Gladiators Fall to Soul in Season Finale, 48-33
Saturday August 8, 2015
Shane Austin tossed his 101st touchdown pass of the season night to break John Dutton’s five-year old single-season franchise record of 100, but the Cleveland Gladiators (8-10) closed out the regular season with a 48-33 loss to the Philadelphia Soul (15-3) before a Quicken Loans Arena crowd of 12,474. The two teams will meet in the opening round of the Arena Football League playoffs at , and fans are encouraged to attend The Official Gladiators Playoff Watch Party at Dave & Buster’s of Westlake. Next week’s game also airs live on 92.3 The Fan.
A Gladiators turnover on downs to open the game led to Philadelphia posting the game’s first points, as Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh found Shaun Kauleinamoku for a 46-yard touchdown passinto the opening frame. On the ensuing kickoff return, Amarri Jackson ran the ball 55 yards before he was stripped at the one-yard line. Philadelphia took over possession, but the Gladiators defense stood tall, forcing a turnover on downs and keeping the Philadelphia lead at just seven points.
Austin found Collin Taylor for his first touchdown pass of the game withleft in the opening quarter to help the Gladiators tie the game at 7-7. Austin sent a quick pass to the right for Taylor, who carried defenders with him en route to his 42nd touchdown catch of the season. Taylor finished the game with a pair of scores and led the Gladiators with eight receptions and 74 yards. After Cleveland tied the game at 7-7, Philadelphia managed to regain the lead, 14-7, on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Raudabaugh to fullback Tommy Taggart with left in the first quarter.
The back-and-forth scoring continued into the second quarter when Austin barreled into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown run- the first of his two rushing touchdowns in the game- withleft in the second quarter. A missed extra point attempt led to Philadelphia scoring back-to-back touchdowns, including a one-yard rushing touchdown from Taggart in the half’s final seconds, and the Soul led 28-13 at halftime.
The Gladiators outscored Philadelphia 13-7 in the third quarter; the lone quarter in which the Gladiators outscored the Soul. History was made withleft in the third quarter and the Gladiators trailing 35-20. Austin looked to his right and spotted an open Thyron Lewis, and Austin found Lewis for a 16-yard touchdown pass. The pass was Austin’s 101stof the season, setting a new single-season franchise record, and the total is a new career-high for Austin. Austin finished the game completing 16 of 33 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns.
Philadelphia outscored the Gladiators 13-7 in the fourth quarter to secure the win, topping Cleveland 48-33. The Gladiators finished the season series against the Soul with an 0-3 record.
The Gladiators and Soul meet at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphiain the quarterfinals of the AFL playoffs. The game kicks off at and can be heard on 92.3 The Fan. The Official Gladiators Playoff Watch Party will be held at Dave & Buster’s in Westlake.
NOTES: The 33 points was the fewest the Gladiators have scored in a game against Philadelphia this season; the Gladiators scored 56 in their last game against the Soul, a 72-56 loss in Philadelphia on July 11th… Amarri Jackson had 101 kickoff return yards in the loss… Brian Brikowski had three tackles and a fumble recovery for the Gladiators… Dominic Jones led the Gladiators with nine tackles… Mike Alston and Randy Colling registered quarterback sacks for the Gladiators… Follow the Gladiators on Twitter @CLEGladiators, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/