Gladiators Fall 72-56 in Philadelphia
A 23-6 second quarter scoring advantage propelled the Philadelphia Soul (13-2) past the Cleveland Gladiators (7-8) on Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center, as Philadelphia topped the Gladiators 72-56. Amarri Jackson led the Gladiators in receiving with eight catches for 125 yards and three touchdowns despite the loss, while also amassing 152 kickoff return yards. The loss marks the third straight for the Gladiators, who return home to Quicken Loans Arena next Saturday at 6:00 p.m. to host the Orlando Predators.
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Quarterback Shane Austin was hit as he threw on the Gladiators first play from scrimmage, and after being reviewed, the play was ruled a fumble recovered by Soul defensive back Kent Richardson. The turnover led to Philadelphia’s Tommy Taggart notching the first of his two rushing touchdowns in the game, and giving Philadelphia a 7-0 lead. The Gladiators responded with a one-yard rushing score from Jeramie Richardson on the ensuing drive to tie the game at 7-7. After trading touchdowns again before the end of the first quarter, the two teams were tied 14-14 heading into the second.
Philadelphia’s 23-6 second quarter run began with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Dan Raudabaugh to Harvey Binford with 12:16 left in the frame, helping Philadelphia to a 21-14 advantage. After a Gladiators turnover, Philadelphia’s Ryan McDaniel caught an eight-yard touchdown pass with 3:49 left in the second quarter and made the score 28-14 for Philadelphia. This marked the first time the Soul held a two-score advantage, and they held a two-score lead for the duration of the contest. Jackson posted the first of his three receiving touchdowns on a 12-yard pass from Austin with 30 seconds left in the second quarter, but Philadelphia blocked the extra point, and James Romain ran the live ball back for a two-point conversion, giving Philadelphia a 30-20 lead.
Philadelphia took a 37-20 lead into halftime after a 22-yard touchdown pass to Binford with seven seconds left in the first half, and extended their lead to 44-20 with a 36-yard touchdown pass to Binford 1:18 into the third quarter. Overall, the Gladiators would equal Philadelphia’s 14 third quarter points with an 18-yard touchdown run from Austin and a 17-yard touchdown catch by Jackson.
In the fourth quarter, the Gladiators outscored Philadelphia 22-21 as three Gladiators receivers- Collin Taylor, Jackson, and Dominick Goodman- managed to haul in touchdown catches, but the Gladiators were unable to overcome the deficit. Philadelphia held off a late Gladiators threat to win 72-56.
The Gladiators host Orlando at 6:00 p.m. next Saturday, and all Gladiators games air live on 92.3 The Fan. Classic Rock band 38 Special will perform a postgame concert after next Saturday’s game.
NOTES: Taylor’s two touchdown catches elevate his career-high and team-leading total to 32… quarterback Chris Dieker intercepted a Raudabaugh pass on Saturday while logging time at jack linebacker… Willie McGinnis had one quarterback sack on Saturday, raising his team-leading total to 7.5 on the season… The Gladiators are 0-2 against Philadelphia this season, and the two teams meet again in the regular season finale on August 8th at 7:00 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena… Brian Brikowski made his 2015 debut for the Gladiators and registered three tackles and a pass breakup… Follow the Gladiators on Twitter @CLEGladiators, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/clevelandgladiators, and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/clevelandgladiators.