The second ever contest in the inaugural season of the United States Football League was anything but boring, as the Houston Gamblers held off the Michigan Panthers in a game marred by rainy weather and turnovers.
Houston would strike first with a Nick Vogel field goal, shortly before the Gamblers defense begun taking advantage of what would be the first of three Panthers turnovers on the afternoon. Reggie Northrup would pick up a fumble on a botched Michigan play and return it 90 yards for their first touchdown of the season. The Gamblers would then convert a two point conversion to take an 11-0 league.
The second fumble by the Panthers would once again set up Houston for a score when Clayton Thorson floated a pass to Isaiah Zuber in the back of the end zone for a 17-0 lead.
That would be enough for Houston to win, but the Panthers would come out and score 12 unanswered points in the second half and make the game competitive in the final stretch of a losing effort with a final score of 17-12.
Defense and turnovers would be the difference maker here with the Panthers actually outplaying the Gamblers on the offensive side of the ball with 363 total yards compared to just 174 yards from Houston.
As the noon est kick off time approached, a rain delay kept the players off the field, postponing the contest and causing NBC to reair last night’s contest between the New Jersey Generals and Birmingham Stallions.
Next, the Panthers will take on the Generals on Friday next in a game that will be televised on USA. The Gamblers will challenge the Stallions on Saturday night with their contest airing on FS1.
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