Many were curious, including me, as to how Birmingham would handle the loss of starting quarterback J’Mar Smith would affect the Stallions. For those of you not aware, Smith will be out for the season with an injury to his throwing hand, suffered in last week’s victory. Alex McGough is in a very familiar role, one he played very well last year, but still people were curious. The Stallions showed no signs of slowing down their title defense 42-2 against the Memphis Showboats. McGough had player-of-the-day type numbers, going 301 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back ZaQuandre White made his presence felt as well going 72 yards and 2 touchdowns on 8 carries.
This game went exactly how the final score would indicate. After going three and out and being forced to punt. Birmingham ends an 87-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass from McGough to Davion Davis. Memphis goes 3 and out again and gives the ball back. Birmingham takes the next drive 81 yards, ZaQuandre White this time running from 1 yard out. The first quarter comes to an end with Birmingham in the driver’s seat 14-0.
A couple of 3 and-outs later, Memphis would put together a promising drive, before stalling out and missing a field goal (Alex Kessman 48 yards). Birmingham responds to the good field position by going 62 yards in 5 plays, a 25-yard pass from McGough to his leading receiver Jace Sternberger( 5 receptions 127 yards and 1 touchdown), giving Birmingham a 21-0 lead. Memphis had one more shot before the half but T.J. Carter’s interception of Brady White sealed the first-half shutout.
Birmingham takes the opening possession of the second half 77-yards, scoring on a ZaQuandre White 35-yard touchdown run. At this point, the blowout is on. on the next drive, Memphis would make a change at quarterback, bringing in Ryan Willis. A shortlived move, as a few plays later Birmingham would get the ball back when Willis is sacked and fumbled (Rashad Smith with the sack and fumble, Willie Yarbury on the recovery).
The result of the fumble is a 47-yard drive to take a 35-point lead. Alex McGough would find Thaddeus Moss (Randy Moss’s son) for a 7-yard touchdown. A 3 and out by Memphis, and a good punt would force McGough’s only real mistake of the day. on a second down from his own 3, McGough is sacked by Jeremiah Valoaga, giving Memphis a safety, and their only score of the game.
Memphis would take the next drive 51 yards, looking like their best chance to score all game. However, a Brady White incomplete pass gives Birmingham a first down on their own 5. Birmingham, just trying to run the clock out, goes 95 yards in a little under 7 minutes. On 3rd and goal from the 2, McGough throws a touchdown, his 4th, to Myron Mitchell.
This touchdown is the source of a little controversy (more on that later). Memphis hands the ball off 3 times to run the clock out, and the game is final. After the game Todd Haley seemed rather unhappy with Skip Holtz, almost like the touchdown pass at the end of the game was an attempt to run up the score. He was on the mic telling Holtz, “I’ll remember that”
Birmingham Post Game
Memphis Showboats on the Loss
Birmingham puts their perfect record on the line this weekend against the 2-0 Breakers, and Memphis plays the Houston Gamblers in a game of teams still looking for their first win.