By R.L. Bynum
Coach Larry Fedora’s New Orleans Breakers and tight end Bug Howard’s Philadelphia Stars earned berths in the four-team United States Football League playoffs but both teams lost last weekend to finish their regular seasons 6–4.
Former UNC wide receiver Anthony Ratliff-Williams had two catches for 19 yards Sunday for Houston as the Gamblers knocked off New Orleans 20–3. Philadelphia dropped a 26–23 game Saturday to the New Jersey Generals despite Howard (top photo) collecting five catches off of six targets for 101 yards.
New Orleans and Philadelphia each get a chance to avenge two regular-season losses in this weekend’s USFL semifinals against teams that finished the regular season 9–1. After the entire regular season was played in Birmingham, Ala., all three playoff games will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
In the North Division final, the Stars face the Generals at 3 p.m. Saturday (Fox), with the Breakers meeting the Birmingham Stallions in the South Division final at 8 p.m. Saturday (NBC). The winners meet at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 3 for the championship (Fox).
Unlike when the Stallions narrowly swept the two regular-season games from the Breakers, they won’t get the home-field advantage of playing in Birmingham. The Stallions, coached by Skip Holtz, won 22–13 in Week 3 in a battle of 2–0 teams and 10–9 in Week 9 on June 4.
The Breakers released former UNC running back T.J. Logan on May 6 following their first loss to Birmingham, after he ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries in three games. He had eight catches for 67 yards.
In addition to losing to New Jersey last weekend, Philadelphia also lost to New Jersey 24–16 in Week 3.
Howard, who had a 40-yard reception Saturday, finished the regular season seventh in the league in receiving yards with 371 on 28 catches off of 44 targets for four touchdowns.
Ratliff-Williams finished the season with 28 catches on 42 targets for 243 yards and one touchdown for the 3–7 Gamblers.
Photo via @USFLStars