Chase Garbers Has Disappointing Performance in UFL Title Game

Former Cal quarterback Garbers and his Brahmas lose championship game to Birmingham
San Antonio Brahmas quarterback Chase Garbers
San Antonio Brahmas quarterback Chase Garbers / Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Garbers’ disappointing United Football League title game performance reached its low point late in the third quarter on Sunday.

The Birmingham Stallions were well on their way to a 25-0 victory over the San Antonio Brahmas when they held a 22-0 lead with less than two minutes left in the third quarter.  The Brahmas desperately needed a scoring drive at that point and faced a third-and-1 situation from the Birmingham 47-yard line. Garbers, a former Cal quarterback, seemed to have the first down in his pocket on a quarterback run around left end.  But then he opted to give himself up, sliding down a yard shy of the first down.

That move did not seem to sit well with some of his teammates, as Brahmas running back Anthony McFarland confronted Garbers with what appeared to be some angry comments.

"Yeah, I thought on third-and-1 I was past the line to gain," Garbers said. "I wasn't obviously. I've got to be more aware. That's on me. And then, you know, it's football, guys get heated at each other, emotional moments, nothing new."

Then after Garbers threw a completion for no gain on fourth down, he was replaced by Quentin Dormady, who was San Antonio’s quarterback for the entire fourth quarter.

Garbers’ statistics were not bad.  He started 9-for-10 and finished 18-for-26 for 116 yards and a 106.7 passer rating.  But the Brahmas did not come close to scoring in his three quarters as San Antonio’s quarterback.

It was a disappointing finish to the season for Garbers, who had been efficient in his first season in the XFL.  He sustained a left-wrist injury in the third game of the season and it was reported as a season-ending injury.  But he returned with two games left in the regular season, regained his starting quarterback job and led the Brahmas to victory over St. Louis in last week’s XFL Conference title game.

However, things were different on Sunday when the USFL conference champion Stallions handled the XFL conference champion Brahmas in the UFL championship game.

Dormady went 6-for-9 for 58 yards after replacing Garbers. Meanwhile, Birmingham quarterback Adrian Martinez, this year’s USFL MVP, started slowly but finished 13-for-23 for 98 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions and 106.7 passer rating.  He also rushed for 52 yards and two touchdowns.

Garbers will now set his sights on getting invited to a preseason NFL camp, hoping to catch on with a team. For most of the UFL season, Garbers looked like a guy who could be a quarterback on an NFL roster.

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Jake Curtis

JAKE CURTIS

Jake Curtis worked in the San Francisco Chronicle sports department for 27 years, covering virtually every sport, including numerous Final Fours, several college football national championship games, an NBA Finals, world championship boxing matches and a World Cup. He was a Cal beat writer for many of those years, and won awards for his feature stories.