PHILADELPHIA – The Arena Football League’s Cleveland Gladiators, proudly presented by Unique Home Solutions, fell to the Philadelphia Soul, 59-49, in front of 10,103 fans at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night. The loss drops the Gladiators to 2-7 on the season as they sit in fourth place in AFL standings.
Gladiators QB Arvell Nelson got the scoring started with a two-yard sneak to give Cleveland an early 7-0 lead. Philadelphia QB Dan Raudabaugh answered on the Soul’s first drive of the game, finding WR Shaun Kauleinamoku for a 35-yard score, knotting things up at 7-7. Nelson would get his first throwing touchdown of the night in the second quarter, finding WR Quentin Sims for a nine-yard strike. K Jed Solomon’s extra point would be blocked and returned for Soul score by MLB Beau Bell, giving the Gladiators a 13-9 lead with 13:26 remaining in the first half.
After a big fourth down stop for the Gladiators defense, Nelson hit Sims for his second touchdown of the game, this time an 18-yarder, extending their lead to 20-9 with 5:27 remaining in the first half. On Philadelphia’s next possession, Kauleinamoku hauled in his second big-play touchdown of the game, a 40-yard bomb from Raudabaugh to cut the Cleveland lead to 20-16.
Soul K Adrian Trevino’s onside kick attempt would be batted around four times before finding the hands of WR Larry Brackins, who trotted into the end zone from 11 yards out. A Nelson to Sims two-point conversion extended the Gladiators lead to 28-16 heading into the one minute warning. Raudabaugh connected with WR Darius Reynolds on a 14-yard throw-and-catch, making the score 28-23 heading into halftime.
The Soul started the scoring in the second half when Raudabaugh tossed his fourth touchdown pass of the game, this time a 10-yarder to WR Ryan McDaniel to give Philadelphia their first lead of the game, 30-28. Cleveland answered right back when Nelson connected on his third touchdown pass of the game, finding WR Michael Preston for a nine-yard touchdown to re-claim the lead for the Gladiators, 35-30 with 5:59 left in the third quarter.
The Soul responded with two more big-play touchdowns, with Reynolds hauling in 44 and 34-yard scoring strikes from Raudabaugh to give Philadelphia a 44-35 lead with 10:51 left in the game. Nelson found Sims on the next drive for an 18-yard touchdown but the extra point would be blocked once again and returned by the Soul for two points, giving Philadelphia a 46-41 lead with 7:59 left in the contest. Reynolds scored for the fourth time, an 11-yarder from Raudabaugh on the ensuing drive. A failed two-point conversion gave the Soul a 52-41 lead with 6:06 left in the game.
After a Cleveland turnover, Soul FB Mykel Benson scored from four yards out to put the game out of reach, 59-41. Nelson found Preston on the next series for a six-yard touchdown to cap the scoring for the night, 59-49.
Next up for the Gladiators is a Friday night home tilt vs. the Baltimore Brigade in Week 11 with full coverage, live from Quicken Loans Arena at 7:00pm. The game can be streamed live on Twitter and heard on 92.3 The Fan.
NOTES: Nelson posted 305 yards through the air on 25/36 passing with six total touchdowns…Preston finished with team-high 12 receptions for 129 receiving yards and two touchdowns…Sims posted 95 receiving yards on nine catches with three touchdown grabs…DB Jordan Holland made his first career start, notching XX tackles in his debut…DL Zach Colvin made his AFL debut tonight.
Offensive Player of the Game: PHI WR Darius Reynolds – nine catches, 144 receiving yards, and four touchdown catches.
Defensive Player of the Game: PHI MLB Beau Bell – 2.5 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, fumble return for two points.
MVP of the Game: PHI QB Dan Raudabaugh – 20/27 passing, 303 passing yards, seven touchdown passes.
The Gladiators Tailgate Zone will debut on Friday, June 16th when the Gladiators host the Baltimore Brigade at Quicken Loans Arena. The all-new Tailgate Zone includes an all-inclusive buffet featuring Sugardale hot dogs, a nacho bar, popcorn and cookies plus beer, wine and Pepsi products. “The Zone” is located at field level in a private space right next to the players and all of the action. Tickets are only $49 and are available by visiting http://www.clevelandgladiators.com/tailgatezone or by calling (216) 420-2222.
June 16th is also “Summer Picnic at The Q” and the first 10,000 fans to arrive will receive a free Gladiators Tumbler presented by Phantom Fireworks. Additionally, there will be two other opportunities for fans to experience the Tailgate Zone during the remaining home games of the 2017 regular season as the team hosts “Go Pink Night” on Saturday June 24th and “Fan Salute Night presented by the Brew Kettle” on Saturday, July 8th.
Tickets for every Gladiators home game start at just $10 and are on sale now! Full and partial season ticket memberships are also available and provide you with the best seat locations, custom member benefits and the lowest ticket prices. All tickets can be purchased by visiting ClevelandGladiators.com, calling (216) 420-0000, visiting The Q Box Office or any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart. Be sure to follow the Gladiators on Twitter @clegladiators, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/clevelandgladiators.
The Cleveland Gladiators are part of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization and also owned by a group led by Cavaliers Majority Owner and Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. The group also owns and operates the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League playing at Quicken Loans Arena and the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League playing in nearby Canton, Ohio at the Canton Civic Center.
– ClevelandGladiators.com –