Pittsburgh Maulers advance to USFL Championship Game with overtime win over Michigan Panther

The Cinderella glass slippers must fit well for the Pittsburgh Maulers.

A year after being the worst team in the USFL, and a month removed from a 2-6 start, the Maulers are one win away from winning a USFL Championship this season.

The Maulers defeated the Michigan Panthers 31-27 in overtime in the North Division Championship Game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Saturday evening.

The Maulers advance to this Saturday night's USFL title game to play either the Birmingham Stallions or New Orleans Breakers (they meet for the South Division title Sunday).

The Maulers (5-6) beat the Panthers (4-7) three times this year, but the playoff matchup was far different from the first two meetings.

After the Maulers allowed just seven points in each of those games, the Panthers put up 410 yards of total offense Saturday.

Costly penalties on the Panthers, though, offset that in a game featuring seven lead changes.

And In overtime, each team received alternating plays from the 2-yard line worth two points.

The Maulers were successful on their first two, stopping the Panthers each time on their ensuing attempts to secure the win.

Player of the Game: Maulers QB Troy Williams:   Williams stayed poised and precise the whole game. 

His numbers may not show as much compared to E.J. Perry, who threw for 370 yards and two touchdowns, but Williams scored when it counted.

He threw the ball 40 times and completed 23 for 201 yards and a touchdown.

Trailing 24-20, Williams connected to Ishmael Hyman on a 6-yard TD pass to regain the lead with 39 seconds left in regulation.

After the Panthers hit a field goal to force overtime, Williams threw for one two-point conversion and ran for another to help the Maulers win.


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