Breakers hand Birmingham first loss
In what felt like an improbable outcome this weekend, the New Orleans Breakers defeat the defending champion Birmingham Stallions 45-31. These 31 points represent the most points the Stallions have given up all season, a far departure from the 2 points they gave up last week. McLeod Bethel-Thomspon was rock solid in this outing going for 283 and 3 touchdowns. The star, however, was running back Wes Hills. His 34 carries for 191 yards and three touchdowns will likely earn him Player of the Week honors.
We did not have to wait long in this game to get our first score. Former Clemson Tiger Deon Cain would take the opening kickoff 82 yards giving the Stallions a 7-0 lead eleven seconds into the game.
New Orleans would answer on the very next drive. After an Eli Stove kick return gives New Orleans the ball at their own 47, McLeod finds Lee Morris 5 plays later for a 40-yard touchdown. Birmingham would respond with a drive that ended in a Brandon Aubrey 25-yard field goal.
New Orleans would take the lead on an old-school drive that would go 63 yards most on the ground. Wes Hills accounted for all but 8 yards on this drive, ending in a 1-yard touchdown run. After they exchange punts, we have our first turnover of the game. on a 2nd and 10 at their own 39, Alex McGough is intercepted by Jarod Fernandez, putting the breakers in position at Birmingham 25. New Orleans would settle for a Matt Coghlin 37-yard field goal.
After a Birmingham punt on the ensuing position, Bethel Thompson would make his only mistake. Donnie Lewis would come up with his own interception, giving McGough a short field. 4 plays later, a CJ Marable 1-yard touchdown would tie the score. New Orleans would answer with a 75-yard drive in only 4 plays. Tight end Sage Surratt comes up with a 26-yard touchdown reception to give New Orleans a 24-17 lead. McGough wasted no time tieing up the score before the half, leading a drive that ends with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Jace Sternberger right before the half. This ends the half on a 24-24 tie.
On the First drive of the second half, New Orleans would take a lead that they would not surrender. Starting with great field position on an Eli Stove kickoff return, Thompson would eventually find Joe Adams from 34 yards out to take a 31-24 lead. After the ensuing Stallions drive stalls, A punt for a touchback gives the Breakers the ball at their own 20. 8 plays and 80 yards later, Wes Hills would get his second touchdown, this time from one yard, giving the Breakers a commanding 38-24 lead at the end of the third.
The Stallions start their next drive at their own 30 and go 70 yards to cut into the 14-point lead. McGough ends the drive with a 5-yard pass to Davion Davis, and an extra point gives the Stallions a chance. However, this hope was short-lived. On the next drive, New Orleans goes 69 yards in 11 plays taking up half of the fourth quarter. This drive, featuring a heavy dose of Wes Hills, would end in him scoring on a 2-yard run. The Stallions would go 3 and out on what would be their last chance, and New Orleans was able to run out the clock, securing the 45-31 win.
Dennis Allen on the win
Skip Holtz on the loss
New Orleans looks to keep their record as the only undefeated team intact as they face the 2-1 New Jersey Generals Sunday. Birmingham looks to put this game behind them as they prepare for the 1-2 Pittsburgh Maulers in Ohio on Saturday.