With three regular-season games to go, the New Jersey Generals are already a playoff team.
The Generals became the first USFL team to clinch a postseason spot this season with a victory over the Tampa Bay Bandits on Saturday, and they needed a dramatic late defensive stand to do so.
The Generals (6-1) have won six games in a row, while the Bandits (3-4) have lost three of their last four.
Here are the top plays from Saturday’s game.
Darius Victor got New Jersey going early with some hard running on a first-quarter drive.
A few plays later, KaVontae Turpin took a short pass from Perez and showed off some fancy footwork on his way to the end zone, making it 7-0.
The Bandits responded with a nice play of their own, converting a fourth-and-3 thanks to some sweet hands by tight end Corbin Kaufusi, who rumbled 32 yards on the play. Tampa Bay would settle for a field goal on the drive.
The Generals put together another impressive drive in the second quarter, marching 71 yards in 11 plays. Victor capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown plunge, his league-leading sixth rushing TD of the season.
As the first half wound down, the Generals would add a field goal to make it 17-3. The scoring drive was sparked in part by some running by Victor that was both ferocious and fearless.
The Generals’ defense continued to cause problems for Bandits QB Jordan Ta’amu. When Shalom Luani picked him off in the third quarter, it was not only Luani’s fourth pick of the season but the Generals’ third interception of the game.
The Bandits weren’t about to fold, though, and pulled within a score at 20-13 in the fourth quarter. Ta’amu hit hideout John Franklin on a beautiful 20-yard pass for the touchdown.
The Bandits made a late run at potentially tying or winning the game, driving all the way to New Jersey’s 11-yard line. But the Generals’ defense held firm.
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