Gladiators Fall to Unbeaten Soul Despite Nelson's Nine Scores

Gladiators Fall to Unbeaten Soul Despite Nelson's Nine Scores

CLEVELAND – The Arena Football League’s Cleveland Gladiators, proudly presented by Unique Home Solutions, were defeated by the Philadelphia Soul in Week 5 of the 2017 AFL season on Saturday at The Q by a final score of 69-67. With the loss, the Gladiators fell to 1-4 this season and currently remain alone in fifth place in the AFL standings heading into a Week 6 bye.

The Gladiators claimed a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when QB Arvell Nelson connected with WR Quentin Sims from 12 yards out, but Philadelphia responded on their first offensive snap with a 41-yard catch and run from Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh to WR Darius Reynolds to tie the game at seven. Cleveland re-claimed their edge with a seven-yard scoring strike from Nelson to WR Brandon Thompkins to make it 13-7 before the Soul took their first lead at 14-13 by virtue of a 30-yard Raudabaugh toss to FB Mykel Benson.

Later in the first quarter, Nelson and Sims hooked up from 33 yards out to make it 20-14 Gladiators, but Philadelphia’s offense provided a nearly instant punch back, courtesy of Raudubaugh’s third touchdown pass of the game, this time a 21-yard connection to WR Ryan McDaniel to make it 21-20 Soul.

In the second quarter, Benson provided a rushing score from two yards out to push the Soul lead to 27-20 before another Raudabaugh score, this time to WR Shaun Kauleinamoku from 13 yards out, made it 34-20 for Philadelphia. Cleveland scratched back to within a score with a three-yard Nelson rushing touchdown to make it 34-27 Soul late in the first half, but Philly made it 41-27 with Rauduabaugh’s fifth passing TD to Reynolds from 30 yards away. The Gladiators provided the last laugh in the half, however, with a one-yard Nelson rushing score that made it 41-34 heading into the third quarter.

Raudabaugh started the third quarter the same way he ended the second, with a score through the air, this time a 14-yard connection with Kauleinamoku, to make it 48-34. Nelson sparked the Gladiators offense with an 18-yard rushing score on Cleveland’s next possession to pull within eight at 48-40, but yet another Philadelphia passing touchdown, from Raudabaugh to Reynolds from three yards out, made it 55-40 for the visitors.

In the fourth quarter, Nelson drew the Gladiators within a score with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Thompkins to make it 55-48, but Philadelphia’s Benson provided a one-yard rushing score moments later to nudge the Soul edge to 62-48 with 12-plus minutes to go. From there, Nelson connected with WR Collin Taylor for a 23-yard scoring strike to make it 62-54 before Raudabaugh hooked up with Reynolds from 38 yards out to run the Soul lead to 69-54. A Thompkins 53-yard kick return netted another Cleveland score to draw the Gladiators within a single scoring play at 69-61, but a failed two-point conversion attempt for Cleveland following a Nelson touchdown throw to OL Aslam Sterling established the home team’s final margin of defeat at 69-67.

Next up for the Gladiators, it’s a Week 7 Saturday road clash vs. the Philadelphia Soul with full coverage, live from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA, underway at 7:00 pm on 92.3 The Fan and CBS Sports Network.

NOTES: Nelson led the way for Cleveland with 223 yards through the air on 16/27 passing with six touchdown throws and one interception, along with seven carries for 60 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns…Sims led all Gladiators receivers with 104 receiving yards and finished the game tied with Thompkins for the team lead with two receiving touchdowns…Taylor also supplied 50 receiving yards and one touchdown catch.

POST-GAME AWARDS:

Offensive Player of the Game: Cleveland QB Arvell Nelson – 16/27 passing, 223 yards, six touchdowns, seven rushes, 60 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Game: Philadelphia DB Torez Jones – Three solo tackles, one interception.

MVP of the Game: Philadelphia QB Dan Raudubaugh – 14/24 passing, 245 yards, eight touchdowns.

 

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