By Eric D. Williams
FOX sports writer
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Was it okay?
Asked if Brandon Aubrey’s 29-yard goal, which brought his team a 10-9 victory, went to the left, Birmingham Stallion head coach Skip Holtz looked at the officials on the pitch.
“They didn’t come and ask me,” Holtz said. “All we can do is follow what the officials have signaled on the pitch. He has a much better view of it than I do.”
Asked the same question, measured New Orleans Breakers head coach Larry Fyodor said, “I’m just not going to answer what you’re going to say about that.”
Regardless of what the coaches believe, the goal from the field was called good on the field. And after defensive back Josh Shaw pulled out New Orleans quarterback Kyle Slaughter – Slaughter’s third interception in the game – the stallions sealed another close victory on Saturday afternoon at Legion Field.
With the win, Birmingham improved to 8-0 this season, winning the Southern Division title and being ranked No. 1, while the Breakers fell 5-3.
The game was far from a work of art, with five missed shots and six turns. The most important omission was perhaps Taylor Bertolet’s PAT experience after the only touchdown in New Orleans in the game – 3 yards from Anthony Jones – allowing Birmingham’s winning margin.
However, both defenses played well, closing two of the most successful fouls in the USFL.
“They have a great football team,” Holtz told Breakers. “Larry Fyodor does a good job with his team. They are difficult. They are well trained. They are physical. … This is a very talented football team. But as someone told me when leaving the field, you just have to keep believing. ”
The Breakers had one last chance to take the lead after 15 seconds and the ball on the 45-yard line of New Orleans. Slaughter threw one for a grab, a midfield throw for receiver Johnny Dixon, and Shaw managed to wind it up to seal the game.
Stallion defense suffocates the Breakers in a 10-9 victory
The Birmingham stallions were undefeated in part thanks to their defense, which garnered three interceptions against the New Orleans Breakers.
“At first, when it got out of his hands, I thought it was too high,” Shaw said. “So I couldn’t get on with both hands. So I got on with one and somehow I managed to get off with it.”
As Victor Bolden Jr. was not available due to injury, Marlon Williams stepped up and played as a successor to Birmingham. Williams finished with seven catches in 109 yards on 12 targets.
Bo Scarbro led the stallions 54 yards, but most of them came in the first half.
Bug in turn hits Breakers again
Slaughter was perhaps the most dynamic passer in the USFL this season, but he also had problems with decision-making and caring for football. These problems affected Breakers on Saturday.
Sloter finished 23-out of 40 for 251 passes, without touchdowns and three interceptions.
The Breakers have broken the league record 15 times in eight games, and Slaughter has 10 interceptions a year.
“You can’t turn the ball in games like that and expect to win,” Fedora said. “Each of them was critical. If you do, you will fight hard all the way. We need to do a better job of taking care of football.”
Problems with injuries in QB for Birmingham
Birmingham’s starting quarterback J’Mar Smith, meanwhile, also had an uneven performance, finishing 15-for-29 at 183 yards, with a 27-yard touchdown to Adrian Hardy. Smith also had an interception and lost fumble.
After a second turnaround of just over five minutes by the end of the third quarter, Holtz replaced Smith with Alex McGow in the next series. However, after running 22 yards from McGowe, he injured his left ankle again and had to leave the field.
Smith returned, but struck his throwing hand on his helmet, trembling with pain as he left the field. With inactive third quarterback Montel Cozart, Holtz said he would turn to Marlon Williams as his emergency quarterback.
And once McGoff is healthy, expect him and Smith to continue sharing photos.
“I’ve been saying all along that I’m going to play two quarterbacks,” Holtz said. “They both deserve to play. They are both talented quarterbacks and both have won in professional football. We are very happy to have two. And if something happens to a player, I don’t want to put someone there who hasn’t played in four weeks. ”
Midfielder Demarkis Gates also suffered an injury to his left leg in the middle of the third quarter, but later returned.
Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for more than a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.
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