Ex-Lions Victor Bolden Jr. and Bo Scarbrough lead Birmingham to USFL title game win

SideLion Report

Two former Detroit Lions, Victor Bolden Jr. and Bo Scarbrough, led Birmingham past Philadelphia in the first championship game of the new USFL.

As the home team in the first year of the new USFL, with all regular season games in Birmingham, Alabama, the Birmingham Stallions were also last undefeated team in the league as they went 9-1 during the regular season. A win in the championship game against the Philadelphia Stars would be the only fitting ending for the best team in the league all season.

The Stallions indeed beat the Stars on Sunday night, 33-30. Two former Detroit Lions played integral roles in the win for Birmingham.

Wide receiver Victor Bolden Jr. was selected the game’s MVP, as he caught six passes for 64 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown with 3:16 left in the game.  Running back Bo Scarbrough had 135 yards on 13 carries, highlighted by a 36-yard touchdown run and later a long run of 70 yards that set up a field goal to widen Birmingham’s halftime lead.

Bolden Jr. led the USFL with 1,209 all-purpose yards during the regular season–618 kickoff return yards (fourth in the league), 415 receiving yards (on 42 catches; third in the league) and 176 punt return yards.

Two former Lions took advantage of a chance in the USFL

Bolden Jr. previously spent five years (2017-2021) in the NFL moving from team to team as a practice squad player, including 2019, 2020 and 2021 with the Lions. He has seen regular season action in two seasons (2017 and 2018), with 2017 as a member of the San Francisco 49ers (23 combined kickoff and punt returns in nine games) his most productive run. Before the 2018 season started, he was suspended the first four games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

Scarbrough played in just six regular season games for the Stallions, after signing late, but he finished 10th in the league in rushing with 352 yards. In Week 6, the University of Alabama product won USFL Offensive Player of the Week.

Scarborough started five games for the Lions in 2019 and ran for 377 yards on 89 carries over six total appearances (five starts). He was eventually waived in 2020, after a stint on IR and after the Lions had signed Adrian Peterson.

Via John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, Fox Sports CEO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks confirmed the USFL will be back in 2023. There are also plans to play regular season games somewhere other than Birmingham, in at least one other market and possibly up to three other markets.

All in all, the new edition of the USFL can say it had a pretty successful first season. But spring football competition is coming in the form of XFL 3.0 in 2023.

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