USFL Score, highlights: New Orleans Breakers narrowly defeat Houston Gamblers, overcoming turnover troubles for the win

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The New Orleans Breakers put together a final scoring drive late in the fourth quarter to defeat the Houston Gamblers. The Breakers, who move to 3-1, had four turnovers, including three interceptions for quarterback Kyle Sloter. Sloter completed 26 of 21 attempts for 397 yards, including the game-winning touchdown pass to Jonathan Adams.

New Orleans was led on the ground by Jordan Ellis, who had his first 100-yard rushing game of the season with 19 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown. Kicker Taylor Bertolet, who is new to the team, made three of four field goal attempts, including a 50-yard attempt in the first quarter. 

Instrumental to New Orleans’ defense was stopping Houston’s run game and Mark Thompson, who led the league in rushing entering this week. The Breakers did just that as Thompson had 14 carries for only 10 yards and the Gamblers had just 28 total yards on the ground.

While Houston had only 155 yards compared to 506 yards for New Orleans, the Gamblers, now 1-3, capitalized on turnovers to stay in the game until the very end.

Micah Abernathy, Will Likely and Beniquez Brown each had an interception while Chris Odom had a sack to force a fumble, which was recovered by Donald PayneHouston kicker Nick Vogel was perfect on the day, making three of three field goal attempts, including two over 50 yards.

Head coaches for Houston Gamblers and New Orleans Breakers

Houston is led by 57-year-old Kevin Sumlin while New Orleans is coached by 59-year-old Larry Fedora. Both coaches have taken a similar path to the USFL, dating back to 2008 when they were both hired in Conference USA; Sumlin at Houston and Fedora at Southern Miss. The two were at each school for exactly four years before taking jobs at Power Five schools. Sumlin went to Texas A&M while Fedora moved to North Carolina.

The two faced each other three times in Conference USA. Fedora won two of those matchups including in their final meeting in the 2011 conference title game where his Golden Eagles handed Sumlin’s Cougars their only loss of the season.

Gamblers vs. Breakers score, results, highlights

Final Score: New Orleans Breakers 23, Houston Gamblers 16

1st quarter, 8:50 (Breakers): T.Bertolet 50 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-T.Bernard, Holder-M.White.

2nd quarter, 11:39 (Gamblers): C.Thorson pass short right complete to NO 22. Catch made by J.Ward at NO 22. Gain of 30 yards. J.Ward for 30 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

2nd quarter, 7:16 (Gamblers): N.Vogel 52 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-T.Addington, Holder-A.Galitz.

2nd quarter, 0:36 (Breakers): J.Ellis rushed right tackle to HOU End Zone for 12 yards. J.Ellis for 12 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

2nd quarter, 0:00 (Gamblers): N.Vogel 41 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-T.Addington, Holder-A.Galitz.

3rd quarter, 5:49 (Breakers): T.Bertolet 28 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-T.Bernard, Holder-M.White.

4th quarter, 3:07 (Gamblers): N.Vogel 53 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-T.Addington, Holder-A.Galitz.

4th quarter, 2:00 (Breakers): T.Bertolet 45 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-T.Bernard, Holder-M.White

4th quarter, 0:10 (Breakers): K.Sloter pass complete to HOU 29. Catch made by J.Adams at HOU 29. Gain of 29 yards. J.Adams for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Gamblers vs. Breakers reaction and coverage

6:02 p.m. EST: The clock hits 0:00 and the Breakers have won 23-16 in Birmingham.

5:58 p.m. EST: Touchdown New Orleans! Sloter throws it deep to Jonathan Adams in the end zone and the Breakers take the lead.

New Orleans 23, Breakers 16 with 0:10 on the clock.

 

5:55 p.m. EST: Kyle Sloter connects with Sal Cannella for a gain of 25 yards. New Orleans is at the Houston 31-yard line with 0:35 left to play and a tie game.

5:48 p.m. EST: We’re all tied up! Taylor Bertolet makes a 45-yard field goal and it’s 16-16 with 1:56 left to play.

5:42 p.m. EST: Kyle Sloter launches it downfield to Taywan Taylor for a gain of 43 yards. New Orleans is at the Houston 27-yard line, down by three with 2:12 remaining.

5:38 p.m. EST: Nick Vogel knocks down a 53-yard attempt to give Houston a three-point lead. 3:01 left to play in Birmingham.

5:25 p.m. EST: New Orleans goes for it on fourth-and-eight. The Breakers are unable to convert and turn it over on downs with 9:18 left to play.

5:12 p.m. EST: The third quarter comes to an end and we’re tied up at 13 from Protective Stadium. Houston will have the ball to start the fourth.

5:08 p.m. EST: Micah Abernathy intercepts Sloter’s shot at the end zone for a touchback.

This is New Orleans’ fourth turnover of the game.

4:56 p.m. EST: Houston holds New Orleans to a field goal as Taylor Bertolet makes a 28-yard attempt to tie it up at 13 apiece.

4:27 p.m. EST: Nick Vogel makes a 41-yard field goal to give the Gamblers a 13-10 lead as the first half comes to a close.

4:23 p.m. EST: New Orleans touchdown! Jordan Ellis rushes into the end zone for the Breakers to tie the game up 10-10 with 0:28 left to play in the half.

4:09 p.m. EST: Another New Orleans interception as Will Likely snags Kyle Sloter’s pass. This is the third Breakers turnover of the game.

The Gamblers are unable to capitalize on the turnover and punt it away.

4:02 p.m. EST: Nick Vogel is GOOD on a 52-yard field attempt and Houston extends their lead to 10-3.

3:59 p.m. EST: Taylor Bertolet’s field goal attempt for New Orleans is blocked by Chris Odom. Houston’s special teams recover and the Gamblers take over.

3:52 p.m. EST: Houston touchdown! After facing second-and-32 and third-and-22, JoJo Ward finds the end zone for the Gamblers.

Houston 7, New Orleans 3 with 11:30 left in the half.

3:45 p.m. EST: Another Breakers turnover as Beniquez Brown intercepts Kyle Sloter’s pass. Houston will take over at the New Orleans 19-yard line.

3:40 p.m. EST: At the end of the first, New Orleans leads 3-0 in Birmingham.

3:32 p.m. EST: It’s Houston ball! Chris Odom sacks Breakers QB Kyle Sloter to force a fumble and Donald Payne recovers for the Gamblers.

Houston will takeover at their own 36-yard line.

3:18 p.m. EST: New Orleans is first on the board as Taylor Bertolet’s 50-yard field goal attempt is good.

Breakers 3, Gamblers 0 with 8:45 remaining in the first quarter.

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RELATED: How to watch the Houston Gamblers vs New Orleans Breakers

  • When:Sunday, May 8 at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock
  • Where: Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Live Stream: Peacock