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 Memphis Showboats

Panthers Hold off Showboats, 24-18

May 18, 2024 - United Football League (UFL)
Memphis Showboats News Release


DETROIT - A three-yard Matthew Colburn touchdown midway through the fourth quarter lifted the Michigan Panthers (6-2) to a 24-18 victory over the Memphis Showboats (1-7) Saturday at Ford Field.

Former Michigan Panther Josh Love almost led the Showboats to a comeback victory against his former team. Love saw his first action of the season, entering the game with 13:42 left in the third quarter after starting quarterback Case Cookus left with an injury. Five plays and 34 yards later, Love found Daewood Davis for a 14-yard touchdown to pull the Showboats within three points, 18-15. That scoring drive keyed by a 39-yard strike from Cookus to Dee Anderson.

Following a missed Panther field goal, Memphis took over at its own 41-yard line with 5:28 left in the third period. Love was 6-of-9 for 35 yards, leading the Showboats all the way to the Michigan 19-yard line before the drive stalled. Matt Coghlin knocked through a 37-yard field goal with 11:55 left in the game to tie the contest at 18-18.

Michigan immediately responded. The Panthers drove 63 yards in seven plays behind 32 rushing yards for Colburn. The last three of those yards accounted for the touchdown that eventually proved to be the game-winner for Michigan. The Memphis offense gave up a pair of sacks on its next possession and was forced to punt. But the Showboats would never get the ball back, as Michigan was able to maintain possession and run out the clock.

It looked as though the game might be a shootout early on. Michigan went 60 yards in five plays on the opening possession of the game for a 6-0 lead when Cole Hikutini hauled in a 21-yard scoring strike from Brian Lewerke.

Not to be outdone, the Showboats needed just one play to respond. On Memphis' first offensive play of the game, Cookus found Davis down the right sideline for a 65-yard catch and run that resulted in a game-tying touchdown to make it 6-6 less than three minutes into the contest.

The Panthers jumped out to an 18-6 lead nearing halftime. After going on top 12-6 late in the first quarter, Michigan quarterback Bryce Perkins found Devin Gray over the middle. Gray split the Memphis defense down the middle and raced to the end zone to put his team up by 12. But Memphis cut the deficit with a quick drive and a 55-yard field goal from Coghlin that made it 18-9 at the intermission.

Cookus was 10-of-16 for 179 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Love finished 9-of-12 for 56 yards and 1 touchdown in relief. Davis recorded 86 yards and two scores on his three receptions. Darius Victory led the way for the Showboats on the ground with 33 yards on 11 carries. Lamont McPhatter paced the Showboats defense with 10 total tackles.

Colburn led the way for the Panthers, grinding out 93 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns on 24 carries. The two-quarterback attack of Michigan was led by Perkins' 7-of-9 for 106 yards and 1 touchdown. Gray paced the Panther receivers with six catches for 84 yards and a score.


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