Rounding out week 10 and the inaugural USFL season is the Houston Gamblers taking on the New Orleans Breakers. Pride is on the line for Houston, and New Orleans is looking to stay healthy as they head into the playoffs.
The Breakers have place Kyle Sloter on the inactive list this weekend, giving him a chance to rest before he goes against the Stallions next week. The Gamblers pulled off an upset last week and will look to do the same this week to secure their third win of the season. Coming in for New Orleans is the Panthers #1 Pick, Shae Patterson for the first time this season for the team.
Houston would start the game receiving the kickoff from New Orleans, giving Kenji Bahar a chance to score first for his team. Starting out the game, the Gambler were unable to find their rhythm, ultimately punting away quickly after being put at 4th & 22.
Houston’s defense was coming out hot, the same could not be said for the offense. After getting the pick, Bahar wasn’t able to do much leading to another punt.
Zach Smith, back in for the Breakers, hoping to get some positive momentum for the franchise. After a quick three and out, they were forced to punt, but at least it wasn’t another turnover.
Other than the pick six from the Houston defense, we haven’t seen much on the field from either team so far. Again, Houston’s offense failed to find any meaningful plays giving it back again.
For the first time this season, Shea Patterson would come in for the New Orleans Breakers. He started his year out as the first overall pick for the Panthers, but after a rough start has found himself under Coach Fedora.
Bahar came out and was finally able to get some good connections. They weren’t able to get into the end-zone, but they did get into field goal position. Nick Vogel came out and grabbed another three for the Gamblers.
Today was just not the Breakers day, quickly going through their set of downs and giving Houston the ball again. The Gamblers would start with great field position after short punt, with less than five-minutes to go in the first half.
Kenji Bahar came back on the field, and this time around it felt like things were clicking. He was connecting convincingly and was able to march them into enemy territory at the 2-minute warning.
They couldn’t get into the end-zone, but Nick Vogel came in to put three more on the board to put them up 13-0.
New Orleans has a slow start in the first half, but had a chance to turn it around in the second. They would receive the kickoff to start things out, giving them an opportunity to strike first.
It looked as if Johnny Dixon was going to get a long run, but the flag bought it back; canceling it out.
Zach Smith continued to target Dixon, none of which had the same impact. When stuck at fourth down, the team had no choice but to punt it away.
There was a flag on the punt, but before we could learn what happened Sal Canella forced a fumble and recovered the ball. The flag was on the receiving team, so they cancelled it out and were now in great position to score at the 28.
This time Shea Patterson would come in as QB for the Breakers, looking to get on the board. This would be New Orleans second time in Houston territory, and this time they were out for some points.
They were able to get close to the end-zone, but they couldn’t get inside. Ultimately they had to rely on Taylor Bertolet to grab the first points of the nights, but it didn’t work out. The Gamblers defense came in clutch, blocking the attempt. This led to Jerimiah Johnson recovering the ball and running it back for another Gamblers defensive touchdown.
BLOCKED FIELD GOAL FOR THE TOUCHDOWN 😱🔥@Chrisodom98 with his FOURTH blocked kick of the season 😳
The Breakers had a quick three and out, but it looked like they may have drew a DRP flag to move to first and goal. After review, the refs decided it was incomplete. They decided to bring out Bertolet from 50-yards to see what he could do. He was able to knock it in to put them on the board, but they trailed 13-3 late in the third.
Kenji Bahar still had a solid lead, but the Gamblers have been in this position before. They came onto the field looking to keep their lead and possibly expand upon it.
They would end the quarter with a fresh set of downs, looking for their third win of the season.
It looked as if they started the final quarter with a Teo Redding touchdown, but the officials called back wit an offensive PI call. Their luck changed shortly after, with the Breakers forcing a turnover, giving them the ball and blocking Houston from adding to their lead,
Today, it seemed to be all about defense. Yet again, the New Orleans offense failed to move the ball and were forced to punt it away to Houston. This went back and fourth until the Breakers finally moved the chains with roughly 9:30 left to go in the game. They chiseled away at the next ten, with Dixon bringing them within three of another set of downs.
As their luck would have it, they went offsides to push them back five on third down. Patterson took the sack on the next play, putting them in a position to punt it back again.
Kanji Bahar and the Houston offense had one goal in mind, run as much time of the clock to pull out the defensive win. They brought it down to 4:41 on the clock before giving the Breakers another chance to get on the field.
At this point, it looked like they were ready to wrap this up. The offense came out, but more or less wasted as much timea s possible before giving it back to Houston.
Kenji Bahar and the Gamblers offense wrapped things up by grabbing a first down; which was enough to kneel out the rest of the clock.
The inaugural USF season has finally concluded, and the Gamblers wrap things up with back-to-back wins. The Breakers didn’t get much going on offense, but they were resting a lot of key players going into the playoffs. Next week they’ll take on the Birmingham Stallions, in which will determine who will head to the Championship game.
Did you enjoy the final week of the inaugural USFL season? Which playoff matchup are you looking forward to the most next weekend? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.