Gladiators Travel to Tampa For Another Battle With The Storm
MATCHUP: The Cleveland Gladiators (3-4) travel to Amalie Arena for Week 8 of the 2016 AFL season vs. the Tampa Bay Storm (0-6) on Monday, May 23th at 8:00 pm. Monday’s game is the final meeting between Cleveland and Tampa Bay this season after the Gladiators pulled out a 41-29 win over the Storm on April 9th.
LAST TIME OUT – Last week, the Gladiators rallied in overtime to register a 55-48 win over the Portland Steel at Quicken Loans Arena on Monday. Former Glenville Tarblooder quarterback Arvell Nelson led Cleveland to victory with 222 passing yards and seven total touchdowns (2 rush). WR Collin Taylor extended his franchise-record stretch of 23 consecutive games with a touchdown catch by hauling in seven receptions for 90 yards and two TDs. DB Marvin Ross earned AFL Defensive Player of the Week with 13.5 total tackles, seven pass deflections and the game-saving interception in overtime.
GLADIATORS PLAYERS TO WATCH – Nelson’s 96.2 QB Rating currently ranks fifth in the AFL, while Taylor’s 51 catches, 614 yards and 15 touchdowns are currently tied for fourth in all categories. WR Quentin Sims has become a solid No. 2 receiver in recent weeks, catching six touchdowns in only four games since joining the receiving corps April 23rd. On the defensive side of the ball, the secondary is finding their footing, as DBs Joe Powell (4), Demarcus Robinson (2), and Ross (2) have all tallied multiple interceptions this season and scored on defensive touchdowns.
STORM PLAYERS TO WATCH – Tampa Bay wide receivers T.T. Toliver (32 receptions, 437 yards, seven touchdowns) and Phillip Barnett (32 receptions, 331 yards, six touchdowns) have been the primary targets since quarterback Jason Boltus (73.4 QBR, 440 passing yards, seven touchdowns, two interceptions) returned to the lineup, while DB James Harrell has been the best all-around player, defensively, recording 22 total tackles, four pass deflections and two interceptions.