#50YARDCOUNTDOWN: 14-Lewis Helps Glads Take Control

The wall is only out of bounds if the ball-carrier is touched.

DISTANCE: 14 yards

PLAYERS: Thyron Lewis and Shane Austin

DATE: May 10, 2014 vs. LA KISS

FINAL SCORE: Gladiators 45, Predators 42

#50 Yard Countdown

Fans were asking themselves, Did it count? Did we score?

The Cleveland Gladiators were in a dogfight with the LA KISS, whose 2-5 record was proving to be meaningless on this night. The Gladiators had the game well in-hand early, but the KISS were coming back, cutting a 20-point lead to six in just three minutes.

Cleveland stood their ground, though. Leading 27-21 with just under nine minutes left in the first half, the Gladiators were in the red zone with the ball on the 14-yard line. Quarterback Shane Austin brought wide receiver Thyron Lewis in motion. The KISS defender gave Lewis some room off the line but closed the gap quickly as soon as Lewis broke on the in route. Austin waited for an opening as Lewis closed in on the wall and threw a high, arching pass over Lewis' shoulder. Lewis hit the wall chest-first then spun and extended the ball across the goal line for the touchdown.

But did it count? Was he touched? Yes. When Lewis ran the in-route, he exploded out of his break at full speed. The defender latched onto him tightly, but because of the placement of the pass, the defender ran straight into the wall while Lewis adjusted his route three yards deeper to catch the pass. The distance was too far for the defender to reach, and the touchdown counted. Wonderful execution for a much-needed touchdown. Fast-forward the video below to 1:03 to see the play.

Lewis would end the night with 10 catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns, and the Gladiators would fend off a second Los Angeles comeback to win 45-42 on a last-second field goal.