BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Birmingham Stallions once again added another check to the win column after defeating the Pittsburgh Maulers Sunday, 26-16.
Winning for Birmingham (7-0) this season has almost become routine as they remained the only undefeated team in the USFL. But Sunday’s win provided a little added excitement to the weekend regimen.
The Stallions officially clinched a spot in the inaugural USFL playoffs with the Tampa Bay Bandits also losing to the New Jersey Generals the day before.
“Proud of you, proud of the way you played together,” head coach Skip Holtz said while addressing the team following the win. “We make mistakes, but we keep banging that rock, keep lifting each other up and keep finding a way.”
Only the top two teams in each division are invited to Canton, Ohio to compete for the championship on July 3. And along with the Stallions, the Generals (6-1) also claimed a spot in the playoffs with their weekend win. New Jersey’s lone loss of the season was to Birmingham.
And with the win over Pittsburgh (1-6), the Stallions also claimed the honor of being the first USFL team to have beaten every other squad in the league. The final win did not come without some drama, however.
The Stallions found themselves down 10-6 at halftime only to spring the game wide open in the third quarter with a fake punt that would end in a Bobby Holly 52-yard touchdown run. Birmingham never lost the lead again.
Birmingham, as it’s done all season long, used a balanced attack on offense and a stingy defense to break down opponents. Quarterback J’Mar Smith threw for 138 yards and running back Bo Scarbrough added another 100 on the ground.
After giving up a first-quarter touchdown, the defense gave up just nine more points through the remaining three quarters. Linebacker Terrill Hanks led the team with 10 total tackles and defensive tackle Willie Yarbary had two sacks.
The Stallions’ quest for a perfect season continues Saturday with a matchup against the Breakers at Legion Field at 2 p.m.