When these teams met in the regular season, New Jersey won both outings. In week three, the Generals topped the Stars 24-16, as DeAndre Johnson dominated. Then in week ten, Luis Perez and Trey Williams took it to Philadelphia’s defense, as Case Cookus’ late surge wasn’t enough.
The @USFLGenerals were repping Coach of the Year, Mike Riley, on their t-shirts for playoff arrivals today 🙌
However, both games were very entertaining from start to finish. With both of these teams boasting elite offensive units, this playoff matchup was bound to be excellent. Let’s take a look at what all went down in the USFL’s first postseason game.
Philadelphia got the football first, and looked solid to start. Case Cookus made multiple plays with his arm – and his legs, which put them in a scoring position.
After one quarter of action, Philadelphia led 3-0 – but New Jersey was marching.
The Generals put together a good march, but then things went downhill. Luis Perez was hit hard as he threw (roughing the passer was thrown originally, but reviewed and revoked) – and Mazzi Wilkins returned it inside New Jersey’s red zone.
With fifteen minutes left to play, the Stars were clinging to a 10-7 lead.
Unfortunately for Philadelphia, points were left off the board again. Luis Aguilar missed a chip shot, which kept things at a three point deficit. However, New Jersey shot themselves in the foot with unnecessary penalties, which gave Philadelphia the ball back.
A couple of dropped passes from the Stars left them empty handed, and they had to punt. This turned out to hurt Philly, quite a bit. KaVontae Turpin, the USFL’s MVP, made defenders look silly as he took it to the house – putting New Jersey in front 14-10.
Case Cookus and Philly came out firing, though. A big pass to Jordan Suell set up the team nicely, in New Jersey territory. But, Trae Elston made a great open field tackle on Devin Gray, which made them have to settle for three. With several minutes left, the Generals led 14-13.
When Philadelphia’s defense needed a stop, they got it. Adam Rodriguez notched a massive sack on Luis Perez, which forced the Generals to punt. As we hit the two minute warning, the Stars had one final chance to punch their ticket to the Championship.
Our defense always steps up when we need them the most 💪@aarod_6 with a HUGE stop! ❌
While Turpin has been the USFL’s bigtime returner this year, Maurice Alexander’s spectacular performances have flown under the radar…until now. He made one of the biggest plays of the entire year – returning the punt 88 yards to the house. This put Philadelphia on top 19-14, with very little time remaining.
TOUCHDOWN OFF THE PUNT RETURN 🔥@_hardtime3 PUTS US BACK ON TOP 👏👏
What a way to kick off the USFL’s inaugural playoffs. If anyone was going to take down the mighty New Jersey Generals, it was going to be the Philadelphia Stars – and they did just that.
Case Cookus was excellent, despite dealing with so many injuries. But, the collective MVP of today’s game, was Philadelphia’s defense. All afternoon long they were spectacular, shutting down New Jersey’s offense time and time again.