Gamblers hand Stallions their first loss

The Birmingham Stallions’ winning streak in the United States Football League’s inaugural season came to an end Saturday night with a 17-15 loss to the Houston Gamblers.

The Gamblers, who boast some of the top defensive players in the USFL, forced a safety and intercepted a J’Mar Smith pass with about 1:22 remaining in the game.

Houston’s scoring mostly came on field goals and the safety, but the team took the lead early in the fourth quarter on a Kenji Bahar touchdown pass to Isaiah Zuber to make it 17-15.

Houston needed to play lockdown defense to keep Birmingham from scoring. Bahar finished 16-for-24 with 164 passing yards and the touchdown.

Tyler Palka led the Gamblers in receiving with six catches for 83 yards. Zuber added three catches for 31 yards and the score.

Gamblers’ defensive end Ahmad Gooden and defensive tackle Joey Ivie each sacked Smith.

For the Stallions, Smith was 28-for-41 with 260 passing yards, a touchdown pass and an interception.

Victor Bolden Jr. had eight catches for 74 yards, and Adrian Hardy had the lone touchdown catch from Smith.

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