NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Former Southeastern Louisiana University quarterback, Cole Kelly, has now made three starts in the USFL. The last two have resulted in victories.

After an 0-3 start to their season, the Memphis Showboats are quickly rising up the power rankings and the former Walter Payton Award winner has had a big part to play in the movement.

“We’ve put in a lot of hard work, week in and week out, since the first day that we got here. Our first three games, we weren’t awarded for that hard work and it’s tough, but, you know, we just kept working man. We put our head down and kept working and it’s starting to pay off. We’ve just got to keep building off of that,” says Memphis Showboats quarterback Cole Kelley.

Sunday, Kelley and the Showboats defeated the New Orleans Breakers 17-10. The Breakers entered the week a perfect 4-0, atop the USFL power rankings.

“It was a big win, partially because the team was undefeated and, you know, number one in this league. Also partially because, you know, we started 0-3. So, we don’t really have much more room for error. You know, every game is a must-win now,” says Kelley.

On 3rd & 5 in the red zone with 3 minutes left in regulation, Kelley took a big hit but managed to deliver a 13-yard strike for the first down to Jay Jay Wilson. That play would set up the eventual go-ahead touchdown pass to tight end John Mitchell.

“It’s a split-second thing. So, I don’t think too much of it. A lot of times I don’t even see the rush, I just kind of feel it naturally, but that’s one of the good things about my size. When they come in with their hands up, usually I can get the ball over them and out before they get me to the ground. So, it was just a really fortunate play and it was a really great drive,” says Kelley.

Cole Kelley would finish Sunday’s contest 24 of 36 passing for 224 yards and the game-winning score.

In three starts, Kelley has eclipsed 698 yards passing with 3 touchdowns while adding 47 yards rushing and 2 scores on the ground.

The Memphis Showboats are back in action Saturday at 11:30 a.m. against the Pittsburgh Maulers.