Panthers fall 19-9 to Brahmas in first road game of the season

Michigan Panthers

April 20, 2024 – United Football League (UFL)
Michigan Panthers news item

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – It was too little too late for the Michigan Panthers against the San Antonio Brahmas, who lost 19-9 on Saturday at the Alamodome. Michigan falls to .500 with a 2-2 record, but the Panthers remain second in the USFL Conference.

Michigan was in a hole for most of the first half, falling behind the Brahmas 16-0 to open the game.

In the early stages of the second frame, safety Kendrick Whitehead Jr. Brahmas quarterback Quinten Dormandy on a run trying to get the first down. This forced San Antonio to punt, in an attempt to instill some confidence in the Michigan squad.

Michigan went three-and-out on the ensuing drive, but they got tough and converted a fake punt from their own 36-yard line with a 24-yard Wes Hills run. This was the spark the Panthers needed as they continued to push toward the end zone.

The promising drive came to an abrupt end when quarterback EJ Perry was sacked by Tim Ward, causing a fumble that was recovered by San Antonio.

The Panthers defense stepped up to get the ball back, as safety Kai Nacua cut off a go route for an interception on their own one-yard line and was tackled in the end zone for a touchback. Perry and Co. couldn’t do anything for the offense with the gift and scored on a three-and-out.

San Antonio continued with another touchdown to extend their lead before halftime.

With 22 seconds left in the half, Michigan entered Jake Bates territory with a Perry completion to Trey Quinn for 18 yards and a Perry scramble for 17 yards. Bates came in and made a 49-yard field goal, putting the Panthers on the board and ending the half on a positive note.

Neither side scored points in the third quarter. Midway through the frame, Perry retired after a run with a non-contact injury. He did not return and Danny Etling took over under center for the rest of the match.

Etling got off to a good start, throwing for 18 yards on his first two passing attempts to Hills and Jordan Suell before the end of the quarter. With 7:49 left in the fourth quarter, Etling lost a fumble after taking a hit from Jordan Mosely. The Brahmas turned the takeaway into a 36-yard Santoso field goal to essentially put the game on ice.

Etling made his best throw of the night with a 42-yard bomb to Marcus Simms for their first touchdown of the game with 3:19 to go. The Panthers were unable to get two points and trailed 19-9.

Etling opted for the alternate kickoff of 4th and 12 and found Siaosi Mariner for 14 yards. The Brahmas defense killed Michigan’s momentum with a 16-yard sack after the two-minute warning. Facing 4th-and-20, Etling’s desperation rush was intercepted by Mosely.

Perry was 7 of 13 for 77 yards on the night. Etling in relief was 11 of 14 for 105 yards, one touchdown and one interception. San Antonio’s Dormandy made his first UFL start and completed 23 of 37 passes for 269 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Perry was the team’s leading rusher with 49 yards on four attempts. Lovett was the leading rusher for the Brahmas with 35 yards and a touchdown on 13 attempts.

The leading receiver for Michigan was Simms with 4 receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown. Justin Smith caught 7 balls for 107 yards for San Antonio.

The Panthers (2-2) will be on the road again in Week 5 when they meet the Memphis Showboats (1-3) next Sunday at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 PM ET on FOX. The Brahmas (3-1) will face the Arlington Renegades (0-3) on the road, with kickoff scheduled for 7:00 PM ET.


– Safety Kai Nacua recorded his second interception in as many games for the Panthers and leads the team with two interceptions this season.

– Wide Receiver Marcus Simms posted his third 40+ yard touchdown of the season and scored in three straight games for Michigan.

– For the third straight game, quarterback EJ Perry led the team in rushing with 49 yards.

– Kicker Jake Bates remained perfect on the season, going 6-for-6, connecting on his lone attempt against San Antonio from 49 yards.

– After not allowing a sack against Houston, Michigan allowed six sacks against San Antonio, the second most sacks allowed by the team this year.

– Michigan’s three points allowed in the second half is tied for the fewest points the team has allowed in a half this season, which the Panthers have now done three times in four games (vs. St. Louis in the first half, vs. Birmingham in the second half and at San Antonio in the second half).

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