The Philadelphia Soul defeated the Cleveland Gladiators for the sixth straight time as the win at home 67-50 in a hard hitting, back and forth shootout.
Cleveland is still without their season started quarterback Chris Dieker but now with veteran wide receiver Dominick Goodman out with injury and defensive star defensive back Joe Powell out for his second straight game, the Gladiators were scraping the bottom of the barrel to find players to help this so far injury ridden team. Havrilla once again got the go ahead to start to try and do what this Gladator team hasn’t done since the first round of the 2014 playoffs: Get a win against the Soul.
The first half was plagued by penalties for both teams. With nine total penalties for Cleveland and 10 for Philly, seven coming in the first half alone, both teams were jawing at one another and hard hits were the theme in this rivalry. Cleveland did something they haven’t done all season long in the first quarter. They played turnover free and led the entire first 15 minutes. Havrilla had two rushing touchdowns and only raked up a whopping 86 yards passing yards.
Philly looked sloppy in the first half. QB Dan Raudabaugh threw for three touchdowns but also threw a costly interception that put the Gladiators up 28-13 at one point. It looked like Cleveland was on its way to a thrashing of the reigning MVP and rival Soul. With the help and athleticism of Darius Reynolds, who had quite a night himself with 114 yards and three scores, the second half was taken over by Philly as they went on a 33-7 run which meant the Gladiators had some work to do to catch up late in the third quarter, not only on the field but on the sidelines as well, Cleveland had some scares as QB Dennis Havrilla after a interception hyperextended his knee.
Not only that, but Coach Steve Thonn, who had to leave to be rushed to the hospital week two against Tampa Bay, had to be taken to the locker room for evaluation as he had a health issue. With Dennis sidelined, Arvil Nelson came in to try and lead this offense to a come from behind win.
Even with two very long and impressive throws to Collin Taylor, who now has 20 straight games with a touchdown catch, and Thyron Lewis for touchdowns, Nelsons 2 late interceptions sealed the deal and gave Philadelphia the W. Cleveland, now 1-3 on the season, head home to face the Orlando Predators (3-0).
Arvell Nelson 7-12, 110 yards, 2 TD, Long 35, 2 INT. Collin Taylor 6 catches, 75 yards, 1 TD, Long 35.
Dan Raudabaugh 26-31, 315 yards, 8 TD, Long 45, 1INT. Darius Reynolds 10 catches, 114 yards, 3 TD, Long 16