By: Gladiators Press Release
03/12/2012 7:35 PM
Photo Courtesy of John Adams
Duluth, GA – In the 2012 season opener, the Cleveland Gladiators fell short to the Georgia Force, 41-39 in front of 6,573 in the Arena at Gwinnett Center. With the loss, the Gladiators have now dropped two straight games to the Force, having been knocked out of the 2011 playoffs by Georgia back in July.
In his first regular season game since the season opener in 2011, John Dutton completed 27-of-43 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns and four interceptions.
Thyron Lewis led all receivers with 11 catches for a game-high 152 yards and three touchdowns. Robert Redd added one receiving touchdown, while Dutton and Derik Steiner each rushed for one touchdown score.
In the win, Force quarterback Darnell Kennedy completed 16-of-29 passes for 129 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. In spot duty, AJ Archer finished 1-of-7 for 45 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Overall, nine turnovers were committed between the two teams (seven interceptions and two fumbles). For the Gladiators, Joe Phinisee recorded two interceptions and former University of Akron Zip Jalil Carter also grabbed one.
The Gladiators return home for a BYE WEEK in week two of the AFL season. The home opener is set for Friday, March 23 as the Gladiators host the Kansas City Command at Quicken Loans Arena.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Larry Ship (GEO)
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Tracy Belton (GEO)
JLS Ironman of the Game: N/A
AFL Playmaker of the Game: Larry Shipp (GEO)
Cutters Catch of the Game: Shipp’s 3rd Quarter TD (GEO)
Spalding Highlight of the Game: Shipp’s 3rd Quarter TD (GEO)
National Guard MVP: Larry Shipp (GEO)
The Cleveland Gladiators are part of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization and also owned by a group led by Cavaliers Majority Owner and Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. The group also owns and operates the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League playing at Quicken Loans Arena and the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League playing in nearby Canton, Ohio at the Canton Civic Center.
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