ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The second-year Duke City Gladiators opened their season with a 46-36 exhibition victory over the Texas Stealth at Tingley Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.
The Gladiators, a member of Champions Indoor Football, led all the way after taking a 14-0 first-period lead before an announced crowd of 2,010. That total was about 500 better than last year’s top announced attendance.
Running back Dwyane Davis, an Eastern New Mexico alumnus, was the offensive star for Duke City, rushing for three TDs. Dello Davis had a team-high seven receptions for 69 yards from QB Taylor Genuser.
On defense, ex-New Mexico Lobo Landrick Brody and Tony Bell scored on fumble recoveries.
The Stealth, a member of the North American Indoor Football league, was led by QB Jerell North, who threw for four scores and was the team’s leading rusher with 56 yards.
Duke City coach Dominic Bramante said his team “has to get a whole lot better real quick” to get ready for league play. In a postgame interview on ProView Networks, he said he was concerned over a pair of interceptions by Genuser, who took over for last year’s starter, Kasey Peters, who is in the Arena league.
“It’s a process,” Bramante said. “We have to work on the process of getting better offensively.”
Bramante said there were several reasons the Gladiators weren’t able to pull away after taking an early two-TD lead.
“They had really good players,” he said of Texas. “But you don’t game-plan for them at all. You don’t game-plan during preseason. We were looking ahead to Wichita.”
The Gladiators open the CIF at the Wichita Force on Saturday. Their next home game is March 26 at 6 p.m. vs. the Mesquite Marshals.