USFL Week 2: Stars hold off Maulers in a thriller

USFL Week 2: Stars hold off Maulers in a thriller

Apr 23

Offense has been hard to come by thus far in the inaugural United States Football League season, but that changed on Saturday when the Pittsburgh Maulers and Philadelphia Stars faced off.

In a thrilling, back-and-forth affair, the Stars (1-1) held off the Maulers (0-2) in a battle of Pennsylvania rivals, earning their first victory of the season, 30-23.

Here are the top moments.

Philadelphia Stars 30, Pittsburgh Maulers 23

Denied!

The Stars looked for a strong start when Darnell Holland returned the opening kickoff all the way to Pittsburgh's 36-yard line.

But the Maulers held firm when Jaylon McClain-Sapp snatched a one-handed interception on fourth down.

Mauling the Maulers

Philly came up with a great defensive stop of its own, partly because of this massive hit.

Pittsburgh would end up settling for a field goal, taking a 3-0 lead.

So you want to be a running back?

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Stars on top!

Bryan Scott found Diondre Overton for the first touchdown of the game, as the Stars went up 7-3 early in the second quarter. 

A short while later, Ahmad Dixon snagged this interception right in the chest. That set up a QB sneak by Scott, which gave the Stars a 14-3 lead.

Defense to offense

Pittsburgh secured its first TD of the day courtesy of its defense, as a strip-sack quickly turned into points after McClain-Sapp scooped up the loose football and turned on the afterburners en route to the end zone.

Throw it up, Love

McClain-Sapp's big play ignited the Maulers, who began stepping into their rhythm on the offensive end. Josh Love uncorked a pair of big-time throws in succession, the second which was a seed to tight end Hunter Thedford to help Pittsburgh take the lead.

Slingin' it

Scott is still heating up. The Maulers' lead didn't last long, as Scott brought his troupe right down the field in response and dropped in a doozy of a dime to Maurice Alexander Jr. to put Philly back up, 21-16. The Stars took that edge into halftime.

Back-and-forth we go

Love clearly didn't want Scott to take all the spotlight. Check out this beautiful 37-yard TD pass to Bailey Gaither, which gave the Maulers a 23-21 lead.

Said Gaither: "It's just what I do."

From 3-point range

The Stars came right back to regain the lead on another TD pass from Scott. And to make things even more entertaining, Philadelphia then pulled off the first 3-point conversion of the USFL's inaugural season, extending their edge to 30-23.

That score would hold up, as the Stars earned their first victory of the season.