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Gladiators Defeat Predators, 69-66

By: Phil Tesar
06/30/2008 8:43 PM -
CLEVELAND – The fourth-seeded Cleveland Gladiators defeated the fifth-seeded Orlando Predators 69-66 in front of 13,896 fans at Quicken Loans Arena on Monday night, advancing to the Arena Football League’s Divisional Round of the 2008 playoffs. Cleveland will travel to Georgia to take on the Force on Monday, July 7 on ESPN2 at 8:00 p.m.
 
For Cleveland, Raymond Philyaw completed 29-of-48 passes for 436 yards and eight touchdowns. The 436 yards is the second highest all-time in AFL postseason history, behind Rickey Foggie’s 446 in 1998 while with the New Jersey Red Dogs. Philyaw moved into second place ahead of Kurt Warner, former AFL quarterback and NFL Super Bowl XXXIV MVP.
 
Philyaw’s favorite target on the night was Bowling Green product Robert Redd. Redd caught a franchise-best 204 yards on 14 catches and four touchdowns. All-Arena Second Team selection Otis Amey grabbed 119 yards on seven catches, while Randy Hymes caught just three passes – all touchdowns, for 58 yards.
 
Shane Stafford led the Predators offensively with 376 yards on 30-of-42 passing and eight touchdowns. He was intercepted twice in the game. T.T. Toliver grabbed 185 yards on 11 catches and four touchdowns and added one kickoff return for a touchdown.
 
Philyaw and Redd were named Co-Offensive Players of the Game for their performances, respectively. Brandon Hefflin intercepted two of Stafford’s passes and recovered a key fumble late in the game, leading to a Gladiators score and a 69-60 lead. He was named Defensive Player of the Game for his efforts. Willis Marshall helped out on all sides for Cleveland, garnering Ironman of the Game honors.
 
** GAME NOTES **
  • Raymond Philyaw’s 436 passing yards is the second-most in AFL postseason history. He passed former AFL quarterback and Super Bowl XXXIV MVP Kurt Warner (428 yards).
  • Philyaw’s 436 passing yards is the second-most in franchise history. New Jersey Red Dog quarterback Rickey Foggie set the AFL and franchise record with 446 yards at Albany on August 8, 1998.
  • Robert Redd totaled four touchdown receptions, marking a franchise best in that category (previously three by Larry Willis in 1998).
  • Redd’s 204 receiving yards is the most in franchise history, breaking Larry Willis’ 177 set back on August 8, 1998.
  • Brandon Hefflin’s two interceptions marks the first time in franchise history that a player has recorded two or more INT’s in a single-game.


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