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Gladiators Come Alive. Is It Too Late?

Scott Miller
Tuesday May 10, 2005

The Las Vegas Gladiators knocked down the first of several dominoes necessary for a playoff berth. The Gladiators took the lead in the first quarter and never looked back as they beat the Dallas Desperados 58-38, Saturday, at the Thomas & Mack Center. Once again, the Las Vegas defense stood out with one fumble recovery and four interceptions.

This was the way the team was expected to play all season. The Gladiators scored on every opportunity from the red zone and Clint Dolezel was 19-33 with seven touchdowns. On the other hand, Dallas seemed to be under a cloud. They were intercepted four times, took stupid penalties and could not take advantage of many of the opportunities they had.

Clint Dolezel appeared to be injured at the end of a play in the first half. However, he did not leave the game and later said that the injury would not keep him from playing the last two games of the season. Dolezel went on to describe a time during the 1997 regular season that he played with a broken leg, emphasizing that nothing would keep him from the final two games of the teamís campaign.

Head coach Ron James commented on the game, "We were able to get up a couple touchdowns right away. We hit them with unexpected plays. (For example) The onside kick in the second half."

James credited the pass rush for the success of the defenses and forcing the throws that were intercepted. He also praised Cornelius Bonner, who had three of the four interceptions.

With two games remaining, it is all about making the playoffs. To accomplish the goal, the Gladiators must win their remaining two games. Even with that, they will need help from other teams. If Las Vegas wins all its games and the other teams ahead of them win all their remaining games, the Gladiators would be in a four- way tie for three spots and would be eliminated under the first tiebreak rules (best winning percentage in head-to-head games). While they could make the playoffs if they lose one of the remaining games, it becomes very unlikely. For that to happen, Chicago and San Jose would have to lose the rest of their remaining games.

The next, (and probably key) domino that the Gladiators need to fall, is the next game at Los Angeles (9-5) on May 14th. They return to Las Vegas to finish the season against the Arizona Rattlers (5-9) on May 22nd.

Scott Miller is a professional computer geek and talk show host in Las Vegas. His show is streamed live from on Fridays at 8PM. Archives of his show, The Usual Suspects can be found at his website.
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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