Stallions bounce back with first road win in franchise history

Published 12:12 pm Monday, May 8, 2023

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The Birmingham Stallions (3-1) rebounded from a week three loss to pick up an exciting 24-20 win over the Pittsburgh Maulers (1-3) on the road on Sunday.

The Stallions were completely dominated for the majority of the first half after quarterback Alex McGough threw two interceptions in the half. The Maulers also had their way with the Birmingham defense on the first three drives but all three of those drives ended in field goals after the Stallion defense stood tall in the red-zone.

Despite being outgained 194-54 in yardage, and turning the ball over twice, the Stallions only trailed 9-0 with 5:53 left in the first half. Birmingham’s Brandon Aubrey capped off a 10-play drive with a 37-yard field goal to cut the Mauler lead to 9-3 with 1:49 left in the half.

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The Stallion defense then forced its first three-and-out of the game and McGough managed to reach the ball across the goal line on a 7-yard scoring scramble as time expired in the half to send the Stallions into halftime with an almost unthinkable 10-9 lead.

The only score in the third quarter came on a Pittsburgh field goal to retake the lead 12-10. Birmingham, though, marched on a 14-play drive to open the fourth quarter and capped it off with a thrilling 9-yard touchdown pass from McGough to Davion Davis with 9:56 left in the game to put the Stallions up 17-12. McGough was pressured in the pocket but managed to escape, dodge a tackler and then heave the touchdown pass on the run to a wide-open Davis in the back of the end zone.

Pittsburgh answered by scoring its lone touchdown of the day when quarterback Troy Williams raced to a 34-yard touchdown run with 7:03 left in the game. The Maulers tacked on a two-point conversion to extend the lead to 20-17.

It took no time for Birmingham to answer, however, as Deon Cain returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for another Stallion touchdown to retake the lead 24-20. The kick return touchdown was Cain’s second in the past two weeks.

The Birmingham defense once again forced a three-and-out and the Stallion offense closed out the game with a 10-play drive that ate up nearly five minutes of game time to seal the win.

After being outgained 194 yards to 54 in the first quarter, Birmingham outgained Pittsburgh 227-117 for the remainder of the game.

Despite a frustrating start, McGough finished the game 17-of-29 passing for 157 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions along with 48 yards and another score on the ground. Zaquandre White also chipped in with 41 yards on 10 carries and CJ Marable rushed for 35 yards on 10 carries. Davis caught eight passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, as well.

Scooby Wright III, playing in his first game since suffering a calf injury in week one, led the Stallion defense with six tackles and one tackle-for-loss. Cain returned five kickoffs for 166 yards and one touchdown.

The win marked the first time the Stallions have played away from the friendly confines of Birmingham since the USFL re-launched in 2022. The Stallions return to Protective Stadium this Saturday, May 13, against the Houston Gamblers at 3 p.m. in a game that will air on FOX.