USFL Inside the drive: How Houston Gamblers rallied for first win of season
Kenji Bahar and the Houston Gamblers earned their first win of the season in Week 3, and we take you behind the scenes to reveal how it happened.
When Ryan McDaniel made a dramatic circus catch on a 28-yard scoring pass from Cole Kelley, it looked like Memphis Showboats had pulled off an incredible come-from-behind victory. It also appeared to be the latest in a long line of late-game collapses by the Houston Gamblers.
The touchdown, which came with 1:54 remaining, gave Memphis a 26-23 lead after having trailed 23-10 entering the fourth quarter. And it was nothing new for the Gamblers, who since the start of last season had blown four leads with 2 minutes remaining.
But this time, quarterback Kenji Bahar and his teammates changed the narrative.
Bahar, in his second season in the USFL, led Houston on an 8-play, 66-yard drive. He completed four of his five pass attempts on the drive and also had a 3-yard scramble to get the Gamblers near midfield.
The key play came with just 28 seconds left and the Gamblers sitting on the Showboats' 42-yard line.
"We need about seven yards," Houston offensive coordinator Eric Price told Bahar over the radio, in reference to a potential game-tying field goal.
But Bahar did better than that, lofting a deep pass over the middle to tight end Josh Pederson — son of Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Pederson — who reeled it in before being dragged down at the 6-yard line.
Bahar then spiked the ball to stop the clock, and two plays later, he hit Justin Hall for the game-winning touchdown pass as the Gamblers earned their first win of the season, 30-26.
To see how it all went down, here's this week's installment of "Inside the Drive," a highlight video featuring mic'd up coaches and players.