Birmingham Stallions Top Pittsburgh Maulers to Clinch Playoff Spot

Birmingham Stallions Top Pittsburgh Maulers to Clinch Playoff Spot

Yesterday the New Jersey Generals stamped their ticket to the USFL Playoffs, and today the Birmingham Stallions have a chance to do the same. Standing in their way is the Pittsburgh Maulers who are fighting to keep their post-season dreams alive.

Ever since Vad Lee has joined the Maulers they’ve felt like a new team. In fact, he led them to their first victory in his first game. He wasn’t able to continue the streak last week, but will be looking to lead an upset in week 7.

1st Quarter

Vad Les and Maulers would start the game with possession, and a chance to strike first. As things have seem to go all season they struggled to start things out, forced to punt it away quickly.

J’Mar Smith is starting for the Stallions this week, marking the first time since he went out with an illness. Things started a bit slow, but J’Mar didn’t waste time once he spotted an open receiver.Β Smith went long to Victor Bolden Jr. to bring them inside the 20. They now had a great chance to put some points on the board early in the matchup.

Although they had great field position, they couldn’t muster up enough offense to find the end-zone. Brandon Aubrey came out for Birmingham and gave the team an early 3-0 lead.

Vad Lee would come back out for the team, hoping to rebound with a better drive. Coach Wilson let the running team have a chance at things, and it worked to their advantage.

Lee then went back to basics to find his receiver and put them in scoring position.

With the drive winding down, they were dead set on securing a touchdown and the lead. Lee handed it off to Madre London, who fought off a few defenders and dove into the end-zone for the Maulers first points of the afternoon.

The Birmingham offense came back on the field, but the couldn’t respond. The drive ultimately ended with them giving the Maulrs the ball once more and a chance to add to their lead.

Vad Lee and Pittsburgh seemed to have a good start, but ended the first quarter with an incomplete pass, putting them on fourth down.

2nd Quarter

With plenty of time to go in the matchup, Coach Wilson opted to punt it back to Birmingham in hopes that his defense would continue holding them back. The punting unit executed well, pinning the Stallions within the 5.

There were a few moments where it looked like the Maulers may force a safety, but the Stallions held off. But, they still couldn’t get out of their position, giving Pittsburgh the ball with another punt.

The Maulers were out for the upset, their return team did them right brining them 13-yards within another touchdown.

The Maulers have struggled in the red-zone so far this season, only scoring 27% of the time. Vad Lee would look to reverse those numbers, but the Stallions defense had other thoughts. On third-down, Willy Henry came in clutch, stripping Vad Lee of the ball; forcing a fumble and recovery for Birmingham.

J’Mar Smith and the Stallions continued where they left off, failing to find rhythm on offense. Smith took a big sack, putting them at 3rd & 18 and almost giving the Maulers a safety. Once again the team was forced to punt it away from their own end-zone. Luckily, Pittsburgh didn’t have as big of a return, but they would start out mid-field.

Vad Lee would now have an opportunity to redeem himself from the previous drive. The team once again leaned on Madre London, who has their lone touchdown so far.

They couldn’t grab another touchdown, but they were able to add some points on this drive with Ramiz Ahmed good on the field goal attempt. With their 10-3 advantage, the Maulers now had their largest lead of the season over the undefeated Birmingham Stallions.

Birmingham now had another chance to put their offense on the field. They’ve been known as a second-half team, but you know Coach Holtz would not want to go into the half with a big deficit.

There was definitely some adjustments being made as J’Mar Smith had a bit more time to find his receivers. The team had cone three and out on their last three drives, so this was a hug improvement.

Michael Dereus was coming in big for his team, moving the chains on a few occasions. Smith tried to finish the drive with a pass to Dereus, but their was too much traffic to make it happen. Coach Holtz brought in Brandon Aubrey to seal the deal to help chisel away at the Maulers lead.

Vad Lee and the Maulers would get the ball back with 2:03 remaining in the first half, and a chance to build upon their lead. It looked as Birmingham’s defense was going to get a quick thee and out, but Madre London come in with a big run to move the chains and keep the drive going.

Although the were get something going, they ended up running the time out to head to the half. Coach Wilson either didn’t like what he saw on the field, or was happy with the lead and didn’t want to give the Stallions an opportunity to take that away.

3rd Quarter

The Birmingham Stallions would start the second half receiving the kickoff, giving them a chance to take their first lead.

Bo Scarbrough had a nice run to start things out for the team. Had he not been tripped up, he would have easily had enough space to run it all the way home.

With the team now near mid field, J’Mar Smith had his pass tipped, putting them at 4th down. The Pittsburgh defense would force another stop, seemingly giving their offense their first possession of the half. The Stallions sent out their punting unit, but it was Bobby Holly in as decoy, which ran it 52-yards for a Stallions touchdown. The extra-point gave them their first lead, now sitting 13-10 over the Pittsburgh Maulers.

The Maulers would now take the field for the first time this half, now trailing for the first time this afternoon. Coach Wilson continued to rely on his running core to mixed results. Madre London seemed to be the shing start for the team today, but the Stallions defense seemed to focus in on limiting his plays. The drive ended with a completion, but not enough yards to move the markers.

With the Stallions back on the field, Alex McGough was now on the field serving as wide receiver. On their second paly, J’Mar went long to McGough, drawing a pass interference call moving them up 15-yards.

In fact, the first three targets of the drive were to McGough, but all ended as incomplete. On the fourth attempt, it bounced out of McGough’s hands resulting in an interception and Pittsburgh possession.

Vad Lee would start the drive with great field position once again, but could they capitalize on it this time. The Stallions defense continued to perform, forcing three quicks stops and sacking Lee to put them at 4th down once more. Ramiz Ahmed came out and knocked it in from 43-yards out to tie the game up for Pittsburgh.

Birmingham’s offense came back on the field, but it looked like Coach Holtz was done experimenting at wide receiver. The team went back to their running game, with Scarborugh starting the drive with a few good runs to move the chains a couple times.

The broadcast shows Victor Bolden on the sidelines in street-clothes, so that’s partially responsible for their passing woes today. He brought in the largest reception of the afternoon, but the Stallions have a lot of assets to rely on.

They couldn’t secure another touchdown, but Brandon Aubrey came in to grab three more and the lead from 43-yards out.

Vad Lee took one snap, but let the time run to bring the matchup to the fourth quarter.

4th Quarter

The Maulers failed to find enough steam to continue the drive to start the fourth, giving the Stallions the ball with 14:03 left in the game.

J’Mar Smith started the drive by going long, but his receiver could not pull it in. Bo Scarbrough once again took it into his own hands, bringing them to 3rd and 1. He moved the chains on the very next play to continue the drive.

Sage Surratt came in big with an unintended reception to move the chains and move them down the field. Coach Holtz had two missions on this drive, add points and run down the time. Surratt came up big again for Smith, pulling in a big pass to bring them near the goal line.

With Bo Scarbrough on the sidelines, they went back to the good ‘ol T formation, this time with CJ Marable racking up his fourth touchdown of the season.

Pittsburgh was now down by the biggest margin so far this afternoon, and if they didn’t strike fast it could be a downward spiral. Birmingham’s defense was coming on strong, but Vad Lee’s patience allowed them to continue the drive near mid-field.

Coach Wilson must not liked what he was seeing out of Vad Lee, the cameras showed a tense conversation between the two on the sidelines. He is heard saying he’s pulling him out and told Roland Rivers to start warming up. He sent in the kicking unit to finish the drive with Ramiz Ahmed knocking the ball through the uprights from 58-yards to help them chisel away at the Stallions lead.

Birmingham would hope to take as much time off the clock, and at least add a field goal to give them some breathing room. They were getting completions, but not moving the ball very far. They ended the drive 6-yards from moving the chains, giving the Maulers the ball with 4:37 to go and a chance to tie things up.

Roland Rivers would now come in to take over for Vad Lee after Coach Wilson’s issues with his body language.

Rivers started slow, on third down he had his first completio0n but it wasn’t enough for first down. Coach Wilson kept him on the field, but he was unable to find his receiver turning it over on downs.

J’Mar Smith would now get the ball with 30-yards to go of scoring again, and potentially sealing the deal for the Stallions. They could grab another touchdown, but Brandon Aubrey secured three more points to add to their lead.

Coach Wilson opted to keep Roland Rivers in at quarterback for Pittsburgh on the next and potentially final drive. Things didn’t start out great, putting the team at another 4th down scenario. Bailey Gaither kept the drive alive with a reception, moving the chains. But, that was about it. Coach Wilson sent Ramiz Ahmed out there from 52-yards out, but it bounced off the uprights.

The field goal could have kept them in the game, but this ended up being the final nail in the coffin.

The Birmingham Stallions stay undefeated and now stamp their ticket to the USFL playoffs. The Pittsburgh Maulers continue to struggle and now it seems that their may be some issues between Coach Wilson and Vad Lee. This are getting dire for the team, so they’ll need to solve any problems within the tema before they hit the field next weekend.

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