Week 1 of the inaugural United States Football League season has its first W in the books.
The Birmingham Stallions came from behind to defeat the New Jersey Generals 28-24 in an instant classic Saturday on FOX.
Opening weekend action continues Sunday with three games starting at 12 pm ET.
Here are the top plays from Saturday:
Birmingham Stallions 28, New Jersey Generals 24
And we’re off!
Just like that, football was underway in April.
Starting with a bang
Generals QB Luis Perez launched a 49-yard rocket to Randy Satterfield for an explosive first play of the day.
Generals strike first
The duo followed that up with a quick 3-yard touchdown to take an early first-quarter lead.
Luis Perez finds Randy Satterfield for the first touchdown of the USFL season
The Generals took a 7-0 lead over the Stallions after this Perez-Satterfield connection.
Stallions return the favor
Birmingham QB Alex McGough knotted things up with a big 35-yard pass to Osirus Mitchell.
Alex McGough finds Osirus Mitchell on a 35-yard touchdown pass to bring Stallions to 7-7 tie with Generals
The Stallions evened the score after a huge touchdown pass from McGough.
Not so fast
Generals safety Shalom Luani was taking down anyone in his path and set the tone early with this tackle:
Football fans got their first look at the new helmet camera, as Stallions linebacker DeMarquis Gates came up with the first sack of the season, knocking Perez back seven yards.
McGough’s deep pass up the middle was intercepted by Luani, and just like that, the first takeaway of the season was on the books.
Generals grab the lead
Perez found tight end Braedon Bowman for a 13-yard score to regain the lead in the second quarter.
Luis Perez throws a BEAUTIFUL 13-yard scrambling TD pass vs. Stallions
Perez threw a picturesque touchdown pass to Braedon Bowman to help the Generals grab a 14-7 against the Stallions.
Birmingham’s defense came up with a big play before the half, as Stallions linebacker Scooby Wright knocked the ball out of Perez’s hands as the Generals QB tried to scramble for the first down.
Chaos in the backfield
After Stallions safety Nate Holley came up with the fumble, he followed that up with a huge hit on Generals QB De’Andre Johnson, who checked in for Perez.
The Generals carried a 14-7 lead into halftime.
Drone drop in
Johnson scrambled up the middle to Birmingham’s 25-yard line, but the Generals weren’t able to capitalize on the big pickup, and it remained a seven-point game midway through the third quarter.
Smith found Vic Bolden for a 17-yard pickup to move the Stallions down the field.
Then, Stallions running back CJ Marable found the end zone on a quick 3-yard rush to even things up at 14 headed into the final frame.
CJ Marable drives up the middle for TD to tie up Stallions vs. Generals
Marable ties the game for the Stallions with a rushing touchdown in the third quarter against the Generals in the USFL first game of the season.
Turning on the jets
The Generals were the first to strike in the fourth quarter, as Johnson took it in himself for the score, capping off an 11-play, 65-yard drive with a score to make it a 21-14 game early in the frame.
DeAndre Johnson shows off athleticism for diving rushing TD to help Generals regain lead over Stallions
Johnson gave the Generals the lead against the Stallions, thanks to an impressive rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Neck and neck
The Stallions had something to say about that on the ensuing possession, as Smith linked up with tight end Cary Angeline fox six to knot things up once again.
J’Mar Smith finds Cary Angeline for a Stallions TD to tie the game in fourth quarter vs. Generals
Stallions QB Smith hits TE Cary Angeline over the middle for the touchdown pass to tie up the game at 21 late in the fourth quarter of the first game of the USFL.
Down to the wire
The Generals took a 24-21 lead with less than two minutes to play after nailing a 47-yard field goal.
But the Generals’ lead was short-lived.
With 29 seconds to spare, Smith found the end zone, capping off a 10-play drive with a score to give the Stallions a 28-24 edge that they held onto to secure the win.
Tickets for all regular-season USFL games can be purchased directly at theUSFL.com, Adult general admission tickets are $10, and each ticketed adult can receive up to three free tickets for children under the age of 15.
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