Dodge City, K.S. – In a clash between Southern Division titans, both Duke City and Dodge City displayed an edge of your seat show. On Saturday night in Kansas, the Gladiators fought hard to add another “W” in the season win column, but fell just short of that. Gladiators fought the Law, but the Law won.
The Duke City Gladiators (4-2) four game winning streak was snapped by the Dodge City Law (5-2) by a score of 48-39.
In the first quarter, the Law were first to draw blood in just under two minutes and a drive of 25 yards. A quick one yard touchdown run by Dodge City’s Dominique Carson started it all off. Three minutes later, Duke City answered right back and assumed control of the first quarter. First touchdown consisted of wide receiver Brock Ringo picking up a 16 yard pass from quarterback Bryan Randall. Kicker Cody Barber could not convert the point after. At the 6:45 mark, the Gladiators returned a missed Dodge City field goal attempt into Law territory where 24 yards later, receiver Sedrick Johnson grabs a four yard touchdown pass from QB Randall. Gladiators take the first quarter 13-7.
It only took Dodge City nine seconds in the beginning of the 2nd quarter to score on a 28 yard pass to Daniel McKinney. As Duke City took possession, former Law and current Gladiator Dello Davis was off to the races as he made a grab for a 29 yard touchdown reception in just 1:10. Gladiators go up 20-14. A back and forth battle ensued which drained about 12 minutes of time. In the mix of the clock running, Gladiators make a huge defensive stop on their own five yard line as Dodge City tried to punch it in resulting in a turnover on downs. As Duke City drove, Randall threw an interception with 2:31 remaining in the second and that resulted in Dodge City driving and scoring. A turnover on downs by the Gladiators would give the Law a chance to score another touchdown in just six seconds on an 18 yard run by Dodge City’s Carson. As halftime drew near, the Gladiators were not going out without a fight. QB Randall was able to find Johnson for an 11 yard touchdown pass to end the half with the Law leading 27-26.
The Gladiators started off the third quarter with a kickoff return that didn’t result in much but a turnover on downs. Dodge City again scored first in the quarter as they further extended their lead another seven points. As everyone knows how fast the indoor game is, it took just 1:24 before Duke City’s Davis grabbed his second touchdown pass of the night on an eight yard toss from Randall. Just as the Gladiators closed the gap, Dodge City pressed which resulted in Carson scoring on a seven yard run. But that didn’t stop the Gladiators from scoring the last touchdown of the third quarter. A quick six yard pass from Randall to Davis cut Dodge City’s lead to just two.
With the score 41-39, the fourth quarter was all defense for both sides. Duke City’s Christopher Smalls put a complete stop on Dodge City’s rush which resulted in a turnover on downs. As the Gladiators looked to drive and take the lead, a tipped ball resulted in a Dodge City interception and allowed the law to score in three plays. With the score 48-39 and nine minutes remaining, both defenses battled it out as Gladiators turned over on downs with 5:46 remaining. The Game wasn’t over for Duke City as Gladiator Fatu Ulale sacked Dodge City’s quarterback forcing a fumble which was recovered by Montez Robinson giving a chance for the Gladiators to stay in the game. With 3:30 remaining in the game, Randall found a way to drive 18 yards and set up for a touchdown on the Law’s four yard line. With one minute left in the game, a bad snap and fumble resulted in the Gladiators recovering on the 17 yard line for 3rd and goal. Davis efforts a seven yard reception only to get to the 10. With a 4th and goal set up, Randall stepped back to try and search out an open receiver only to throw an incomplete pass to Johnson. With a turnover on downs and 18 seconds to go, the Dodge City Law burn the clock and that was the match. Gladiators fall to the Law 48-39.
The Gladiators dropped to third in the Southern Division standings with a record of 4-2.
NOTES: Quarterback Bryan Randall passed for 162 yards, six touchdowns and completed 14 of 34 pass attempts. Dello Davis had a nice night as he gathered up three touchdown receptions for a total of 90 yards. Receiver Sedrick Johnson seized two touchdown passes with 32 yards and Brock Ringo had one. Defensively, leaders included Jayson Serda who had 10 tackles; Kevin Reeves with nine tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble; and Montez Robinson who had 5.5 tackles, one tackle for loss and one fumble recovery.
The Gladiators look to get back on track next Saturday April 23rd as they face the Texas Revolution at home. Kick-off set for 6:05 PM mountain time at Tingley Coliseum and can be watched online at dukecitygladiators.com/watch.