The sixth week was everything Birmingham Stallion quarterback Alex McGoughwho has taken his team onto the field on his own several times in 27-13 win Over the Michigan Panthers in Detroit on Saturday.
Taking advantage of the room the Panthers defense provided in front of him, which had been unable to contain the run all season, McGough rushed for 82 yards, giving the spark to an offense desperate for one after Birmingham dropped two of their last three plays.
It started on Birmingham’s first offensive play, when McGough took off for a 28-yard touchdown run. In the second quarter, the Stallions got into Panthers territory with another recruit getting a 24-yard catch. In the half, he had 53 yards on the ground. A 10-yard touchdown run with 3:27 left for all but sealed the game for Birmingham.
“We got really good at running the ball,” said McGough. “And that just puts a lot of pressure on me as a quarterback. Instead of having those three and a third down to convert, when you know you can have five on first down and five on second down, you’ll never get to third down.” [offensive] The line was just destroying them. And I think we just rode it all the way.”
McGough was undoubtedly the difference in the Stallions match. They were also 3-for-4 inside the red, converting chances into points, again powered by McGough.
“He was humble because he plays at a really high level,” Birmingham manager Skip Holtz said after the game. “He’s really the way he extends plays at the moment. The success we had in the red zone, he made a stupid connection, made four misses, then found a guy in the corner of the end zone and threw it to him. His ability to extend plays, throw the ball accurately and what he can do With his feet at the moment. I think he’s doing a great job playing midfield now.”
McGough also completed 19 of 24 pass attempts for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Birmingham rushed for 190 yards in the afternoon, 100 of which came CJ Marable On his first 100-yard game of the season.
Michigan started the game with the ball, and was quarterback Josh Love Which started as panthers are still looking for an answer under the center between love and Carson Strong. The latter got most of the action in Michigan’s loss to F.C Pittsburgh Muellers last week.
Penalties hurt the Panthers, starting from the first batch of the match. Left guard hanging call Sean Pollard They halted their momentum just outside the red zone, and at the beginning of the second quarter, Michigan’s defense was called for too many men on the field, giving the Stallions an additional 5 yards on second down. A touchdown was called again in the third quarter thanks to a hand-to-hand penalty on backup left tackle Josh Dunlapwho also committed a false start in the fourth quarter forcing Michigan to settle for a field goal after what could have been a pivotal turnover.
After taking a 6-yard sack on the first drive, Love redeemed himself with a 28-yard bomb to wide receiver Tree Queen which transported the cheetahs to the stallions’ territory. A holding call got Michigan behind the chains and eventually halted the drive on the Birmingham 27, but the Panthers managed to get within three points as they scored first with a field goal.
It’s time for the defense to step up in the next direction. inside back Noah Dawkins He returned to the lineup on Saturday after missing last week with an injury, and immediately made his presence known by forcing a rally to 3rd-and-7 at the Michigan 28. The Stallions were then forced to settle for a field goal themselves, tying the game 3-3 in the first quarter.
The first touchdown of the game didn’t come until 57 seconds into half when McGough hit a running back Xander White He rushes away from the pressure. It was barely more than a shovel pass to White in open space, but White took it the rest of the way, evading several tackles on an 18-yard dash into the end zone. He put the Stallions ahead 13-3 going into halftime.
Quinn was the highlight of the day for the Panthers, finishing with 108 yards on seven touches, thanks in large part to two big plays in the first half. He caught Love’s 28-yard catch on the aforementioned first drive of the game, then just before halftime pulled in a 35-yard pass to bring the Panthers to the Stallions’ 22-yard line with 21 seconds left on the clock.
In rushing for a punt, there was a fumble at the goal line, and Love instead attempted to run a play with the clock running out and no timeouts, squandering Michigan’s chances to cut a 13–3 lead before halftime.
Michigan’s defense managed to stop the Stallions in their tracks on their first possession of the second half. Facing third and thirteenth, Birmingham went empty with piled flights to McGough’s right. The receivers all branched out in their various paths, but McGough was swallowed up before he could even get to his first read. The Stallions then stalked from deep in their own territory, but a fine kick and good coverage by Birmingham still got the Panthers to start their first drive of the second half at their own 22.
The Panthers haven’t seen the end zone since their first play in last week’s game against the Maulers. On that play, Love faked a handoff and elected to pull the ball himself, passing a pass to tight end Cole Hecutin over the middle. More than five quarters later, and Michigan’s next touchdown came on Saturday…on a play pass to Hikotini over the middle. This time, it was from 11 yards away. It cut the Stallions’ lead to just three midway through the third quarter.
But the Stallions responded with another touchdown of their own, extending their lead to 20-10 going into the fourth quarter. Not finished yet, the Panthers forced a fumble at linebacker Frank Genda Ball punched out and safety Kai Nakwa He got the ball back.
Michigan took over at the Birmingham 27 with just over 11 minutes left in the game with a 10-point lead. Love wasted no time hitting Quinn again for a 16-yard gain, putting the Panthers inside the red zone. But it was another red zone chance Michigan couldn’t convert, as it was a one-for-three chance on the day.
Carmen Vitali covers NFC North for FOX Sports. Carmen had previous stops with The Draft Network and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She spent six seasons with the Bucs, including in 2020, which added the title of Super Bowl Champion (and parade participant) to her resume. You can follow Carmen on Twitter at @employee.
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