The Birmingham Stallions beat the Philadelphia Stars 27-24 in the highly anticipated rematch of last year's United States Football League (USFL) championship game.

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Coming into today's game, if Philadelphia won the game and both the Pittsburgh Maulers and New Jersey Generals lost, then the Stars would be the first team in the 2023 USFL season to clinch a playoff spot.

Unlike the USFL championship, the Stars would be facing quarterback Alex McGough. Last year, J'Mar Smith took the reigns and never looked back. This year after Smith went down with a broken hand in Week 1, McGough was given the keys and has thrived.

Philadelphia was the first team to get on the board. After receiving the opening kickoff, Cookus led a nine-play, 62-yard drive, that ended with a pass in the right corner of the endzone to tight end Ryan Izzo. Birmingham responded right back with an 11-play, 72-yard drive that ended with McGough 17 yard pass to Davion Davis.

The second quarter was a defensive battle until the final drive of the half as Philadelphia would march down 46-yards in a minute and a half. Right before halftime, Cookus would give the Stars the lead as he completed a 24-yard pass to Corey Coleman.

Entering the fourth quarter the score was only 14-10 but this is when the scoring starts. Birmingham got the party started with a seven-play, 83-yard drive that ended with a McGough touchdown pass to his favorite target, Jace Sternberger.

The Stars responded with a three-play, 52-yard drive that concluded when Cookus threw his third touchdown of the day to Dexter Williams.

Birmingham was in a tough place and was maybe about to get its third loss of the season, but McGough did not panic. Just like the all-time great quarterbacks, McGough calmly lead a nine-play, 65-yard drive in 2:37. With 28 seconds left in the game, McGough found La'Michael Pettway in the endzone to give the Stallions the lead of 27-24.

The Stars tried to get back into field goal range but the Stallion's defense put enough pressure to seal the game. Birmingham improves to 6-2 which is the best record in the USFL, while the Stars fall to 4-4.

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