USFL Week 4 highlights: Houston Gamblers blow past Philadelphia Stars
Led by Mark Thompson’s three TDs, Houston runs through Philadelphia to start off Week 4 of the USFL season. Here are the highlights.
Week 4 of the 2023 USFL season is here, and we've got you covered with all the action around the league!
Kicking things off Saturday on FOX, the Houston Gamblers evened their record at 2-2 after a 41-16 rout of the Philadelphia Stars (1-3) in Detroit.
The Gamblers scored early and often with running back Mark Thompson leading the way, scoring three touchdowns in the win. His performance helped Houston hold a 27-7 lead at the break as it never had to sweat about the outcome of Saturday's game.
There is some concern for the Gamblers, though. Quarterback Kenji Bahar had to depart the game in the third quarter because his right ankle got rolled on while he was under pressure.
Later, the Memphis Showboats (0-3) will aim to secure their first win of the season when they take on the Michigan Panthers (2-1).
See the full list of regular-season week-by-week matchups here.
Here are the top plays!
Houston Gamblers 41, Philadelphia Stars 16
Houston was firing on all cylinders early in this one, moving the chains with ease on its opening drive after Philadelphia went three-and-out to start the game.
On the Mark!
Gamblers running back Mark Thompson burst his way through the Stars' defense before throwing a stiff arm to get into the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown run to give Houston the lead.
Alfieri gets all the football
Kenji Bahar's handoff to Thompson wasn't clean, letting the ball come loose. Stars linebacker Joey Alfieri came up with the ball, giving Philadelphia good field position late in the first quarter.
Coming up Colburn
Matt Colburn helped the Stars take advantage of the turnover in a big way.
He reeled in a 10-yard reception to get the Stars into the red zone, followed by finding his way through Gamblers blockers and tacklers for a 5-yard score to even the game early in the second quarter.
Terry Wilson checked in at QB for the Gamblers on their first drive of the second quarter, and he immediately went to work moving his team downfield.
Then, Thompson cashed in for his second rushing score of the day to give Houston the lead, 13-7.
Right at Ratfliff
Anthony Ratliff-Williams was open in the end zone, allowing him to make a 5-yard touchdown grab with ease on 3rd-and-goal to give the Gamblers a 20-7 lead.
Can't stop Keke
Gamblers receiver Keke Chism turned a relatively short reception into a 54-yard touchdown as the Stars struggled to tackle him, giving the Gamblers a 27-7 lead late in the first half.
Elijah Jones did his best Odell Beckham Jr. impression, making a one-handed interception to make sure the Stars didn't score before halftime, keeping it a 20-point game.
The Gamblers' QB had to depart the game after his right ankle got rolled up while he was under pressure. Shortly after, Thompson rushed for his third touchdown of the day early in the second half to give the Gamblers a 34-7 lead.
Just like how they drew it up
Wilson took off for a big run and looked like he was going to get the Gamblers in the red zone on his scramble, but the ball was punched out of his arm, bouncing several yards forward and into the end zone. Before the ball could bounce out of bounds, Chism pounced on it, recovering the ball in the end zone to give Houston a commanding 41-7 lead.
Then, the Stars added a 42-yard field goal late in the third quarter to narrow the gap ever so slightly, 41-10.
Taking a listen
Gamblers defensive coordinator Chris Wilson allowed viewers at home to hear him call plays in what ended up being another successful defensive drive for Houston as it got Philadelphia to punt.
One for the show
Dexter Williams found his way into the end zone in the final minutes of the game, helping to make the final score look a little bit more respectable.
But the Stars weren't able to add on to it. The 3-point attempt was intercepted and their alternative kickoff didn't work, letting the Gamblers seal the win.