Gladiators Fall to Soul in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – The Arena Football League’s Cleveland Gladiators, proudly presented by Unique Home Solutions, dropped a road contest to the Philadelphia Soul on Saturday night in front of 7,667 fans at the Wells Fargo Center, 64-46. With the loss, the Gladiators drop to 1-5 on the season and currently remain in fifth place in the AFL standings.

The Soul got the scoring started early when quarterback Dan Raudabaugh hit wide receiver Shaun Kauleinamoku with a one-yard scoring strike. Following a Cleveland turnover, Raudabaugh found wide receiver Ryan McDaniel for a 19-yard score to quickly put Philadelphia in front 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Gladiators quarterback Arvell Nelson got Cleveland on the board in the second quarter when he found wide receiver Larry Brackins streaking down the field for a 21-yard touchdown, trimming the Soul lead to 14-7. Raudabaugh and the Philadelphia offense quickly responded when the veteran quarterback hooked up with wide receiver Darius Reynolds for nine yards and another Soul touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, Cleveland wide receiver Brandon Thompkins took the kick-off and bolted 51 yards for a touchdown, pulling the Gladiators to within a touchdown.

It was Philadelphia’s offense, however, who capped off a strong opening half when Raudabaugh and Reynolds paired up for two more Soul touchdowns, to lead the home team into the break with a 34-13 lead.

After jack linebacker Joe Goosby’s second interception of the game opened the second half, Kauleinamoku found pay dirt for the second time on the night, this time a 25-yarder from Raudabaugh to increase the Soul lead to 41-13. Cleveland answered on their next drive when Nelson hit Brackins for his second touchdown of the game, a three-yard score to trim the Philadelphia lead to 41-20, but the Soul quickly bumped the lead back up to 28 when Raudabaugh found offensive lineman Neal Tivis for an eight-yard screen, extending the lead once again to 48-20.

The Gladiators followed that up with two quick scores of their own as Nelson found Brackins for his third touchdown of the night, then hit wide receiver Quentin Sims for a 29-yard scoring strike, cutting the Soul lead down to 48-32. A failed onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, however, led to a swift answer from the Soul as fullback Mykel Benson plunged into the end zone from one yard out to pad the Philadelphia lead, 55-32, with 8:55 remaining in the game.

The Nelson-Brackins duo struck for a fourth time on Cleveland’s next series, a 13-yarder this time, to cut the score to 55-40 with 6:02 left in the game. Raudabaugh and the Soul offense pulled away for good when Kauleinamoku caught his third touchdown of the game, a 12-yarder to push the lead to 62-40. The Gladiators capped the scoring when Nelson found Sims for a seven-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion would be returned by Philadelphia for two points, making the final score 64-46.

Next up for the Gladiators is a road match-up with the Baltimore Brigade next Saturday, May 27th at 7:00 pm. The game can be seen live on CBS Sports Network and heard on 92.3 The Fan.

Notes: Nelson completed 25 of 40 passes for 282 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions.. Thompkins extended his streak of consecutive regular season games with a touchdown to 35 games.. OL Alex Land made his first career start on the offensive line.. DB Jordan Holland, K Jed Solomon and FB/DL Jeramie Richardson made their 2017 debuts.. DB Kent Richardson returned from injury and made 1.5 tackles.. DL Darryl Cato-Bishop posted a sack and a forced fumble.


Offensive Player of the Game: Philadelphia WR Darius Reynolds – 7 receptions, 85 yards, and three touchdowns

Defensive Player of the Game: Philadelphia JLB Joe Goosby – three tackles, two INT’s, and a forced fumble

MVP of the Game: Philadelphia QB Dan Raudubaugh – 16/24 for 176 yards and eight touchdowns

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