Philadelphia Stars Holdoff Memphis Showboats in 2023 USFL Season Opener

Apr 15, 2023; Memphis, TN, USA; Philadelphia Stars quarterback Case Cookus (10) passes the ball during the first half against the Memphis Showboats at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Stars returned to the gridiron on Saturday afternoon in Memphis, TN looking to build off of their 2022 season which ended with a loss in the USFL Championship Game. The Stars kicked off the season against the returning Memphis Showboats, who returned to the league replacing the Tampa Bay Bandits, and did so with their starting quarterback back in the fold.  

Case Cookus returned to the Stars’ lineup after suffering a broken leg in the 2022 title game loss to Birmingham.  The 27-year-old Northern Arizona product went 20-for-29 for 212-yards and three touchdowns.  Cookus connected with WR’s Chris Rowland, Matt Colburn II, and Devin Gray for the touchdowns, respectively.  

On the ground, the Stars were led by Cookus who rushed seven times for 31-yards with a long of 12-yards.  Philadelphia running back Dexter Williams scored on the ground from 12-yards out in the waning moments of the first half to give the Stars a 20-7 lead.  

Memphis mounted a rally scoring 10 unanswered points to close the gap to 20-17 in the 3rd quarter.  The Stars countered with Cookus’s touchdown to Gray in the final seconds of the third frame.  

Memphis closed the gap to 27-23 mid-way through the 4th quarter.  The Showboats were driving in the final minute of the game before the Stars defense held on a 4th and 5 with :34 remaining in regulation. 

The Stars move to 1-0 with the season opening victory. The Stars will hit the road for next week’s contest, they will travel to the Canton, OH hub to take on the Michigan Panthers. Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM/EDT on Sunday, April 23 from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Philadelphia Stars7137027
Memphis Showboats737623
Game Played at Liberty Bowl in Memphis, TN

Player of the Game

PHI QB Case Cookus: 20/29, 212 YDS, 3 TD, 69.0%, 124.5 QBR

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