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The 10th and final week of the inaugural USFL season kicked off Saturday with a matchup between the Philadelphia Stars (6-3) and the New Jersey Generals (8-1) at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.
It was a preview of what’s to come in next weekend’s playoffs hosted at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, where the North’s top-seeded Generals will meet the No. 2 seed Stars on the field once again. And if N.J. can string together a repeat of their performance from Saturday, it’ll be punching a ticket to the second round of the postseason.
Here are the top plays from the clash.
New Jersey Generals 26, Philadelphia Stars 23
New Jersey wasted very little time getting on the board in the first quarter.
The Generals broke through just over a minute into the game, when Trey Williams busted into the secondary untouched, and outran Philly’s defense for a 61-yard TD.
New Jersey Generals’ Trey Williams pulls off electric rushing TD, goes 61 yards untouched
Trey Williams opened the scoring on Saturday with this huge TD run, giving New Jersey an early lead.
Row your boat
The Generals struck again with two minutes to play in the first, capping a 13-play, 90-yard drive with a stellar pitch-and-catch from Luis Perez to Alonzo Moore to take a 14-3 lead.
And the celebration was just as good as the play.
New Jersey Generals’ Alonzo Moore makes a STUNNING TD grab vs. Stars
Alonzo Moore helps extend the New Jersey Generals’ lead over the Philadelphia Stars with an impressive TD grab.
Philadelphia began to find its rhythm near the end of the first half, as Case Cookus found a wide open Bug Howard for one of the biggest plays of the game.
The play helped key Philly’s first TD of the day, as Cookus went top shelf to Jordan Suell to bring the Stars within four as the first half closed.
The Stars’ momentum seeped into the second half, and they found the end zone again, this time on a screen to Chris Rowland, which was keyed by a pretty block from C.J. Perez. The TD helped the squad take a 17-14 lead.
Philadelphia’s Case Cookus finds Chris Rowland with the screen pass TD
Philadelphia quarterback Case Cookus hits receiver Chris Rowland with the 19-yard screen pass for the touchdown, and the Stars take the lead early in the third quarter.
Nose for the end zone
N.J. recaptured the lead midway through the third quarter, going up 20-17 courtesy of a quick strike from Perez to Darius Victor, who clarified his measurements for the fans after the big play.
In the breadbasket
Perez continued his fiery play in the fourth, uncorking a graceful dime to find Moore (again) for his third TD throw of the day.
Perez’s assist put N.J. up 26-17.
The Stars inched closer with a speedy tuck-and-run from Matthew Colburn II, who pulled his squad within three after this stellar run.
The Stars bought themselves another opportunity after getting the ball back on an alternate kickoff, but N.J. squished their final drive with a decisive takeaway from All-USFL safety Shalom Luani, and things ended there.
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