You can finally put a one in the loss column for Cleveland.
The Pittsburgh Power (8-3) welcomed the Cleveland Gladiators (9-1) to the ranks of the beaten with a 48-34 win Saturday night behind a strong defensive effort. The win was the fifth consecutive victory for the Power, a franchise record.
Arvell Nelson and Al Phillips, the Riddell Defensive Player of the Game, had two interceptions each and the Power also forced two turnovers on downs to hand the Gladiators their first loss of the season. Phillips, starting at safety for injured starter Virgil Gray, led the team with 9 total tackles and added two key pass breakups to go along with his interceptions.
Pittsburgh’s offense was a bit shaky in the game with two fumbles lost and an interception but Tommy Grady was still able to make plays with his arm. He finished the game 18 of 36 for 251 yards and five touchdowns. Rookie wide receiver Tyrone Goard took advantage of his opportunities and caught five passes for 80 yards and four touchdowns and made the toughest catches look routine. Goard has caught at least one touchdown pass in all five games he’s played for Pittsburgh this year.
Tommy Taggart had eight rushes for 17 yards and a score and did a great job gaining positive yardage with the game on the line.
Cleveland starting quarterback Shane Austin had his worst game of the season, completing 27 of 45 passes for 271 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions. Austin added a touchdown on a quarterback sneak. Dominick Goodman had 11 catches for 105 yards and two scores and Collin Taylor and Thyron Lewis each caught a touchdown.
With the Cleveland loss, the only remaining unbeaten team in the AFL is the Arizona Rattlers who clinched the Western Division with a win over the San Jose SaberCats late Saturday night.
Pittsburgh will go for their sixth win in a row next week when they host the New Orleans VooDoo (2-8) Saturday at 5 PM at the Consol Energy Center.
Photo Courtesy Of Pittsburgh Power Facebook Page