The USFL 2022 regular season is coming down the home stretch and for week 9 the Philadelphia Stars (5-3) and Pittsburgh Maulers (1-7) met for the second and final time in 2022. The showdown between the cross-state rivals was featured in prime time on Sunday night. The Stars battled their way to a 17-16 win improving their record to 6-3 while the Maulers now fall to 1-8 on the season. The win is also the second win on the season for the Stars vs the Maulers securing the battle of Pennsylvania for the Stars in 2022.
To the Action
Earlier in the day, the New Orleans Breakers beat the Tampa Bay Bandits securing the final playoff spot of the USFL this season. The Stars defense got things going early in this one by picking off Maulers QB Vad Lee as the Maulers were driving. The Stars took over and drove the ball down the field and got the scoring going with a 47-yard field goal to take the early 3-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, the Maulers QB Lee found sweet redemption hooking up with tight end Hunter Thedford for a huge 23-yard gain that set up a sick 59-yard field goal to tie things up 3-3. But just as they have done all season long Stars QB Case Cookus found his favorite target TE Bug Howard on a sweet 29-yard pass and catch that put the Stars back in business. The drive stalled when Stars RB Matt Colburn fumbled the ball near mid-field.
On Pittsburg’s ensuing drive the Maulers pulled out all the tricks converting on a fake punt on a fourth and 3 and then converting on a fake field goal for the touchdown to take the 10-3 lead. The rest of the first half was highlighted by mainly defensive play from both the Maulers and Stars. Each team intercepted the other keeping the score 10-3 Maulers at the half.
After an amazing 32-yard catch by Stars WR Maurice Alexander that drove the ball deep into Mauler territory. The Stars punched it in on a short TD run by Paul Terry.
Defense to the Rescue
The fourth quarter started with the desperate Maulers capitalizing on a beautiful TD from Lee to Walker to put Pittsburgh back up 16-10. Deep into the fourth quarter and with a chance to ice the victory a turnover by the Maulers led to six points by the Stars when Stars running back Matt Colburn took it 51 yards to pay dirt and with the extra point put the Stars up by one 17-16 late.
The Stars’ defense shined bright on this day much as they have all season. With the Maulers driving to potentially win the game they forced another fumble giving the ball back to the Stars. The Maulers did have one last shot, but in the end, they missed a 49-yard field goal attempt putting this one in the win column for the playoff-bound Stars. The Battle of Pennsylvania Goes to the Stars.
Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.