top of page

Stallions Dominate Brahmas, Claim First UFL Title

 Birmingham Stallions running back Ricky Person (23) celebrates after he scores a touchdown against the Arlington Renegades during the second half at Choctaw Stadium.
© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Birmingham Stallions dominated the San Antonio Brahmas 25-0 to win the inaugural United Football League Championship game on Sunday. One major key going into the game was the Stallions' ability to shut down the Brahmas' rushing attack, which had put up more than 200 yards in their win over the St. Louis Battlehawks in the XFL Conference Championship Game.

With the Brahmas being held to only 52 yards rushing, the Stallions continued their spring dominance, winning their third consecutive championship (UFL 2024, United States Football League 2023, 2022).

Game Summary

The game started sloppy as both teams struggled offensively while the defenses dominated. The first nine drives resulted in eight punts—five for the Brahmas and three for the Stallions—and a fumble by the Stallions. The Stallions finally found the end zone at the end of the first half when wide receiver Gary Jennings scored on an 8-yard pass from quarterback Adrian Martinez. The Stallions converted the two-point attempt to go up 8-0 at halftime.

The Stallions received the second half's opening kickoff and marched down the field on an eight-play, 64-yard drive, capped by an 11-yard touchdown run by Martinez on a designed quarterback draw. The Stallions converted the two-point play again, extending their lead to 16-0 over the Brahmas.

The Brahmas immediately turned the ball over on the next possession when wide receiver Jontre Kirklin fumbled, and the Stallions recovered on the San Antonio 24-yard line. The drive ended with another touchdown run by Martinez on a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The Stallions failed to convert the two-point conversion, but the rout was on with the score now 22-0.

The Stallions added a meaningless field goal in the fourth quarter, bringing the final score to 25-0.

Turning Point

After the Stallions went up 16-0 on their opening possession of the second half, the Brahmas needed to respond. On the next drive, Kirklin caught a quick pass in the flat, but linebacker Kyahva Tezino, emulating former Chicago Bear Charles "Peanut" Tillman, perfectly timed a punch on the ball, causing Kirklin to fumble. Safety Kenny Robinson Jr. recovered the fumble at the San Antonio 24-yard line, and the Stallions scored shortly after to make it 22-0, ending any realistic hopes the Brahmas had of a comeback.

Winning MVP

After winning the UFL regular-season MVP award, Martinez followed it up by being named the championship game MVP and was presented with the trophy by seven-time NFL Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. While Martinez is a deserving choice, the Stallions won this game on the strength of their defense, and the entire unit deserves recognition. Besides pitching a shutout, they held the Brahmas to only 208 yards of total offense, forced 3 fumbles and recovered two of them. Even more impressively, the Stallions' defense finished the season with six scoreless quarters, with the last points scored against them being a field goal in the first half of the USFL Conference Championship game against the Michigan Panthers.

Losing MVP

The MVP for the Brahmas is not coming from an offense that was held scoreless, so let's go with cornerback Teez Tabor, who finished with 10 tackles, six of them solo. We'll overlook the fact that Tabor had to temporarily leave the game in the first half for not meeting uniform regulations by wearing white socks instead of black.

San Antonio Brahmas cornerback Teez Tabor (22) brings down DC Defenders wide receiver Brandon Smith (2) in the second half at The Alamodome.
© Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

What the Win Means for the Stallions

This was a historic win for the Stallions, marking their third consecutive championship in spring professional football, including their two prior USFL titles. Coach Skip Holtz's record is now 28-4 with the Stallions, and he should expect additional interest from FBS programs given his prior experience and success at that level.

Birmingham Stallions running back Ricky Person (23) talks with Stallions head coach Skip Holtz during the second half at Choctaw Stadium.
© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

What the Loss Means For the Brahmas

The Brahmas exceeded expectations this season, as most people viewed them as a bottom-two or bottom-three team in the league. Coach Wade Phillips did an excellent job leading this team to the championship game, primarily on the strength of its top-rated defense. On Sunday, the Brahmas struggled mentally and physically on the field and looked overmatched by their opponent. San Antonio should learn from their first experience on the big stage and aim to play their best in the 2025 season the next time the bright lights are on them and it matters the most.


Michigan Football
Blue Screen
bottom of page