Arena Football League
Final Gladiators Roster Features Four Cleveland Area Players, Eight Ohio Natives
After starting training camp with 36 players two weeks ago, the Cleveland Gladiators have trimmed their roster down to 23 active players, plus four on injured reserve. The team will open their fifth season of Arena Football League action this Sunday, March 24th, against the visiting Spokane Shock at 1:00 p.m. Of the 23 active players, eight of them hail from the state of Ohio, including four who are from the Cleveland area. The most well-known of those is Glenville High School and University of Michigan alum Pierre Woods, who spent five years in the NFL with the New England Patriots.
The 2013 roster has many new faces on it, as only six of the 23 active players were on the team last season. Brian Brikowski, Brandon Denson, Dominick Goodman, Thyron Lewis, Derik Steiner and Maurice Williams return to Cleveland for the 2013 season. Also back on the field will be head coach Steve Thonn, who enters his fourth season at the helm of the Gladiators.
The full 2013 roster (numerical and alphabetical) is attached and can also be seen here: http://clevelandgladiators.com/team/roster/
Indoor Football League
Storm Win Big over Cavalry
The Sioux Falls Storm (2-1) were victorious 67-7 over the Wyoming Cavalry (0-2) on Sunday afternoon in their 2013 home opener. An injury last week triggered a changing of quarterbacks in Sioux Falls giving first year man Dwight Dasher his first start.
Sioux Falls started the game strong as Dasher connected a 30-yard touchdown pass to James Terry and put the Storm up 7-0. Tavron Harrison also added to the first quarter scoring with a 5-yard touchdown of his own to make it 14-0. Defensive linemen Cory Johnson blocked a field goal, which the storm recovered in the end zone to extend their lead to 21. Dasher then passed for two more touchdowns in the second quarter, and added a rushing touchdown giving the Storm a 44-0 lead at the half.
The Storm began the third quarter with a quick 18-yard touchdown pass from Dasher to Mike Tatum. Parker Douglass added to the lead with a 28-yard field goal. Wyoming countered for their first points with a 3 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kyle Christian to Troy Evans at the end of the third quarter to make it 54-7.
In the fourth quarter, Harrison rushed for a touchdown, and Dasher added the final points for the Storm with a 41-yard quarterback keeper.
Dasher ended the game with 164 yards passing and 4 touchdowns. He also rushed for 138 yards, and 2 rushing touchdowns. This is the Storm's twenty-fifth straight win at home.
The Storm hits the road next week to take on the Colorado Ice on March 24 with a 4:05 kick-off. The Storm's next home game is on April 7, at 3:05 in a United Conference Championship rematch against the Green Bay Blizzard.
Cedar Rapids Titans Top Week 6 IFL Coaches Poll
The Cedar Rapids Titans take home the top spot in the first Coaches Poll of the 2013 season.
The Titans, in the middle of two bye weeks, are the lone remaining undefeated team with a 4-0 record. They will return to action on March 30th against the Green Bay Blizzard.
The Sioux Falls Storm (2-1) find themselves in an unfamiliar position; looking up at a team in the #1 spot. The Storm are #2 this week after spending the entire 2012 season voted as the #1 team by their peers. QB Dwight Dasher filled in admirably for injured starter Martevious Young in a dominating 67-7 performance over the Wyoming Cavalry. The Storm will be tested this week in a road game against the Colorado Ice on Sunday.
Playing arguably the most difficult schedule to date, the Nebraska Danger land in the #3 spot. After earning victories over Sioux Falls and Colorado, the Danger (2-1) suffered their first defeat of the season, 44-31, at the hands of the Tri-Cities Fever in Week 5. The Danger kick off Week 6 action on Friday when the Cavalry visit Grand Island.
The Tri-Cities Fever land in the #4 spot this week after evening their record to 1-1 with a victory over the Nebraska Danger. A dominate second half was lead by the Fever defense which allowed only 7 points after halftime, holding Danger QB Jameel Sewell to just 11 completions on 32 pass attempts. The Fever visit Allen, TX in Week 6 to take on the Texas Revolution.
The Colorado Ice (2-1) round out the Top 5 this week after outlasting the Green Bay Blizzard 24-20 in a defensive battle. The Ice will need an improved offensive performance this weekend if they wish to emerge victorious when the Storm come to town.
Spots 6-9 this week belong to the Chicago Slaughter, Green Bay Blizzard, Texas Revolution, and Wyoming Cavalry. The Slaughter improved to 2-2 with a 51-26 victory over Texas in Week 5. The Blizzard, Revolution, and Cavalry will all be searching for their first win of 2013 in Week 6.
Professional Indoor Football League
Panthers 2-0 Defeat In-State Rival Columbus 40-37 on Last Second Field Goal
In a thriller, enthusiastic fans witnessed the Albany Panthers (2-0) top the Columbus Lions (1-1) 40-37. Kicker Ryan Gates provided the heroics with a 29 yard, game winning field goal following a brilliant Panther offensive series.
Columbus dominated the first quarter, jumping out to a 6-0 lead, before the Panthers began battling back. Albany started their comeback when Derrick Wimbush scored a touchdown to start the second quarter.
Both teams put on an offensive show as they traded scores throughout the half. The action was highlighted by Lions WR Maurice Dupree 46 yard touchdown reception from Lion QB Marcus Davis. The Panthers lead the Lions 15-13 as the half ended.
The second half began with a huge defensive play by Corey Rue who tipped and intercepted Marcus Jones, returned it back to the Lions two yard line. Lester scored on a 1 yard rush shortly after to make it a 22-13 lead.
Columbus seemed to have an answer for every Panthers score and had a four point lead late in the fourth quarter when Lester hit a crossing Antwontis Cutts for 6. Albany took a 3 point lead. Lions' kicker Chandler Brooks tied the game with just over 12 seconds left. On Albany's ensuing possession, Lester found John Harris on a quick hitter. Harris picked up big first down yardage and was taken down in Columbus territory before Gates sent the Panthers to 2-0 with his 28 yard kick.
The Panthers are home again next week as they host the Alabama Hammers.