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CLEVELAND TAKES EAST WITH WIN OVER PITTSBURGH

By: Gladiators Press Release
07/15/2011 10:02 PM -

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Gladiators were victorious over the Pittsburgh Power, 67-55 in front of 8,139 fans at Quicken Loans Arena on Friday night. The victory improves the Gladiators to 10-7 on the year, giving them a two-game lead in the East division with one game to play and ensuring a playoff berth. The Power dropped to 8-9.

Cleveland ended their first six drives of the opening half in touchdowns, jumping out to a 39-21 lead. Pittsburgh was able to assemble a scoring drive of their own just before the intermission and opened the third quarter by tallying up six more points, giving them a 41-39 lead.

Both teams traded the lead thrice more, until Power quarterback Bernard Morris fumbled the ball deep in Pittsburgh’s own territory with the Gladiators capitalizing two plays later on a Russ Monk rushing score. That put Cleveland ahead 60-48, giving them a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game Kurt Rocco was in top form, going 25-of-35 passing for 297 yards and eight passing touchdowns in the win. Dominick Goodman nabbed 12 catches for 130 yards receiving for two scores. Robert Redd and Troy Bergeron caught three and two touchdowns respectively on the night.

Riddell Defensive Player of the Game Time Cheatwood grabbed sack number 11.5 on the season, while adding 2.5 total tackles, one tackle-for-loss and fumble recovery for a touchdown. Defensive back Levy Brown had eight total tackles, increasing his league-leading total to 126.0. Prentice Purnell recovered his fifth fumble, cementing his place among the top in that category in the AFL this season.

Monk’s rushing touchdown was his 10th of 2011, surpassing his total for all of last season. The Gladiators finish the season with a 4-2 record within their division, defeating all three of their counterparts during their visits to Quicken Loans Arena. Their 10th victory this year is also a new franchise-best for wins in a season. It is their first division title since moving to Cleveland.

The loss eliminated Pittsburgh from playoff contention in their inaugural season in the Arena Football League.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game- Gladiators QB Kurt Rocco
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game- Gladiators LB Tim Cheatwood
JLS Ironman of the Game- Power WR Lonnell Dewalt
Cutters Catch of the Game- Jason Willis juggling TD catch off of the boards in the 1st
Nifty Playmaker of the Game- Gladiators WR Robert Redd
Spalding Highlight of the Game- Tim Cheatwood’s fumble recovery in the end zone in the 2nd
National Guard MVP- Gladiators QB Kurt Rocco

The Gladiators will wrap up the 2011 regular season campaign at The Q when they face the Utah Blaze on Friday, July 22nd at 7:30 p.m.! 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!--



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