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 Memphis Showboats

Memphis Showboats Game Notes vs. San Antonio Brahmas

April 2, 2024 - United Football League (UFL)
Memphis Showboats News Release

The Memphis Showboats and San Antonio Brahmas will both look to remain undefeated this week, as both won their United Football League opener last week.

Memphis is coming off an 18-12 win on the road in Houston, while San Antonio defended the Alamodome with a 27-12 victory over D.C.

The Brahmas' defense comes into the game without allowing a touchdown in the opener. San Antonio was able to defeat D.C. by holding the Defenders to four field goals and an 0-for-3 mark on red zone trips.

San Antonio racked up 270 yards of offense in the contest and hit on a 40-yard touchdown pass from punter Brad Wing to offensive lineman Alex Mollette just before halftime.

Saturday's game is slated for an 11 a.m. CT kickoff and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN and ESPN+.

The Memphis radio broadcast will be heard on News Talk 98.9, with Eli Savoie, Russell Copeland and Tyler Springs on the call.


Starting quarterback Case Cookus' nickname is The Chef. He cooked up a little something Sunday in Houston.

Cookus finished the game at Houston 23-of-40 for 204 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He was also the team's leading rusher, toting the rock four times for 16 yards.


- Darius Victor was the 2022 USFL Offensive Player of the Year, an All-USFL selection and led the league in rushing touchdowns. He rushed for 477 yards and nine touchdowns in 2022 for the New Jersey Generals. While his touchdown total went down in 2023, he rushed for 551 yards last season and his yards per carry was up nearly one full yard. In 2022, he averaged 4.54 yards per carry and that average increased to 5.51 last season.

- Titus Swen and Darius Victor have an interesting shared background. Both were refugees of Civil War-torn Liberia in their youth. Both found their way to the U.S., picked up football, became running backs and now share the same locker room.

- Trey Williams and Victor provided a solid 1-2 punch out of the backfield for the Generals last season and will look to bring that same mentality to the Showboats this season. Williams averaged 5.86 yards per carry with two touchdowns last season in New Jersey. Williams and Victor were teammates for the past two seasons with the Generals.

- Swen had one reception in last week's game, but it was a big one. Facing a 3rd-and-4 at the Houston 47 with less than four minutes remaining, Swen took a swing pass to the left and looked for the sticks. He lowered his shoulder and powered past the first- down marker in a big collision with the Roughnecks' Colby Richardson. The initial first down of the possession allowed Memphis to control the ball and run the clock under one minute left in the game.


- All three of the Showboats quarterbacks have starting experience in the USFL. Case Cookus was a two-year starter for the Philadelphia Stars. Josh Love started nine games for the Michigan Panthers last season. Troy Williams started eight games for the Pittsburgh Maulers last season. No other UFL team can boast that amount of USFL/XFL starting experience among its top three quarterbacks.

- Case Cookus ranked No. 2 in the USFL in passing yards last season, throwing for 2,433 yards, while playing for the Philadelphia Stars. He also passed for 14 touchdowns, which ranked No. 3 in the league.

- Josh Love passed for 1,556 yards and 13 touchdowns with 13 interceptions for the Michigan Panthers last season.

- Troy Williams was one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the USFL last season. He passed for 1,414 yards and six touchdowns, while rushing for 341 yards and three scores for the Pittsburgh Maulers.


While the Showboats' running game produced just 34 yards last week, running back Darius Victor contributed in the passing game.

Memphis' starting running back carried the ball 10 times for 3 yards last week. But he ranked second on the team with five receptions for 33 yards. Victor's reception total was more than any member of the Roughnecks in the contest.


Vinny Papale made what was easily the top highlight-reel catch of the week for the Showboats, scoring Memphis' only offensive touchdown of the game.

With Memphis leading 9-0 midway through the second quarter, the Showboats were driving. But the possession looked as though it might stall out in the red zone. On 3rd-and-8 from the Houston 11-yard line, QB Case Cookus dropped back to pass and zipped it toward Papale in the back of the end zone.

With his back to the line of scrimmage, Papale pulled it in over his right shoulder, while dragging his feet just inches from the end line for the touchdown that ended up providing the winning margin for Memphis. He finished with four catches for 36 yards.


- Jonathan Adams ranked No. 6 in the USFL in receiving yards last season, playing under John DeFilippo with the New Orleans Breakers. Adams hauled in 41 receptions for 511 yards and 2 touchdowns. Adams posted a game-best 49 yards receiving on four catches in last week's win over Houston.

- Vinny Papale was the Showboats' leading receiver last season, catching 33 balls for 345 yards and three scores. He was also an All-USFL selection as a Special Teams Player. And yes, if you recognize his name, his father is Vince Papale, the subject of the movie Invincible.

- Daewood Davis caught a game-best seven balls last week at Houston, going for 43 yards. He was targeted 10 times. Davis also added one carry for 15 yards on a jet sweep.


- Sage Surratt was the top-ranked tight end in the USFL in both receptions and receiving yards last season. He hauled in 50 receptions for 552 yards. His reception total was No. 2 in the league among all receivers, while his receiving yards ranked No. 3 among all receivers. He did all that under John DeFilippo with the Breakers.

- Jay Jay Wilson returns to the Showboats after catching 16 balls for 170 yards and a score last season.

- Wes Saxton comes to the Showboats after playing for the New Jersey Generals in both 2022 and 2023.

- Saxton iced the victory for the Showboats vs. Houston last week, making a play on special teams. He recovered a muffed punt with less than a minute left, allowing Memphis to run out the clock and secure the win.


- Jarron Jones returns to the Showboats as a two-time All-USFL selection for the franchise. He earned that honor with the Tampa Bay Bandits in 2022, before the franchise became the Memphis Showboats.

- Jared Thomas was a 2022 All-USFL selection with New Orleans and played for the XFL Seattle Sea Dragons last season..

- Terry Poole got the start at left tackle last week in Houston, while Darrin Paulo got the nod at left guard. Thomas was the starting center, while Alec Lindstrom (guard) and Jarron Jones (tackle) manned the right side of the offensive line.

- The Showboats' offensive line allowed just three sacks last week, that was the fourth-best total of the week in the United Football League.


Tight end Sage Surratt pulled in two receptions for 38 yards Sunday at Houston. His 33-yard reception in the second quarter was the longest of the game for either team and helped set up the Showboats' lone offensive touchdown of the game.


- John Atkins Sr. returns to anchor the defensive line for the Showboats. He was a 2023 All-USFL selection, recording 29 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Atkins has been with the franchise since 2022, when it was the Tampa Bay Bandits. Atkins tallied a pair of tackles in last week's win at Houston.

- Tyshun Render scored a solo tackle and also got a hand on a punt in the win over Houston last week.

- Josiah Bronson got on the stat sheet with a solo tackle last week vs. the Roughnecks.


Dillon Faamatau led the way on the defensive line for the Showboats last week in Houston.

He recorded two solo tackles, a tackle for loss and recovered a fumble that was one of three takeaways for the Memphis defense.


Outside linebacker Greg Reaves was a one-man wrecking crew against the Houston Roughnecks.

Reaves recorded three solo tackles, two sacks (including one that forced a fumble and turnover) and a tackle for loss against Houston last week. Reaves and Michigan's Daniel Wise were the only players with multiple sacks in Week One of the UFL.


- Christian McFarland and Kyree Woods teamed up to produce a defensive score (see note above). In addition, both Woods and McFarland led the secondary with three solo stops apiece.

- McFarland comes to the Showboats after two seasons with the Birmingham Stallions, where he racked up 98 total tackles in two seasons.

- Quenton Meeks returns to the 'Boats after posting 21 stops and 1 INT last year. He played for both New Orleans and Tampa Bay in the USFL's 2022 season.

- T.J. Green returns to the Memphis secondary. He tallied 21 tackles last season and his lone interception of the season secured a win over Houston on May 28, 2023.

- Meeks and Green both tallied a pair of tackles in last week's victory.


- Head coach John DeFilippo is very familiar with his specialists. The Showboats' new head coach brought his kicker, punter and long snapper over with him from the New Orleans Breakers. Matt Coghlin will handle the placekicking duties, while Matthew White will punt and hold for placekicks. Turner Bernard is the long snapper.

- Coghlin made 18-of-19 field goal attempts last season for New Orleans. He was 6-of- 6 from 40-49 yards and did not miss a field goal of less than 50 yards. He was 2-of-3 last week at Houston, with his lone miss coming from 56 yards.

- White averaged 44.9 yards per punt last season for the Breakers, ranking No. 4 in the USFL. He averaged 34.5 yards per punt last week at Houston with a long of 49 yards.

His other punt was a short, high kick with less than a minute left that was muffed by the Roughnecks in the final minute of the game and recovered by the Showboats.


The Showboats have announced their captains for the 2024 season, as determined by a team vote. The 2024 Memphis Showboats captains are:

- DL John Atkins Sr.

- QB Case Cookus

- DB Jarey Elder

- RB Darius Victor

- P Matt White


- T.J. Neal topped the stat sheet for the Showboats defense last week with four solo stops vs. the Roughnecks. Neal has been with the franchise for three seasons now. He was on the team in 2022 as part of the Tampa Bay Bandits, as well.

- Malik Lawal recorded three solo stops, teaming up with Neal as the starters at inside linebacker for the Showboats.

- Reaves ranked No. 7 in the USFL with 4.5 sacks last season for the Showboats and he nearly doubled that production in his first game this season. He's also in his third year with the franchise, starting with the Bandits.

- Maximillian Roberts didn't get the start Sunday against Houston. But he maximized his time from his outside linebacker spot, tallying two tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss.


The Memphis Showboats produced the only defensive touchdown of Week One in the UFL. Kyree Woods forced a fumble by Isiah Hennie (photo above), that was scooped by Christian McFarland and returned for a touchdown.

Woods also recorded three solo tackles in the contest.


Memphis dominated time of possession against Houston last week. The Showboats held the ball for 39:32, allowing Houston just 20:28 of possession time.

Memphis' opening possession of the season took 10:29 off the clock and resulted in a field goal. The Showboats also had possessions of 7:57, 7:58, 5:02 and 4:54 in last week's win over the Roughnecks.


The Showboats played complementary football when it came to third-down conversions last week.

Memphis converted 9-of-15 third-down opportunities (60 percent). Meanwhile the Showboats' defense held Houston to just 3-of-8 (37.5 percent) on third down.

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