Brahmas Hand Birmingham First Loss in 18-9 Affair


by UFL Communications

SAN ANTONIO, TX - San Antonio entered the week as the UFL’s top scoring defense with the UFL’s top scoring offense headed to the Alamo City. Saturday in the Alamodome, that top scoring defense did something no other UFL team managed to do this season - hold undefeated Birmingham under 10 points.

The Brahmas (7-2) used a pressuring defense and quarterback Chase Garbers made his return as San Antonio snapped the Birmingham Stallions (8-1) 15-game win streak, 18-9, in front of 11,839 fans in the Alamodome. San Antonio wore its Alamo Yellow Jerseys as a sentiment to military personnel in its “Hats Off to the Heroes” Game.

Garbers, who was placed on injury reserve after suffering  a left-wrist injury against St. Louis in Week 3, completed 70 percent of his passes going 16-of-23 for 139 yards.

San Antonio’s two-headed tandem at running back Anthony McFarland Jr. and Morgan Ellison sparked the offense. McFarland recorded his second consecutive game with 100+ all-purpose yards, and Ellison scored his first two touchdowns of the season.

The Stallions had an opportunity to tie the game under two minutes and down nine, but Brahmas cornerback Teez Tabor picked off quarterback Adrian Martinez at the San Antonio 1-yard line to seal the game.

The Brahmas went into their bag of tricks in the first quarter for the game’s first touchdown with a Jontre Kirklin 36-yard pass to Justin Smith. It is Kirklin’s second touchdown pass in as many years. The one-point conversion was unsuccessful, but San Antonio broke the seal and led 6-0. 

Brahmas linebacker Zach Morton, making his season debut, was active early with a sack on Adrian Martinez. Morton collapsed on Martinez with Garrett Nelson. The Brahmas defense did not allow any points in the first quarter.

Birmingham got its first points of the game with a Ramiz Ahmed 34-yard field goal early in the second quarter to cut San Antonio’s lead in half, 6-3.

Garbers settled in after a couple drives with a 34-yard pass to Kirklin to get into the redzone. Ellison capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown rush to make it a 12-3 game.

Garbers found his rhythm close to halftime, leading the Brahmas down the field with 62 passing yards. Ryan Santoso came in for the 53-yard attempt, but the kick was denied by the left post. San Antonio kept their nine-point advantage heading into the break. Three points is the least amount of points Birmingham had scored in a first half in franchise history.

The Stallions started the third quarter hot with a 48-yard catch-and-run from Martinez to Jace Sternberger all the way to San Antonio’s six-yard line. Despite a nine-yard tackle for loss by A.J. Hendy on the very next play, Birmingham found the end zone right after with a 15-yard touchdown to Sternberger. The two-point attempt was no good, and the score took 12-9 in favor of San Antonio. 

Brahmas linebacker Delontae Scott tallied the team’s second sack of the game and his fourth of the season towards the end of the third quarter. Scott helped the defense force a three-and-out on Birmingham to maintain separation on the scoreboard heading into the final frame.

McFarland Jr. opened the fourth quarter with a 17-yard run to get into Birmingham territory. Two plays later, McFarland Jr. burst for another big gain of 15 yards. The Brahmas running back picked up where he left off last week making big plays on offense.

Ellison picked up his second touchdown of the game with a nine-yard rushing score. The one-point attempt was no good, making it a 18-9 game. After coming into the game with no touchdowns this season, Ellison tallied his first two when it mattered.

Garbers completed 16-of-23 passes for 139 yards. Dormady completed 3-of-4 passes for 44 yards. Martinez finished 18-of-32 passing for 211 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

McFarland Jr. was the team’s leading rusher with 82 yards on 15 attempts. Martinez was the leading rusher for the Stallions with 56 yards on five attempts.

Kirklin recorded four receptions for 66 yards and one touchdown. McFarland Jr. tallied six catches for 34 yards. Sternberger caught seven balls for 110 yards and a touchdown for Birmingham. 

The Brahmas (7-2) will conclude their regular season slate next week on the road against the St. Louis Battlehawks (6-3) at the Dome at America’s Center. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. CT on FOX. The winner will host the XFL Conference Championship. The Stallions (8-1) will host the Michigan Panthers (6-2) on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT. 

Recap: The San Antonio Brahmas handed the Birmingham Stallions their first loss of the season, breaking their 15-game winning streak dating back to last season. Cornerback Teez Tabor sealed the game with an interception of Stallions quarterback Adrian Martinez in redzone to deny a potential comeback. Quarterback Chase Garbers came into the game halfway through the first quarter and played the rest of the game, leading San Antonio to victory with a playoff host spot.

Welcome Back, Chase Garbers!

After missing the last five weeks due to injury, quarterback Chase Garbers was back in action for the first time since Week 3. Garbers completed 16-of-23 passes for 139 yards in the win. Despite not starting, Garbers played a majority of the game.

Defense, Defense

San Antonio’s defense led the UFL in scoring heading into the game against Birmingham. The Brahmas managed to slow down the UFL’s top offense, limiting them to a season-low nine points and just 278 yards of total offense. The UFL’s leading tackler Jordan Mosley led the way with a team-high eight tackles and added a tackle for loss. The Brahmas registered three sacks and five tackles for loss.

Ellison to the Endzone

Brahmas running back Morgan Ellison saw an increased workload with the absence of John Lovett and did not disappoint. Not only did Ellison carry the ball 12 times for 30 yards, but he also scored two touchdowns. The scores were Ellison’s first and second of the season and proved pivotal in the tight game.

Jontre Kirklin with the Arm

Wide receiver Jontre Kirklin, San Antonio’s leader in receiving yards, made a big play with his arm in the first quarter with a 36-yard touchdown pass to Justin Smith. It is Kirklin’s second touchdown pass in as many years. Kirklin joins his teammate Brad Wing as the only non-quarterbacks in the league with a passing touchdown this season. Kirklin also finished the game with 66 receiving yards. 

Zach Morton’s Brahmas Debut

Linebacker Zach Morton made his Brahmas debut in Week 9, recording his first sack on Birmingham’s first offensive drive of the game. Morton finished the game with 0.5 sacks and three total tackles.

Next Man Up

Brahmas tight end Cody Latimer exited the game early after reeling in a 25-yard completion in the first quarter. In his absence, San Antonio’s other pass catchers stepped up. Four Brahmas had four or more catches on the day, including Justin Smith who had four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown.

Attendance: 11,839


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