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Austin's eight touchdown passes lead Gladiators to 62-46 win over VooDoo

Saturday June 14, 2014

CLEVELAND, OH - Following up his nine touchdown performance a week ago, quarterback Shane Austin accounted for eight more scores to help propel the Cleveland Gladiators (11-1) to a 62-46 win over the New Orleans VooDoo (2-10) before a crowd of 9,404 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Austin completed 17 of 25 passes for 233 yards and eight touchdowns and Thyron Lewis led Cleveland receivers with seven catches for 121 yards and three touchdowns. Dominick Goodman also chipped in three touchdown catches in the victory for the Gladiators, who have won back-to-back games and continue to pace the American Conference and East Division. The Gladiators visit Philadelphia next Saturday at 6:00 PM.

The Gladiators scored the game’s first two touchdowns, and never surrendered the lead. Lewis caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Austin on the game’s second play, and Jason Jones capped off the Gladiators second drive with a three-yard rushing score with 8:14 remaining in the first quarter to make the score 13-0. New Orleans quarterback Adam Kennedy scored on a one-yard run late in the first quarter; a scoring play that was followed by three consecutive Gladiators touchdowns.

Goodman hauled in an eight-yard touchdown catch with 9:09 left in the second quarter and a 24-yard touchdown catch with 5:04 left in the second quarter to stretch the Gladiators lead to 27-6. Thyron Lewis scored the final touchdown of the first half with 17 seconds left; a four-yard catch that gave the Gladiators a 34-6 lead. The Gladiators first-half cause was helped by two impact defensive plays by cornerback Marrio Norman: a diving pass breakup to force the VooDoo to turnover on downs, and an interception in the end zone.

New Orleans outscored the Gladiators 13-7 in the third quarter, with the Gladiators lone third-quarter scoring play being a 24-yard pass from Austin to Lewis with 6:23 remaining in the frame. Entering the fourth quarter, the Gladiators held a 41-19 lead.

The VooDoo also outscored the Gladiators 27-21 in the fourth quarter, due in large part to two kickoffs returned for touchdowns by Larry Beavers. The Gladiators overall though were too much for the Voodoo. Collin Taylor reeled in a game-long 35-yard touchdown catch five seconds into the final frame, while Lewis and Goodman each added additional touchdown catches in the fourth quarter. Taylor finished the game with three catches for 48 yards, while Goodman registered seven catches for 64 yards to accompany his three touchdowns.

New Orleans held the ball for 35:22 in the game, while the Gladiators possessed the ball for 23:56. The Gladiators offensive efficiency- 62 points on just 31 offensive plays- was too much for the VooDoo on Saturday.

The Gladiators visit Philadelphia next Saturday at 6:00 PM; a game that airs live on 92.3 The Fan.

NOTES: The Gladiators have run just 64 offensive plays over their last two games, and have scored 148 points over the two outings… Austin is 7-1 as the Gladiators starting quarterback, and has a 60-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season… Goodman leads Cleveland with 964 receiving yards this season, while Lewis paces the team with 26 touchdown catches… Taylor’s touchdown catch gives him 10 on the season… Dominic Jones led the Gladiators Saturday night with seven total tackles… The Gladiators swept the two game season series against New Orleans; they also topped the VooDoo 37-26 on March 29.