Cannella, Gates and Alexander Named OurSports Central USFL Players of the Week

by Fran Stuchbury
June 27, 2022 - United States Football League (USFL) - Philadelphia Stars

New Orleans Breakers tight end Sal Cannella, Birmingham Stallions linebacker DeMarquis Gates and Philadelphia Stars wide receiver Maurice Alexander were named the OurSports Central United States Football League Offensive Player, Defensive Player and Unsung Hero of the Week, respectively, for the playoff semifinals.

Cannella finished with 12 receptions for 154 yards, and 16 targets in the Breakers' 31-17 loss to the Birmingham Stallions. His longest reception went for 25 yards.

Cannella played college football at Auburn from 2017 until 2019. He was selected by the New Orleans Breakers in the the 34th round of the 2022 USFL Draft.

Here is his 12th and final reception of the game:

Gates ended the game with six tackles, five of them solo, one tackle for a loss, one pass deflected and one interception returned 71 yards for a touchdown in Birmingham's victory over New Orleans.

Gates played college football at Hampton before catching on with the Alliance of American Football's Memphis Express in 2019 where he led the Express with 62.5 total tackles. In 2020 he played for the XFL's Houston Roughnecks. Gates was selected by the Birmingham Stallions in the 29th round of the 2022 USFL Draft.

Here's Gate's interception that he returned 71-yards for a score in the second quarter, giving the Stallions a 14-7 lead:

With Philadelphia struggling to score despite numerous red-zone opportunities, Stars wide receiver Maurice Alexander tried a different approach, returning a punt 87 yards for the game-winning touchdown with under two minutes remaining. He also contributed three kick returns for 77 yards in Philadelphia's victory.

Alexander played college football at Florida International where he was named First-Team Conference USA Football All-Conference in 2018. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Stars in 17th round of the 2022 USFL Draft.

Alexander's punt return proved to be the game-winner:

An honorable mention goes to Philadelphia Stars cornerback Amani Dennis. With the New Jersey Generals driving down the field needing a touchdown to win the game, Dennis intercepted Generals quarterback Luis Perez with 30 seconds left to seal the victory for Philadelphia.

Dennis played college football at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He spent the 2020 season with the Generals of The Spring League before being selected in the fourth round of the 2022 USFL Supplemental Draft by the Philadelphia Stars.

Dennis' interception ended New Jersey's nine-game winning streak and sent the Philadelphia Stars to the USFL Championship:

Previous Winners

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

• Discuss this story on the United States Football League message board...

United States Football League Stories from June 27, 2022

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

OurSports Central