Case Cookus was caught checking his teeth after sustaining a hit during Sunday’s USFL Championship Game. When asked about it, the Philadelphia Stars’ quarterback said, “I’ve got my wedding coming up in a couple of days; didn’t want my fiancee to kill me.”
Cookus’ teeth remained in tact throughout the game, but unfortunately for Cookus, his team and his bride to be, he was not able to leave the game unscathed. With the Stars leading the Birmingham Stallions with 8:25 remaining, Cookus was carted off the field after being sacked by defensive end Dondrea Tillman. Cookus then had to watch as the Stars fell behind and ended up on the wrong end of a 33-30 final score.
Initially reported as a knee injury, Cookus actually suffered a broken bone in his leg. The injury took place 11 days before his wedding, which is set to take place on July 14.
While his season ended on a sour note, Cookus enjoyed way more ups than downs during his first season as the Stars’ quarterback. After a 2-3 start, Cookus helped Philadelphia win five of its final six games entering Sunday’s championship game. Trailing 20-9 at halftime on Sunday night, Cookus directed consecutive scoring drives as the Stars pulled ahead of the Stallions with 11:18 left.
Philadelphia appeared to be in command of the game after coming up with an interception on Birmingham’s ensuing possession. But Cookus’ absence shifted the game’s momentum, as the Stallions scored two touchdowns in 13 seconds to take a 33-23 lead.
The Stars, with backup QB KJ Costello in for Cookus, were able to make it a one possession game with 1:47 left. But a missed conversion attempt after their touchdowns, along with a last-minute interception by the Stallions’ defense, ended the Stars’ comeback bid.
Based on his comments following Sunday’s game, Cookus is not letting last night’s sequence of events quell his spirit.
“Wasn’t the way we wanted to go out but I am so proud of what this team did this year!” Cookus wrote via Twitter on Sunday night. “Thank you for the support!”