BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — By Sunday afternoon at Protective Stadium, the USFL found the final team that will take part in the inaugural season’s postseason.
The New Orleans Breakers took down the Tampa Bay Bandits to clinch the only remaining playoff spot in Canton, Ohio later this month. The Breakers (6-3) join the Birmingham Stallions (8-1), New Jersey Generals (8-1) and the Philadelphia Stars (6-3) as the top seeds in each division.
New Orleans used a huge second quarter to take down the Bandits (4-5) and receive the fourth envelope from the league punching their ticket to the playoffs. The Breakers and Stallions will face off in the first-round matchup on June 25.
“The New Orleans Breakers are fired up about going to Canton, Ohio and competing for the inaugural championship,” Breakers’ head coach Larry Fedora said.
The Stallions were left stunned after their first loss of the season on Saturday against the Houston Gamblers after a late-game interception from quarterback J’Mar Smith. Birmingham took the lead late in the third quarter on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Adrian Hardy. But Houston (2-7) scored a touchdown on their next possession and held on to win 17-15.
Despite the loss, the Stallions will still hold the No. 1 overall seed in the league with a win against Tampa Bay or a loss by the Generals on Saturday.
And Saturday also provides an appetizer to the playoff matchup of the Stars and Generals as the two squads will face off in the final regular-season game as well. The Generals won the previous battle 24-16. Both teams, however, boast the two longest winning streaks in the league as Philadelphia has won its last four and New Jersey hasn’t lost since Week 1. The Stallions were each team’s last loss.
Both playoff games will be held at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on June 25. The Stars and Generals will face off at 2 p.m. and the Breakers and Stallions will kick off at 7 p.m. A concert featuring country music star Trace Adkins will take place in between the games. The winners of each game will then play in the championship which will be held on July 3.