The Cleveland Gladiators snapped their season long two game losing streak on Saturday night. They defeated the (2-5) Pittsburgh Power, 58-43. Gladiators quarterback John Dutton was the talk of the game. He moved into sixth place in Arena Football history for passing yards.
Dutton entered the game needing just 73 yards to pass John Kaleo for the sixth spot. On his final pass of the first quarter, Dutton connected with Robert Redd for a 19-yard touchdown giving him 76 passing yards. For the game, he finished 24/38 for 281 yards with six touchdowns and one interception. Dutton, a 12-year AFL veteran, now has 35,543 career passing yards.
Dutton’s favorite target of the evening, and virtually all season, was Dominick Goodman. “Goodie” led the Gladiators with ten receptions for 120 yards and four touchdowns. Goodman leads the team with 69 receptions for 778 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2012. Robert Redd chipped in nine receptions for 105 yards and a score.
Cleveland’s defense got back on the right track vs. Pittsburgh. After giving up at least 50 points in their past two games, the Glads held the Power to just 43. Joe Phinisee topped the stat sheet with 9 solo tackles, an interception and a forced fumble. Dominic Jones also recorded an interception late in the game to seal the Gladiators victory.
The key quarter for the Gladiators came in the second. Cleveland outscored Pittsburgh, 28-6 in the 15 minute frame. The 28 points put up by the Gladiators marks a season high for points in a quarter. Additionally, Cleveland had a run of 35 unanswered points in route to coming back from a 21-7 deficit.
The Gladiators showed resilience in this matchup, not only in snapping their losing streak but in coming back from a two score hole early in the game. The Glads have not had to play from behind much this season and when they have, it’s been a struggle to win those games. They get back in the win column and also get a key division win. Cleveland is now two games behind division leader, Philadelphia (6-1) whose lone loss is at the hands of Cleveland.
Cleveland improves to 4-3 (3-3) on the season. They have a bye in week nine of the AFL season. They face Milwaukee on May 11th.
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