USFL Score, highlights: Philadelphia Stars surge back to defeat the Houston Gamblers, 35-24

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The Philadelphia Stars defeated the Houston Gamblers 35-24 to conclude Week 7 of USFL action in Birmingham. The Gamblers got out to an early 10-0 and led 17-13 at the half but Philadelphia outscored them 22-7 in the second half for the win. Both teams capitalized on turnovers, including a pick-six for Houston linebacker Donald Payne on the opening drive and a late fumble recovery for the Stars to help cement the victory. Philadelphia put a final stamp on their win with Adam Rodriguez sacking Houston quarterback Kenji Bahar for a safety on the final play of the game.

Philadelphia wins back-to-back games for the first time this season, moving to 4-3 and staying in the second place in the North Division. Quarterback Case Cookus completed 21 of 31 attempts for 163 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown pass to Jordan SuellMatt Colburn II and Darnell Holland combined for 124 yards on the ground with a rushing touchdown each. Kicker Luis Aguilar was perfect on the day, making all four field goal attempts. Cornerback Channing Stribling, who was tied for most interceptions in the league, had his fifth pick of the season.

The Gamblers move to 1-6 with their sixth consecutive loss and are out of playoff contention. Backup quarterback Kenji Bahar took over for Clayton Thorson late in the first half, who sustained an injury to his elbow. Bahar completed 10 of 13 pass attempts for 101 yards, throwing a touchdown pass and an interception. Linebacker Donald Payne had two interceptions on the day.

The top two teams in each division will advance to the playoffs following the 10-week regular season. The playoff games will take place on Saturday, June 25 in Canton, Ohio.

Head coaches for the Philadelphia Stars and Houston Gamblers

Philadelphia is led by 64-year-old Bart Andrus. Andrus was the head coach of the Amsterdam Admirals in the NFL Europe league from 2001-2007, leading the team to back-to-back World Bowls and the 2005 title. He has also coached in the CFL, UFL and XFL. Meanwhile, the Gamblers are led by 57-year-old Kevin Sumlin, who has experience coaching in Texas. He was the coach at the University of Houston for four years before taking a job at Texas A&M.

Stars vs. Gamblers score, results, highlights

Final score: Philadelphia Stars 35, Houston Gamblers 24

1st quarter, 14:03 (Gamblers): C.Cookus pass INTERCEPTED at PHI 38. Intercepted by D.Payne at PHI 38. D.Payne for 38 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

1st quarter, 5:13 (Gamblers): N.Vogel 29 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-T.Addington, Holder-.

1st quarter, 0:39 (Stars): L.Aguilar 35 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-R.Navarro, Holder-C.Cookus.

2nd quarter, 11:55 (Stars): L.Aguilar 30 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-R.Navarro, Holder-.

2nd quarter, 2:30 (Stars): M.Colburn rushed to HOU End Zone for 4 yards. M.Colburn for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

2nd quarter, 0:38 (Gamblers): K.Bahar pass complete to PHI 6. Catch made by B.Barnes at PHI 6. Gain of 6 yards. B.Barnes for 6 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

3rd quarter, 6:35 (Gamblers): M.Thompson rushed to PHI End Zone for 9 yards. M.Thompson for 9 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

4th quarter, 14:55 (Stars): C.Cookus pass complete to HOU 39. Catch made by J.Suell at HOU 39. Gain of 39 yards. J.Suell for 39 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

4th quarter, 7:08 (Stars): D.Holland rushed to HOU End Zone for 3 yards. D.Holland for 3 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

4th quarter, 2:25 (Stars): L.Aguilar 33 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-R.Navarro, Holder-.

4th quarter, 0:41 (Stars): L.Aguilar 41 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-R.Navarro, Holder-.

4th quarter, 0:05 (Stars): K.Bahar steps back to pass. K.Bahar sacked at HOU End Zone for -5 yards (PHI) SAFETY.

Stars vs. Gamblers reaction and coverage

9:00 p.m. EST: The Stars push the Gamblers offense back and Adam Rodriguez sacks Kenji Bahar for a safety as time runs out.

Final score: Philadelphia 35, Houston 24

8:56 p.m. EST: Luis Aguilar’s 41-yard field goal attempt is good. Aguilar is four of four attempts on the day.

Philadelphia 33, Houston 24 with 0:36 left. Houston still faces a one-score game with the USFL’s three-point conversion rules.

RELATED: 2022 USFL Rules: Overtime changes, 3-point conversions, forward passes and moreSubscribe

8:50 p.m. EST: Kenji Bahar is sacked and fumbles the ball. Philadelphia recovers and has the ball at the Houston 28 with 2:14 on the clock.

8:46 p.m. EST: The Gamblers defense holds the Stars to a field goal attempt. Luis Aguilar is good from 33 yards for the Stars.

Philadelphia 30, Houston 24 with 2:21 left in the game. Can the Gamblers get to the end zone and snap their five-game losing streak?

8:38 p.m. EST: Channing Stribling picks off Kenji Bahar’s pass and picks up his fifth interception of the season. Philadelphia will have the ball on the Houston 35-yard line.

8:33 p.m. EST: The Stars are back on top as Darnell Holland runs into the end zone.

Luis Aguilar’s extra point is good. Philadelphia 27, Houston 24 with 7:04 on the clock.

8:30 p.m. EST: QB on wheels! Case Cookus runs for a 29 yard gain to put Philadelphia down to the Houston 19-yard line.

8:22 p.m. EST: Nick Vogel’s 49-yard field goal attempt is no good and Houston’s lead stays at four with 12:19 to play.

8:11 p.m. EST: Cookus connects with Jordan Suell for a 39-yard touchdown!

Luis Aguilar’s extra point is good. Houston 24, Philadelphia 20 with 14:46 left to play.

8:06 p.m. EST: The third quarter comes to an end. Houston leads 24-13.

7:56 p.m. EST: Philly goes for it on fourth-and-1. The Gambler defense holds strong and the Stars turn the ball over on downs. Houston will take over at their own 42-yard line.

7:49 p.m. EST: Mark Thompson runs 9 yards into the end zone to extend Houston’s lead. Nick Vogel’s extra point attempt is good.

Gamblers 24, Philadelphia 13 with 6:32 left in the third quarter.

7:32 p.m. EST: The second half is about to get underway from Birmingham!

7:21 p.m. EST: The clock winds down, bringing us to halftime. The Gamblers lead 17-13.

7:18 p.m. EST: Houston capitalizes on the interception with a touchdown! Kenji Bahar finds Brandon Barnes for a 6-yard touchdown. Nick Vogel’s extra point is good and the Gamblers take back the lead with 0:32 until halftime.

Houston 17, Philadelphia 13

7:14 p.m. EST: And back to the Gamblers as Donald Payne has his second pick of the day, intercepting Case Cookus’ pass. Houston has the ball on the Stars 30 inside a minute to play in the half.

7:12 p.m. EST: James Crawford forces the fumble and recovers for the Stars. Philadelphia takes over at their own 44-yard line with 1:23 left in the half.

7:06 p.m. EST: Matt Colburn rushes 4 yards into the end zone to give Philly their first lead of the game.

Luis Aguilar’s extra point is good. Stars 13, Gamblers 10 with 2:34 left to play in the half.

7:04 p.m. EST:

6:46 p.m. EST: The Stars end the drive with another field goal attempt for Luis Aguilar. Aguilar is good from 30 yards. Houston 10, Philadelphia 6 with 11:52 left in the half.

6:43 p.m. EST: Big-time play for Philly’s special teams as Andrew Galitz’s punt is blocked. Stars receiver Chris Rowland recovers the blocked kick and Philadelphia takes over at the Houston 18.

6:38 p.m. EST: The first quarter comes to an end. Gamblers are up 10-3 heading into the second.

6:34 p.m. EST: Luis Aguilar’s 36-yard field goal attempt is good to put the Stars on the board.

Houston 10, Philadelphia 3 with 0:34 left in the first quarter.

6:26 p.m. EST: Nick Vogel’s 29-yard field attempt is good and Houston extends their lead to 10-0 with 5:09 left in the first.

6:10 p.m. EST: Pick-6 for Houston! Case Cookus’ pass is intercepted by Donald Payne, who returns the ball for a 38-yard touchdown.

Nick Vogel’s extra point attempt is good. Houston 7, Philadelphia 0 with 13:51 left in the first quarter.

6:07 p.m. EST:

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What time and channel is the Stars vs. Gamblers?

RELATED: How to watch the Philadelphia Stars vs. Houston Gamblers

  • When: Sunday, May 29 at 6:00 p.m. ET on Peacock
  • Where: Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama