Birmingham Stallions defeat San Antonio Brahmas in UFL championship game

The Birmingham Stallions' Willie Yarbary holds his champions t-shirt after the team defeated the San Antonio Brahmas to win the UFL championship.
The Birmingham Stallions' Willie Yarbary holds his champions t-shirt after the team defeated the San Antonio Brahmas to win the UFL championship.

Birmingham is home to a football dynasty.

The Birmingham Stallions shut out the San Antonio Brahmas, 25-0, on Sunday to win the UFL championship.

With the victory, the Stallions have won three consecutive spring football championships, as they won the USFL in 2022 and 2023 before the league merged with the XFL this season. Coach Skip Holtz, "the King of Spring," has now led Birmingham to a title with three different starting quarterbacks in three years: J'Mar Smith in 2022, Alex McGough in 2023 and Adrian Martinez in 2024.

Martinez, the UFL MVP, was also named the UFL championship game MVP. Martinez went 13-for-23 passing for 98 yards and a touchdown and added 54 rushing yards with two rushing touchdowns. NFL legend Tom Brady presented Martinez with the championship MVP trophy after the game.

Here are more takeaways from the Stallions' victory over the Brahmas in the UFL championship game:

Stallions overcome slow start

It was a defensive struggle in the early going of the UFL championship. Both offenses looked sloppy with poor play calling and penalties leading to eight punts in the first half.

Birmingham finally got some offense going in the late second quarter. Ricky Person Jr. broke through for a 44-yard rush to get the Stallions into Brahmas territory for the first time. A defensive pass interference call set up the Stallions in the red zone, and Martinez finished the drive with a four-yard strike to Gary Jennings with 40 seconds left in the half. Martinez found Amari Rodgers for the two-point conversion to make it 8-0.

The Stallions put two quick touchdowns on the board to start the second half. Martinez led an efficient four-minute drive that he capped off with an 11-yard touchdown run to start the half. He found tight end Jordan Thomas for the two-point conversion.

On San Antonio's first play of the subsequent drive, wide receiver Jontre Kirklin fumbled the ball away. Birmingham got the ball back at the 19-yard line, and Martinez scored a second rushing touchdown on a QB sneak that made it 22-0.

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Birmingham defense smothers San Antonio

The championship was a matchup of the league's two best defenses. The Brahmas led the league by allowing 15.3 points and 256.7 yards per game, but the Stallions finished second in both statistics, allowing 18 points per game with 259.5 yards per game. San Antonio led the league with 32 sacks, while Birmingham led the league with 32 takeaways.

In the title game, the Stallions' defense prevailed, dominating the Brahmas' offense from start to finish to pitch the first shutout of the UFL season. San Antonio was limited to 208 total yards. It had just 52 rushing yards after running for 213 in last week's XFL conference championship. The Brahmas averaged just 3.3 yards per rush and 6.5 yards per completion. They fumbled three times, losing two of them.

Kyahva Tezino has huge game

Linebacker Kyahva Tezino had a phenomenal game for the Stallions. The San Diego State product led the team with nine total tackles (six solo, three assisted) and forced two fumbles, recovering one.

The two forced fumbles came on back-to-back defensive snaps with halftime in between. The forced fumble and recovery came on the final play of the second half when Tezino ripped the ball away from Calvin Turner and fell on it to end the half. On San Antonio's first offensive play of the second half, Tezino punched the ball away from Kirklin to set the Stallions up inside the red zone.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: UFL championship 2024: Birmingham Stallions defeat San Antonio Brahmas