Week one of the USFL season started off Saturday with a bang. The Philadelphia Stars and Memphis Showboats put on quite a game, ending in a Philadelphia win 27-23. Case Cookus, who came on in the middle of last season, continues to shine throwing for 212 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Devin Gray also had a fantastic game as Cookus’s lead pass catcher going 7 for 77 with a touchdown.
For Memphis, Brady White and newcomer Alex Collins performed admirably. White went 16 for 29 182 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 Interception in his first USFL start. Alex Collins added 63 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He also added 5 catches for 25 yards and a touchdown.
We didn’t have to wait long for the action to get started in this game. After receiving the opening kickoff, Memphis would march to the Philadelphia 22. Here Brady White made his only major blunder. Cornerback Channing Stribling would intercept Brady, and return the ball to the Philly 29. Cookus leads the stars 71 yards, scoring on a 6-yard touchdown to Chris Rowland.
On the next drive, Memphis would answer back with some fireworks of their own. Brady White finds Rashard Davis on a 43-yard touchdown to even up the score.
On the ensuing drive, Chris Rowland returns a kickoff to their own 44, giving Cookus a short field he makes the most of. Cookus ends this drive with his second touchdown pass, this time a 5-yarder to Matt Colburn.
A missed 48-yard field goal by Showboat’s kicker Alex Kessman would once again give the Stars great field position. On the ensuing drive, Philadelphia running back Dexter Williams finds the endzone from 12 yards out giving Philly a 20-7 lead. a 28 Yard kick by Kessman, and a blocked Luis Aguilar 50-yard attempt (Jeremiah Valoaga on the block, Karrheem Darrington on the recovery) brings us to the half 20-10 Philadelphia.
Philadelphia would get the ball to start the second half, going 3 and out, putting the ball back in Brady White’s hands. He would make this game a three-point game. His second touchdown pass would find Ryan McDaniel from 29 yards out, and an extra point gives us a 20-17 lead. After another good kickoff return, this time by Corey Coleman to the Philly 36, Cookus would answer back. a 64-yard drive taking almost 6 minutes off the clock ends with Cookus’ 3rd touchdown pass, this time to wide receiver Devin Gray from 14 yards out. An extra point gives us our 27-17 end-of-the-third score.
Needing 10 points, Memphis went to work. Memphis goes 54 yards in 12 plays to cut into the lead. Alex Collins runs it in from one yard and out, and a missed extra point makes it 27-23. The fourth quarter would see a series of punts. leaving Memphis with one last shot, needing a touchdown. Brady takes them as far as the Philly 39 with 30 seconds left. Two straight missed pass attempts on 3rd and 4th down would seal the win for Philadelphia.
Coach Bart Andrus on the win
Philadelphia looks to improve to 2-0 this weekend as they take on the Michigan Panthers( Sunday 7 pm FS1). Memphis looks to get their first win this weekend, but they have a tough test this weekend against the defending champion Birmingham Stallions( Saturday 7 pm FOX).