MEMPHIS, TN (WBRC) - What appeared to be a likely Iron win turned to defeat Sunday almost too quick to realize what happened.
Birmingham fell to Memphis 31-25 after late score in regulation by the Express forced overtime.
Luis Perez led the Iron (4-3) offense with 235 passing yards on 16 of 37 attempts, adding two touchdowns and 27 yards on the ground. Amba Etta-Tawo caught three passes for a team-high 71 yards. Quinton Patton had 46 receiving yards and a score. Trent Richardson rushed for a team-high 76 yards and scored a touchdown.
Quarterback Brandon Silvers was the hero for Memphis (2-5), despite the Express recently signing former Texas A&M, NFL and CFL QB Johnny Manziel. It was Silvers that led the offense on a 2-minute drill down 25-17, finding Ryan Horn for the score and Brandon Barnes on the 2-point conversion to tie the game with 24 seconds remaining. In overtime, following three incompletions and a sack for the Iron, Silvers connected with Daniel Williams on the Express’ second play for the 10-yard game-winner.
Silvers threw for 266 yards and the two scores on 24 of 35 passing.
The loss could cause some concerns for Birmingham’s playoff hopes. With Orlando (6-1) and Arizona (4-3) as two of the Iron’s three final opponents, Sunday’s game against Atlanta (2-5) is likely a must-win. The top two teams in the East division make the playoffs, with Memphis and Atlanta trailing Birmingham and Orlando’s spot already clinched.