense was not terrible by any means. However, they couldn’t do enough to win a championship for Philadelphia.
What comes next for the USFL could be exciting. The Championship game marked an exciting end to season one, but there is always more to come. Including new players. It’s going to be a fun offseason. Let’s enjoy the ride.