Former New Orleans Saints Coach Wade Phillips Wins XFL Conference Championship, Heads To UFL Championship Game

The former New Orleans Saints interim head coach will have his team play for the inaugural UFL Championship title!
Wade Phillips
Wade Phillips / Fox Sports

Wade Phillips, former New Orleans Saints interim head coach, will lead the San Antonio Brahmas to play against the Birmingham Stallions for the 2024 United Football League Championship on Sunday, June 16.

The San Antonio Brahmas defeated the St. Louis Battlehawks 28-15 in St. Louis at The Dome at America's Center to take home the 2024 XFL Conference title.

"It's a team effort," Phillips said about the victory. "That's why we play football. It's to play as a team. So our guys really did that. I'm proud of them."

The critical factor in the game was San Antonio's effective rushing attack against the St. Louis defense, which gained 213 yards on the ground. Running back Anthony McFarland led the rushing attack with 115 yards on 11 carries, averaging 10.5 yards per carry and scoring a touchdown.

RB John Lovett gained 83 yards on 18 rushes, averaging 4.6 yards per attempt. Quarterback Chase Garber had a steady performance, connecting on 15 of 21 passes for 197 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.

Last season, Phillips coached the Houston Roughnecks to the one game of playing in the XFL Championship against the D.C. Defenders. He took over the San Antonio team with a 7-3 record and second place in the XFL Conference after the Brahmas posted a 3-7 record under former coach Hines Ward.

Phillips lauded the defensive performance, which created two turnovers while limiting a potent Battlehawks offense with quarterback AJ McCarron to 239 total yards and one touchdown. "Over the last three games, we've held our opponents to 9 points, 13 points, and 9 again. That's a display of big-time defense, and it's what sets us apart."

Defensive back Teez Tabor had six tackles and one pass defended. Ex-Saints defensive lineman Prince Emili pounded Battlehawks players with five tackles, two sacks, and two tackles for losses. His final sack in the fourth quarter halted a St. Louis drive, forcing a kick that missed to the right. Beckett forced one fumble, and Tabor had the recovery.

AJ McCarron completed 19 of 29 passes for 179 yards and one touchdown. Jacob Saylors led the Battlehawks with 14 carries for 79 yards.

On Sunday, June 16, the Brahmas will return to St. Louis to face the Stallions for the opportunity to lift the inaugural UFL Championship Trophy at The Dome at America's Center.

Kyle T. Mosley