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USFL Championship 2023: Birmingham Stallions earn second consecutive title led by league MVP

The Birmingham Stallions took home their second consecutive USFL title on Saturday night.

Birmingham took down the Pittsburgh Maulers, 28-12, in Canton, Ohio.

The Stallions defense held the Maulers to just three field goals while they scored two touchdowns themselves, taking a 14-9 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Alex McGough

Alex McGough #2 of the Birmingham Stallions looks to throw a pass against the Pittsburgh Maulers during the third quarter in the 2023 USFL Championship Game at Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium on July 01, 2023 in Canton, Ohio. (Andy Lyons/USFL/Getty Images for USFL)

With the lead, Birmingham got the ball first to begin the second half, and Alex McGough picked up right where he left off from the first 30 minutes. After Ricky Person gained 41 yards on four carries, McGough found Deon Cain in the end zone, who tip-toed his way to a score, and the ensuing PAT gave the Stallions a 21-9 lead.

Chris Blewitt knocked down his fourth field goal to bring Pittsburgh back to within nine, but the Stallions continued to go right down the field. However, on 3rd and goal trying to evade pressure, McGough fumbled the ball, and it was picked up by Pittsburgh’s Olive Sagapolu. Knowing he probably was too slow to make it to the end zone, he gave the ball to Kyahva Tezino who found the end zone. However, the referees ruled it an illegal handoff, so Pittsburgh got the ball at the Birmingham 33 instead of scoring a touchdown. 

That penalty proved costly, though, as on that drive, the Maulers settled for a fifth field goal, but Blewitt went wide left, as the Stallions held on to their nine-point lead early in the fourth.

Deon Cain

Deon Cain #85 of the Birmingham Stallions celebrates after scoring a 20 yard touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Maulers during the third quarter in the 2023 USFL Championship Game at Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium on July 01, 2023 in Canton, Ohio. (Jason Miller/USFL/Getty Images for USFL)

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The Maulers forced a punt but were unable to convert on 4th and 8 from their own 40, giving Birmingham the ball back with 7:29 to go, and they took advantage. On 2nd and 10, McGough launched a deep pass to Cain, who caught it in the end zone for the touchdown, and the Stallions were up 28-12.

After leading USFL with 20 passing touchdowns during the season, the league’s MVP threw for four in this one. He completed 18 of his 25 passes for 243 yards and ran for another 64. Person and C.J. Marable combined to rush for another 86 yards on their 14 carries. Cain caught three of McGough’s four scores, totaling four catches for 70 yards. Former NFL tight end Jace Sternberger caught three passes for 65 yards, while Davion Davis caught the other touchdown.

Alex McGough celebrates

Alex McGough #2 of the Birmingham Stallions celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Maulers during the second quarter in the 2023 USFL Championship Game at Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium on July 01, 2023 in Canton, Ohio.  (Andy Lyons/USFL/Getty Images for USFL)

We don’t have to wait long for football though, as NFL teams head to training camp later this month.

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