By: Gladiators Press Release
05/28/2011 10:07 PM
PHOENIX, AZ – The Cleveland Gladiators were defeated, 63-42, by the Arizona Rattlers in front of 7,987 at the US Airways Center on Saturday night. The loss drops the Gladiators to 6-4 on the year and in a tie with the Pittsburgh Power atop the American East. The victory improves the Rattlers to 9-2.
The Gladiators began the game with a 46-yard scoring drive that put them in front 7-0 after quarterback Kurt Rocco scrambled into the end zone from six yards out. Arizona’s offense would quickly respond to tie the game at seven on a three play, 45-yard drive capped with an 18-yard touchdown reception by Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game Jason Geathers from quarterback Nick Davila.
The Rattlers would force an interception on Cleveland’s next possession when a pass bounced off wide receiver Thyron Lewis and into the arms of Vince Hill for his first of two interceptions in the contest. Arizona would score two plays later to extend their lead to 14-7, an advantage they would never lose.
Defensive back Virgil Gray returned a missed field goal 52 yards to further the Rattlers’ lead to 21-7. Both teams would trade scores back and forth four more times, with the Gladiators never able to cut into the deficit. Arizona pulled ahead by three touchdowns on the third of four scoring receptions by Geathers early in the final period to put the game away.
For Cleveland, Rocco finished 27-of-42 passing for 328 yards and three scores to two interceptions, while adding two rushing touchdowns. Lewis had 13 grabs for 157 yards and two scores, and wide receiver Dominick Goodman also reached the 100 yard plateau with 11 catches for 127 yards and one receiving touchdown. This marked the second time this season where two Gladiator receivers both went over 100 yards receiving. Troy Bergeron (187) and Robert Redd (105) both achieved this mark in a win over Chicago on April 2nd.
Davila continued his stellar play this season with 263 yards passing and eight touchdown tosses. Geathers had 10 grabs for 111 yards and his four scores, and wide receiver Rod Windsor nabbed 11 catches for 88 yards and a score. Trandon Harvey had three touchdown receptions in the game as well.
Hill was named the Riddell Defensive Player of the Game for his efforts in collecting seven total tackles along with his two picks. The Rattlers now have 25 team interceptions on the season, a mark that leads the AFL. Arizona tallied three sacks and forced a fumble in the game as a team on defense.
Turning points in the game included a Rocco-to-Lewis touchdown reception at the end of the first half that was negated by a holding penalty along with the two Rocco interceptions that were both inside Arizona 10 yard line. Despite having the ball for over nine minutes more than the Rattlers, Cleveland was unable to overcome their deficit for much of the game.
The Cleveland Gladiators head to Pittsburgh for their first-ever matchup against their new division rival, the Pittsburgh Power on June 4th! The Gladiators will return to The Q on Saturday, June 11th when they host the Georgia Force at 7:00 p.m. for SCOUT NIGHT! SINGLE-GAME TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW! For more information, visit www.clevelandgladiators.com or call 216.685.9000 today!
--2011 GLADIATORS FOOTBALL – CATCH IT LIVE!--