Stallions stage dramatic rally to defeat Generals in inaugural season opener

Stallions stage dramatic rally to defeat Generals in inaugural season opener

Apr 16

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 p.m. 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.

Stallions return the favor

Birmingham QB Alex McGough knotted things up with a big 35-yard pass to Osirus Mitchell.

Not so fast

Generals safety Shalom Luani was taking down anyone in his path and set the tone early with this tackle:

Man down!

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.

Picked!

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.

Scary Scooby

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.

Picture-perfect

Smith found Vic Bolden for a 17-yard pickup to move the Stallions down the field.

Knotted up

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.

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 a 11-play, 65-yard drive with a score to make it a 21-14 game early in the frame.

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.

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.

Giddy up!

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.