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.

Everything you need to know about the USFL:

What time and channel is the Gamblers vs Breakers on?

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

Control what you can control: How journey through the fire led Generals RB Darius Victor to the USFL


“Life feels good when you’re winning,” says one of the men responsible for the Generals’ success last season, running back Darius Victor. “I’m playing the game I love, my team is winning games, and that’s all a man can ask for.”

Victor was named the USFL’s Offensive Player of the Year after leading the league with nine rushing touchdowns, ranking third in rushing yards (577), and fourth in yards per game (57.7). At 5’8″ and 209 pounds, with 30-inch quads (yes, you read that right…30 inches), the Generals RB is a wrecking ball on the field.

“Thick thighs save lives,” Victor recalls as he laughs about the Week 5 game-winning play. “I had to put them to use and push him [Perez] over to the endzone.”

With his light-hearted demeanor and self-described goofball personality, it would be hard to fathom the hell Darius Victor has walked through to get to where he is today.

“I’m not even supposed to be here”

Victor, who is one of seven children (4 brothers, and 2 sisters), was born in 1994 in a refugee camp in Africa’s Ivory Coast after his parents, Gary and Patricia, fled the first Liberian Civil War.

“Have you ever seen the movie Blood Diamond?” Victor asks, “That’s the type of environment I was born into.”

Victor and his family literally ran for their lives, hiding and sleeping in bushes for safety when their country was being torn apart by violence and bloodshed. Nearly 250,000 people — men, women, and children — lost their lives in Liberia’s civil war.

“I was too young to remember what happened at the time,” Victor told NBC Sports. “But from the stories my parents have told me about what we were running away from, I’m not even supposed to be here.”

The Victor family moved to the U.S. in 1999 and lived in Manassas, Virginia before moving to Hyattsville, Maryland, in 2002. After leaving everything behind, Gary and Patrica worked tirelessly to provide for their family and while their parents were out just trying to make ends meet, all seven of the Victor siblings Velma, Earl, Kevin, Darius, Leon, Shaka, and Nicole — looked out for one another. Helping with homework, making sure everyone was fed, and involved in activities. For Kevin and Darius in particular, that activity was football.

Sibling Rivalry

“My older brother Kevin was my role model growing up,” Victor recalls. “I used to go with him to football practice and he was pretty good. He was a Boys and Girls Club legend. I had to compete with him in everything and I wanted to be better than him in everything that I did. So I started playing football and tried really hard to be better than him. Having that role model to follow is what really gave me a love for the game.”

The duo, four years apart in age, went on to play football at Northwestern High School, sharpening each other with their competitive nature both on and off the field. But everything changed in December 2011, when Kevin was tragically shot and killed walking home from the local community center after playing basketball with friends — just one block away from his family’s apartment.

“Losing a child and a sibling is crazy,” Victor said. “It was tough but it made us even closer as a family. It made me go even harder because Kevin was always the tough one on me. When we were kids I would always cry on the football field if something didn’t go my way and Kevin would straighten me out.”

“His passing has given me a mindset of toughness and resiliency. I’m always thinking about him and trying to live up to the level of confidence that he had in me.”

In October, just 10 months after Kevin’s passing, Darius was in the midst of a breakout senior season when the Victor family’s apartment burned down.

“The toughest part wasn’t even losing our stuff but it was seeing my Mom and Dad cry again. That was so tough on me.” Darius recalls. “At that point in my life, I had to decide to never question God, believe that everything happens for a reason, and control what I could control.”

Towson Tough

With family at the forefront of his mind, Victor decided to play football at Towson University, where he earned a scholarship, roughly 45 minutes away from his hometown. He earned First-Team All-CAA honors in 2014, rushing for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns on 250 carries, but says he also a learned new level of toughness from his coaches and teammates that he still keeps in contact with today.

“Coach Reno Ferri really believed in me and that gave me so much confidence,” Victor said. “But there are so many guys there that really spoke into my life including my teammates FB Dreon Johnson, RB Terrance West, and coaches Rob and Jared Ambrose.”

Stay Ready

Victor, who only played in 4 games during his senior year of college due to a toe injury, went undrafted after graduating from Towson in 2017 but had several opportunities with NFL teams. Victor received an invite to the New York Jets rookie minicamp, the New Orleans Saints training camp, and even landed a spot on the Arizona Cardinals practice squad but unfortunately, those opportunities didn’t end the way he wanted them to.

However, the Hyattsville native didn’t let that discourage him.

“I’ve been through so much in life that I’ve grasped the concept of controlling what you control,” the 28-year-old said. “One of my mottos is to stay ready so you don’t have to get ready so doing that and just trusting God made me available mentally and physically for the next opportunity.”

For Victor, that meant showing up to train long hours after working a 9-5 job every day as a Sales Operations Manager at Penske and staying consistent no matter what — even when the CFL signed and cut him a day before he was supposed to leave for Canada (2019) and when the XFL season came to a sudden halt in the midst of a global pandemic (2020).

But when the USFL finally called, selecting him in the 6th round of the Supplemental Draft, he was ready. Victor says his love for his family and his faith in God is what fueled him during the hard times in life.

“Knowing all that my family has been through and the fact that we’re not even supposed to be here, every day I get is a blessing and I just want to make them proud. They are my why, ” says Victor, who is often spotted wearing merchandise with the phrase “Keep God 1st” on his clothing.

“I don’t care if you are a millionaire or dirt poor…life is going to life, but if you put God first everything will work itself out and that’s how I live my life.”

First and 10 with Darius Victor

To what do you attribute the New Jersey Generals’ early success?

“We have great coaching and great leadership. The team is very close and we hold each other accountable because we all have the same goal. We’ve all been through similar experiences. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked to 30 or 38 players who’ve been cut multiple times too and that creates a bond.”

“Also, we have a little chip on our shoulder because in preseason we were projected to finish last in the league due to our ‘talent level’, so shout out to whoever released those preseason polls because it made us hungry.”

If someone were to be a fly on the wall in the locker room, what’s one thing that they’d be surprised to find out about the New Jersey Generals?

“After a win, we do a ‘hip, hip hooray’ chant. Coach Riley goes ‘hip hip’ and the rest of the team goes ‘hooray’. It’s the greatest thing ever.”

What’s your role on the team?

“I’m one of the older guys on the team so I consider myself to be one of the leaders and the ‘special teams captain’. Coach always jokes around and says I’m the heart and soul of the team. I just want to do everything I can to make this team successful.”

How would you describe your style as a running back?

“I think I’m pretty balanced but the thing that separates me the most is my physicality. I don’t think a lot of human beings can run the football like me. If you just watch the tape or just watch the football games, that’s how I stand out.”

Pre-game hype song?

“I have to listen to the song “I’m a dog” by Gucci Mane that puts me in my zone.

Gameday superstitions?

“I have a superman Jesus cut-off shirt that I wear under my pads every game. I wouldn’t really call it a superstition but I wouldn’t feel right without it.”

What’s one thing about yourself that not everyone knows?

“I’m addicted to Candy Crush. I’m on level 4,650.”

Favorite Football player?

John Johnson, he’s the starting safety for the Cleveland Browns and also my best friend”.

Favorite Movie?

“Oh, Forest Gump. Easy.”

Favorite pair of kicks?

“Jordan 1s, I can’t pick one specific pair.”

Just Keep Going: Stallions RB CJ Marable makes a policy of perseverance


RB CJ Marable was instrumental in helping the Birmingham Stallions become the inaugural USFL champions in 2022. Marable who was named the USFL Week 5 Offensive Player of the Week, was Birmingham’s leading rusher finishing the season with 401 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns.

While his highlight reel was, quite literally, on display this past season, his journey to playing professional football has been far from easy.

A Dream is Born

Torrance Marable Jr., who goes by the nickname CJ, laced up his first set of football pads at the age of 5. Some of his earliest memories include tossing the ball outside with his father, Torrance Marable Sr., who doubled as his all-time quarterback in outdoor pickup games. It was in his hometown backyard in Decatur, Georgia that the elder Marable told his son he was capable of taking it to the next level, instilling in him a new passion for the game.

“He just looked at me one day and said, man, you’ve got it,” CJ recalls. “Just stay focused, stay consistent, and the sky is the limit. And that confirmed everything for me. I fell in love with the game and believed I could be whatever I wanted to be because my Dad said it.”

Marable, a two-star recruit coming out of Towers High School, initially signed with Arkansas State as a grayshirt, but in the weeks leading up to his expected start date, he says the communication with the school just stopped, unexpectedly. Arkansas State wasn’t returning his calls and when they finally called him back, they no longer had a place for him on the team.

Pivoting along the Path

Wanting to keep his football dreams alive, Marable pivoted his focus to playing at the junior college level. But a last-minute offer to play at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina — with a full scholarship — was one he couldn’t refuse. Marable’s 2017 freshman season was explosive: the Georgia native started all 11 games and led the Big South with 1,038 rushing yards only to find out that the school was pulling back on its football team and would become a non-scholarship program by 2020.

With his dreams once again the line, it was a familiar time for Marable – time to pivot. He transferred to Coastal Carolina, a place he says shaped him into a better person on and off the field.

“We had this acronym B.A.M., which stood for Be a Man,” Marable told NBC Sports. “Coach Jamey Chadwell taught us to be accountable for whatever we do and to stand on our own two feet. He told us that if you quit on football and can’t go through the hard times here, then there’s no way that you’ll be able to deal with the hard times in life.”

Deferred but not Denied

Marable finished his collegiate career with a streak of 32 straight games with at least one reception. In his three years at Coastal Carolina (2018-2020), he rushed for 2,691 yards with 41 total touchdowns, assembling impressive enough stats and film to sign as an undrafted free agent contract with the Chicago Bears in 2021. But once again, things didn’t go as planned and Marable was released before the start of the regular season.

“I wasn’t comfortable where I was because I felt like I should have been drafted,” he said. “I felt like I had a point to prove. I did what I was supposed to do but it just wasn’t in my favor at the time. I never wanted to question God so I just had to stay consistent, stay focused, and continue to grind to get to where I wanted to be.”

It was in this period, dialed in on training and staying pro-ready with tunnel vision focus, that he heard about the USFL, not just once but on three separate occasions. First, the idea came from his manager, who he calls “Hood”, who thought it would be a good opportunity for the running back. His trainer for the NFL combine agreed. But Marable brushed the idea off both times, wanting to stay focused on that potential NFL opportunity. It wasn’t until his girlfriend’s father brought it up again that Marable took it as a sign to do his own research and take the USFL seriously as a path forward in professional football.

Just Keep Going

Looking back, Marable credits his strong support system, specifically his Mother, Sabrina Sims, for helping him stay positive in periods of disappointment and uncertainty.  “She reminded me that every storm I’ve been in, I’ve got out of.”

“Life is going to hit you,” the 25-year-old said. “Nothing is going to go as planned but never give up. If I could go back in time and give my younger self advice it would be these two simple words: keep going. God’s got you, never give up.”

Leading by Example

Marable, who welcomed a baby boy in March with girlfriend Bayley Randall, says he wants to instill that lesson in his son Trae (Torrance Christopher Marable III).

“When he grows up I want to be that example and show him that Dad never gave up. Even though I failed at times the difference between me and anybody else is that I just never gave up.”

The Stallions running back is currently working towards a Master’s degree in Sports Psychology. He wants to help other athletes develop when his football career is over — which, at the rate he’s playing, doesn’t look like it’ll be anytime soon.

First and 10 with CJ Marable

Pregame ritual?

“I love to listen to music, my favorite artist is Future so that’s all I play. But my go-to hype-up album is “Thug Motivation” by Young Jeezy.

What is your role on the team?

To get the offense rolling. My strengths include blocking the ball out the backfield, my vision, and my speed.

To what do you attribute the Birmingham Stallions’ early success?

“I’m really impressed with how well we get along with each other. We laugh with each other. We joke with each other. We are a family. We spend our off days and downtime together. The offensive linemen and the running backs go out to eat every Thursday or Friday depending on the week.”

“Honestly, it feels great when everything you work for is paying off. But in the back of our minds, we know that we have to stay consistent. We have a bullseye on our chest. Everybody wants to beat the Birmingham Stallions.”

What is it like being the only USFL team to play in front of a home crowd?

“I feel like the fans are really coming out there and doing their job and it’s helped us a lot, especially on third downs you can just hear them yelling ‘defense, defense’. We’re the first professional football team for Alabama so it feels great to be able to just go out there and put on for the city of Birmingham.”

Favorite Running Back?

Reggie Bush. When I was at Carolina, we played against BYU on “College GameDay”, and I had a great game. Later during the week, I got interviewed by Reggie Bush so that was a cool experience.”

Favorite Food?

“Wings. All flats.”

Favorite Movie?


Favorite Vacation Spot?


How would your family and friends describe you as a person?

“I’m a driven person and I won’t let anything stop me from getting to where I want to be in life. I’m also funny and outgoing.

Name one thing about yourself that not everybody knows about you.

“I enjoy fishing.”

RELATED: Control what you can control – How journey through the fire led Generals RB Darius Victor to the USFL