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Birmingham Stallions win USFL championship, 33-30

Scooby Wright picks off K. J. Costello and takes it to the house to give Birmingham a two-possession lead against Philadelphia in the final minutes of the USFL Championship.

With 10 minutes to play, the Philadelphia Stars led the USFL title game by three points. Fueled by a touchdown drive led by backup quarterback Alex McGough and a pick six from linebacker Scooby Wright, the Birmingham Stallions turned the tables and emerged with the victory, 33-30.

Both teams lost their starting quarterbacks to injury during. Stallions quarterback J’Mar Smith exited with cramps. Stars starter Case Cookus suffered a broken fibula on a third-down play while Philly was clinging to a 23-20 lead.

A pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns put Birmingham up by 10. The Stars answered with a touchdown. They opted for a fourth-and-12 play in an attempt to keep possession. The effort just failed, with the pass landing incomplete.

Birmingham still had to run out the clock. Facing fourth down in Philly territory with under a minute to play, coach Skip Holtz opted to punt. The Stallions barely missed a chance to down the ball near the goal line, giving the Stars a first down on the 20. Two plays later, however, another interception sealed the win for the Stallions.

Birmingham finished the year 11-1. The Stars went 7-5, including the postseason.

Victor Bolden, with six catches for 64 yards and the go-ahead touchdown, was named the MVP of the championship game.

The game was played before a noticeably large crowd in Canton. Fox has announced that the USFL will return next April for a second season, with the same eight teams that competed in 2022.