Three In A Row: Stallions dominate their way to UFL Title

Published 9:11 am Monday, June 17, 2024

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On Sunday, the USFL Champion Birmingham Stallions (11-1) throttled the XFL Champion San Antonio Brahmas (9-3) by a score of 25-0 to capture the inaugural United Football League (UFL) Championship.

Along with being the first UFL Champs, the Stallions have also won three straight league championships after winning back-to-back USFL Championships in 2022 and 2023. The win was also one of the most dominant championship wins in spring football history as it was the first shutout in a spring football championship. Birmingham also avenged its lone loss of the 2024 season after San Antonio defeated the Stallions in week nine of the regular season.

The Stallions were coming off a come-from-behind win over the Michigan Panthers in the USFL Conference Championship, which saw UFL MVP Adrian Martinez get benched for poor play. Martinez was once again the starting quarterback in the UFL Championship and returned to form, winning UFL Championship MVP honors.

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The UFL Championship also pitted the two top defenses in the entire league and that fact was evident after the two sides were held scoreless going into the second quarter. That’s when the Stallions took over, however. Birmingham drew first blood when Martinez threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Gary Jennings with just 40 seconds remaining in the first half. He converted a two-point try to Amari Rodgers to give the Stallions an 8-0 lead at halftime.

Birmingham added an 11-yard touchdown run from Martinez with 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter and then Martinez converted the two-point try to extend the lead to 16-0. Martinez added a 1-yard touchdown run with 7:25 left in the third to extend the lead to 22-0. Birmingham’s final score came on a 49-yard field goal from Chris Blewitt with 11:31 left in the fourth quarter to give the Stallions the 25-0 lead.

The Birmingham defense held San Antonio to just 208 total yards and forced two turnovers. Stallion linebacker Kyahva Tezino was an absolute menace, recording nine tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, while Damon Lloyd tallied six tackles, one tackle-for-loss and a sack. Kenny Robinson also earned a fumble recovery and Jonathan Garvin recorded a sack.

The Birmingham offense piled up 308 yards of offense with 210 yards on the ground, completely controlling the game and the clock. Martinez completed 13-of-23 passes for 98 yard and a touchdown, while also rushing for 52 yards and two scores on 11 carries. Ricky Person Jr. had a career night, carrying the ball 13 times for a career-high 102 yards, while CJ Marable also earned 45 yards on 10 carries. Mobile native Marlon Williams recorded four catches for 36 yards.

The Stallions will head into the offseason having won three straight league championships, joining the Green Bay Packers as the only teams to accomplish that feat in professional football. The Packers won NFL Championships from 1929 through 1931 and from 1965 through 1967, both accomplishments being done before the Super Bowl era. Birmingham will get the opportunity for an unprecedented fourth straight league championship in 2025.