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Valor Game Preview: 21 Gladiators in a Phone Booth?

Jon Stark
Saturday June 3, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC - The Washington Valor (1-5) host the Cleveland Gladiators (1-6) inside of Verizon Center at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 3rd. The game will broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. The Valor will look to snap their losing streak before hitting the road.

Welcome to Week 9, the halfway point of this roller coaster of a season. Since these two teams last met on April 28th quite a few things have happened in both organizations; coaching changes, key players coming and going due to injury or trade, heartbreaking losses in the final seconds, many records broken, rookies making first starts and more. Washington is showing no signs of their past second-half struggles headed into this match-up, a major component in their loss to Cleveland in that first meeting, they were outscored 27-7 after halftime at Quicken Loans Arena, the final score 48-34.
Since then the Valor are averaging over 19 points in the second half and look like a better team overall. Quarterback Sean Brackett surpassed a QB rating of 101 in his first start for Washington last week, quite the performance highlighted by his connection with wide receiver Greg Carr for four touchdowns and 131 receiving yards. Rookie WR Josh Reese also hauled in a touchdown off a net recovery and caught his first Valor TD in the last minutes of the game.
Cleveland is coming off a 63-60 loss on the road in Baltimore. QB Arvell Nelson is throwing an average of 250 yards and five touchdowns per game, he's also leading the league in rushing and running the ball in at least once every game, the Valor will have their hands full with this dual threat. WR Quentin Sims has been Nelson's favorite target, through seven games Sims is first or tied for first in the league in most receiving categories with Tampa Bay Storm WR Joe Hills.
Last weekend against the Brigade, Sims torched the defense for 188 yards on 12 receptions and scored five touchdowns in the process, those are nearly video game numbers. Get to the Phone Booth early and take advantage of the $4 draft beer specials one hour prior to kickoff at designated stands and in case you missed it, it's Men's Health Awareness Night and you can be sure, as usual, there will be related activities, promotions and giveaways. This could be a chance to celebrate Father's Day a bit early this year.

Jon studied Business Management at the University of Pittsburgh and is originally from Maryland. An avid DMV sports fan, he often attends Capitals, Orioles, Wizards and Redskins games. Now a Washington Valor season plan holder and columnist for ArenaFan, he`ll be at every home game covering the team. He spends his free time with friends and family and freelancing graphic design projects. You can follow Jon on Twitter @5FIFTY3
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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