By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Philadelphia Soul and the Cleveland Gladiators are going to clash for the first time this season. However, last season, all three games came down to the final plays of the game.
Fortunately for the Gladiators, they were able to escape with the wins en route to an ArenaBowl appearance. But this is a new season, and the Soul have a perfect 3-0 record, while the Gladiators come into the game with a 2-1 mark.
All three of the Soul wins have been by less than 10 points. The past two games have been by nine points, while the first game was by a touchdown over the Orlando Predators.
The Gladiators blew out the Tampa Bay Storm and the New Orleans VooDoo in back-to-back games, before losing by eight points to the Arizona Rattlers last week.
However, the Gladiators come into this game with a perfect 2-0 record on the road. The Soul are just 1-0 at home following a win over the Jacksonville Sharks.
The Soul are also atop the Eastern Division within the American Conference with the perfect record. However, the Gladiators are second with the 2-1 mark.
The Gladiators come into this match-up averaging 57 points per game, while having 171 points on the young season. The re-vamped Soul offense are averaging 62.33 points per game and has scored 187 points in three games.
Shane Austin has thrown for 723 yards and 18 touchdowns. Dominick Goodman has 26 receptions for 259 and 10 touchdowns.
Collin Taylor adds 16 receptions for 199 yards and three touchdowns, while Amarri Jackson has 13 receptions for 197 yards and 4 touchdowns. Ex-Soul player Andrae Thurman has the other TD with four catches for 52 yards.
The Soul have also scored more passing touchdowns, as they have scored 22 compared to the Gladiators 18. However, Cleveland doubled up Philadelphia in rushing touchdowns with 4 to 2.
Dan Raudabaugh had thrown for 988 yards and 22 touchdowns. Marco Thomas has 35 catches for 373 yards and six touchdowns, while Ryan McDaniel added 29 receptions for 376 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Shaun Kauleinamoku contributes 11 receptions for 203 yards and four touchdowns. Xavier Boyce, who sees more time on special teams, has two receptions for 24 yards and two touchdowns
Both teams have not just counted on their offenses to win games. Their defenses have also come up big in their victories, as well.
Cleveland is averaging just 45 points per game, while the Soul are averaging 52.67.
Dominic Jones leads the Gladiators defense with 23.5 tackles and a QB hit. Brandon Stephens is second with 19.5, before everyone else has less than 10 tackles.
The Gladiators come into this game with nine sacks, while the Soul have just three. Cleveland also has three quarterback hits, and Philadelphia has none.
Each team has three interceptions, yet the Gladiators defense has returned two for touchdowns. The Soul has returned just one for a pick six.
Boyce has the one interception for a touchdown, as he also has 2.5 tackles and a fumble recovery. Dwayne Hollis leads the Soul attack with 13.5 tackles followed by LaRico Stevenson, who has 11 tackles. Beau Bell had 10 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
In addition, the team that calls Quicken Loans Arena home has forced five fumbles and recovered four. The home team for this team has two and recovered three.
If last season is any indication of what this game will be like, the game will come down to the wire between these two teams, who do not like each other. Those that will be in attendance for this Saturday’s game will be in store for a good game.