Other | Apr 23, 2024

2024 UFL Week 4: Recap and Highlights

By Harry Bazley

USATSI 22955727

We are fast approaching the midpoint of the 2024 UFL regular season and the league is starting to unfold.

Today we’ll be recapping Week 4 of the UFL with the full story of each game and key highlights.

Memphis Showboats 17 - 32 St. Louis Battlehawks

Week 4 kicked off with a rivalry game in Missouri as the Memphis Showboats headed to St. Louis for an interconference showdown.

The Showboats were looking for redemption following a 33-14 loss in Week 3 at Birmingham, while the Battlehawks were seeking another win after a 31-24 victory over the Brahmas.

The scoreline may seem damaging for the Showboats, but they actually kept things very close for the first three quarters - trailing by just 3 heading into the fourth. But then the Battlehawks took over from the backfield.

AJ McCarron extended the lead by another score after finding Jake Sutherland in the end zone. Then on their next possession, RB Jacob Saylors broke off a huge 57-yard rush to put the Battlehawks just a few plays away from a 15 point lead.

Between those two scores, disaster struck for Memphis, as QB1 Case Cookus was knocked out of the game with a heavy hit on a strip sack. It’s uncertain the extent of the injury, but for now fellow USFL veteran Troy Williams is leading the unit.

We’ll see what the situation is for Memphis in their Week 5 matchup vs the Michigan Panthers, but either way, they’ll certainly be looking to return to the win column - which they haven't seen since Week 1.

Michigan Panthers 9 - 19 San Antonio Brahmas

Week 4 rolled on with the Panthers taking on the Brahmas in San Antonio.

The Brahmas started hot with a touchdown run on their opening drive and followed up with another 3 points, set up with this ridiculous snag by WR Jontre Kirklin.

The Panthers were struggling to respond, so they pulled out all their tricks to try and close the 10-point gap… On 4th-and-3 from their own 36, Michigan snapped the ball directly to RB Wes Hills from a punt formation and moved the chains with a 24-yard rush. It may not have resulted in points on the scoreboard, but it may have given some hope to the Panthers for a potential comeback.

But the Brahmas showed no signs of slowing down with another trip to the end zone right before the break, creating a 16-0 lead at the half.

What followed was a couple of field goals and a much-too-late surge from Memphis that never truly threatened San Antonio’s lead. They put up a 41-yard touchdown with just over 3 minutes left and even converted the 4th-and-12 to regain possession, but it amounted to nothing as the Brahmas defense held up.

Michigan are now 2-2 while the Brahmas improved to 3-1 on the year.

D.C. Defenders 18 - 20 Birmingham Stallions

The Defenders took to Protective Stadium as underdogs for their Week 4 matchup in Birmingham.

Stallions may have been the favourites but it was far from smooth sailing. After recovering a fumble on the Defenders first drive, they looked set to take the lead, but then gave the ball straight back with a fumble on D.C.’s 9-yard line.

After the back and forth had settled, rising star and D.C. quarterback Jordan Ta'amu led a long drive to the end zone, finding WR Chris Rowland for 6.

The Stallions offense took their time to respond, but late into the second quarter QB Matt Corral and WR Amari Rodgers connected for one of the longest touchdowns we’ve seen so far.

Following a roughly 90 minute game delay due to lightning, they returned to the turf at 6-6 looking to settle the showdown and the Stallions were by far the sharper unit when things got underway.

On the very first play after the break, an errant snap on a Defenders punt led to 2 more points for Birmingham, which they then followed up with two field goals unanswered to make it a 6 point game.

Finally, Jordan Ta’amu linked up with WR Kelvin Harmon over the middle for another long score - this time going 45-yards to the end zone. D.C then followed up with a field goal to take a one-point lead midway through the fourth.

Finally, Jordan Ta’amu linked up with WR Kelvin Harmon over the middle for another long score - this time going 45-yards to the end zone. D.C then followed up with a field goal to take a one-point lead midway through the fourth.

3 more field goals followed to see the lead change hands multiple times throughout the fourth, but eventually, the Stallions proved why they were back-to-back champions in the USFL and came out on top with a 20-18 win.

So, despite D.C. putting up a good fight, Birmingham still remains undefeated this season.

Arlington Renegades 9 - 17 Houston Roughnecks

Sunday delivered a showdown between the only two winless teams left in the league - the Arlington Renegades and the Houston Roughnecks.

It was anyone’s game in the first quarter with the score just 3-3 after 15 minutes of football, but the Roughnecks managed to pull ahead just before the break with a touchdown and a 2-point conversion for an 11-3 lead.

After the half, Houston continued to pile on the pressure with their workhorse running back Mark Thompson leading the way to a 17-3 lead midway through the third.

The Renegades didn’t take long to reply as they cut the lead to 8 just a few minutes later, after a big-time catch from WR Deontay Burnett.

Houston then went on to miss a field goal, keeping Arlington’s hopes of a comeback alive and well. But in the end, the Roughnecks defense held up and kept Arlington from adding to the scoreboard for the whole of Q4, including this vital stop on a last second hail mary.

With Houston logging their first win of the season, they’ll need to keep this momentum rolling if they want to see the postseason. As for Arlington - at this rate they’ll need a miracle to see playoff football.

(Header Image Credit: Chris Day - The Commercial Appeal / USA TODAY NETWORK)