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Anthony McFarland Leads San Antonio to UFL Championship Game, 17 Ex-Steelers to Compete for Title

Running back Anthony McFarland Jr. led San Antonio to the UFL championship game, where 17 former Steelers will compete for a title.

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Steelers Anthony McFarland
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Anthony McFarland against the San Francisco 49ers on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Sixteen  former members of the Pittsburgh Steelers will meet for a United Football League championship next Sunday. The Birmingham Stallions and San Antonio Brahmas both advanced during the league’s conference championship weekend to set up the UFL’s first championship game, which will be played this coming Sunday in St. Louis.

The league was former as a merger of the USFL and XFL, which each former league bringing four teams along to create an eight-team circuit. The San Antonio Brahmas defeating the St. Louis BattleHawks, the reigning XFL champs, 25-15 in St. Louis on Sunday. The Birmingham Stallions bested the Michigan Panthers, 31-18 in the USFL championship on Saturday.

San Antonio has nine former Steelers players, with several playing key roles in the Brahmas’ conference title win. Running back Anthony McFarland Jr., who was the Steelers’ fourth-round pick out of Maryland in 2020, has played a starring role on the San Antonio offense. McFarland rushed 11 times for 115 yards and a touchdown in the XFL championship, averaging 10.5 yards per carry. McFarland only played in five games for San Antonio this season, rushing 47 times for 192 yards and one score in the regular season.

Penn State running back John Lovett, who spent some time with the Steelers in training camp, added 83 yards on 18 carries.

Steelers Safety Scott Nelson

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Scott Nelson during OTAs on May 25, 2023. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Defensively, from Steelers safety Scott Nelson led the way with seven tackles. Outside linebacker Delontae Scott, guard Rashaad Coward, tight end Alize Mack, long snapper Rex Sunahara and punter Brad Wing are the other former Steelers on the Brahmas active roster. Cornerback Quincy Wilson is on the injured reserve list.

Birmingham, the reigning USFL champs, has eight former Steelers on its roster. Wide receiver Deon Cain, with the Steelers from 2019-20, has been a consistent producer on offense for Birmingham for two straight seasons. He caught three passes for 19 yards in the USFL title game against Michigan. Tight end Jace Sternberger added two catches for 48 yards in that contest.

USFL Steelers Deon Cain

Former Pittsburgh Steelers and current Birmingham Stallions WR Deon Cain after winning the USFL Championship Game MVP Award in Canton, Ohio on July 1, 2023. — Andre Swinton / Steelers Now

Safety Kenny Robinson had four tackles and nose tackle Carlos Davis and cornerback Madre Harper each had three. Other former Steelers on the Stallions include cornerbacks Mark Gilbert and Nevelle Clark, outside linebacker Taco Charlton and guard Derwin Gray. Former Steelers quarterback and Pittsburgh native Bruce Gradkowski is the St. Louis offensive coordinator.

Sunday’s championship game will kick off at 5 p.m. from The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis and will be broadcast on FOX.

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Edward Carmichael
Edward Carmichael
June 10, 2024 10:03 am

as a true Steelers fan,I hope Anthony McFarland wins it all in the U.F.L.