Gladiators Upset Philadelphia; Win Four In A Row
Cleveland Gladiators Press Release
Cleveland – In front of 11,278 fans at Quicken Loans Arena for Military Salute Night, the Cleveland Gladiators defeated thePhiladelphia Soul on Saturday night 63-49. The win improves Cleveland’s record to 5-4 as they sit in second place in the National Conference. Quarterback Arvell Nelson threw for 307 yards and seven touchdowns in the win while wide receiverQuentin Sims caught 10 passes for 114 yards and three touchdowns. For the third game in a row Marvin Ross intercepted a pass, a 19-yarder, that he returned for a touchdown to essentially seal the win for the Gladiators. Philadelphia’s quarterbackDan Raudabaugh threw for 342 yards, seven touchdowns, and an interception in the loss.
After Raudabaugh found wide receiver Shaun Kauleinamoku on the first play of the game for a 40-yard gain to set up first-and-goal from the four yard line, Cleveland’s defense stood tall and forced a turnover on downs. Five plays later, Nelson found wide receiver Collin Taylor for a 10-yard scoring strike as the Gladiators jumped out to an early 7-0 lead. The touchdown catch was Taylor’s 25th game in a row hitting pay dirt. The Soul responded on the next drive when Raudabaugh found wide receiver Ryan McDaniel in the corner of the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown to even things up, 7-7. On the ensuing possession, Nelson found wide receiver Larry Beavers on a quick slant for a 49-yard touchdown. Kicker Adrian Trevino’s extra point gave the Gladiators the lead once again, 14-7. Philadelphia countered with two scores, a 29-yard throw-and-catch from Raudabaugh to wide receiver Darius Reynolds, and an 11-yard throw-and-catch from Raudabaugh to Kauleinamoku after a Beavers fumble to give the Soul their first lead, 21-14.
Cleveland struck again quickly on the next series when Nelson found Sims for an incredible 39-yard, one-handed touchdown grab along the wall to even the score again at 21-21 early in the second quarter. After a Soul turnover on downs, Nelson found Sims once again on a jump ball in the corner of the end zone for a four-yard touchdown, re-claiming the lead for the Gladiators 28-21 with 7:43 remaining in the first half. It didn’t take long for the Soul to answer, though, as Raudabaugh hit Reynolds for his second touchdown of the night on the next possession, a 37-yarder to tie it up once again, 28-28. But it was the Sims show in the second quarter, as Nelson converted on 4th-and-9 and hit Sims for this third touchdown of the game, a 14-yarder to push Cleveland ahead 35-28 at the break.
The Gladiators opened up the second half by driving 38 yards on three plays, capped off by a 26-yard touchdown pass from Nelson to Beavers, increasing the Cleveland lead to 42-28. Philadelphia quickly answered when Raudabaugh hit McDaniel on a 10-yard out to cut the Cleveland lead to 42-35 with 9:37 remaining in the third quarter. After a failed onside kick attempt from the Soul, the Gladiators scored two players later when fullback Phillipkeith Manley rumbled into the end zone, extending the Cleveland lead to 49-35.
After McDaniel caught his third touchdown of the night on the next possession, Nelson would answer with a 16-yard strike of his own to Taylor, his second touchdown of the game, to again extend the Cleveland lead to 56-42 at the end of three quarters.
Raudabaugh would keep the Soul within striking distance, hitting Reynolds for his third touchdown of the game on a four-yard connection cut into the Gladiators lead, 56-49. After a Cleveland turnover on downs, the Soul offense took the field only to see Raudabaugh get sacked twice and then throw an interception to Ross on 4th-and-22. Ross returned the pick 19 yards for the score, driving the Gladiators lead back up to 63-49 with 1:30 remaining in the game. On 4th-and-goal of the next series, Raudabaugh’s completion to Reynolds would be stopped short, sealing the win.
Next up, the Gladiators play host to the Arizona Rattlers in their final regular season home game on Friday, June 3rd at 7:00 p.m. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports Ohio and can be heard on 92.3 The Fan.
Offensive Player – #2 Arvell Nelson – 22-36 for 307 yards and seven touchdowns
Defensive Player – #4 Marvin Ross – 5.5 tackles, a forced fumble & interception return for touchdown
Playmaker – #18 Quentin Sims – 10 receptions for 114 yards and three touchdowns
Catch of the Game – #18 Quentin Sims – second quarter one-handed touchdown reception
Highlight – #4 Marvin Ross – fourth quarter interception return for touchdown