Mesquite, T.X. – On Saturday night, the Duke City Gladiators (5-4) made the second trip to the “Lone Star State” in just two weeks to face the Mesquite Marshals (1-8). It was the second meeting this season and the Gladiators got back track on as they marched to victory with a final score of 47-43.
It was apparent that the Gladiators needed a win to break a 3 game losing streak and the “W” was on the mind.
Duke City received the ball at the start of the game and with commanding fashion posted up seven points in 4 plays. Quarterback Taylor Genuser tossed a beautiful 27 yard lob to receiver Dello Davis. This would be the first of Davis’ 5 touchdowns in the game. Mesquite tried to equalize 4 minutes later with a 6 yard pass, but missed the point after. The Gladiators continued to dominate the first quarter in clockwork fashion. Right after the Gladiators scored on a five yard pass to make it 14-7, an aggressive Ray Berry swooped in on kickoff stripping the ball right out of Mesquite’s hands and just like that it was Gladiator ball. Duke City took advantage and in just three plays it was 21-6 as a 31 yard touchdown pass settled the first quarter.
Mesquite started the second quarter scoring on a 1 yard push and then it became a defensive battle the rest of the quarter. There were five changes of possessions including an incredible interception by the “Bird Man” named Ray Berry who returned for 39 yards. 1:41 remaining in the first half. The score settled at 21-13 into halftime.
Just as both defenses dominated the second quarter, both offenses controlled the pace in the third. Mesquite started by driving and scoring in 3 plays that took all of a total of 1 minute. The Gladiators and Marshals exchanged blows which included a 1 yard rush touchdown by Landrick Brody and a 24 yard touchdown reception for receiver Sedrick Johnson. The Gladiators would go on to score 13 unanswered points in just 1 minute and 29 seconds. The third quarter would end with a score of 47-33 on a 7 yard Genuser to Davis touchdown.
The fourth quarter flipped to be defensive driven as the Marshals advanced with a 29 yard field goal and a defensive stop to take possession of the ball. With a touchdown on a 6 yard pass to Mesquite’s Cordell, the Marshals were within 4. With 8:48 remaining, the Gladiators were hoping to acquire a little insurance, but failed to do so on an incomplete 4th and 15 pass. The Marshals were set up for a chance to take their first lead as they started their drive in Gladiator territory. The Duke City defense stepped up as Fatu Ulale blew up the 1st down play with a sack for a five yard loss. This ultimately led to a four and out for the Marshals resulting in the Gladiators taking over the ball and the clock. The game ended there 47-43.
NOTES: Quarterback Taylor Genuser organized a complete 180 from last game as he had a great game passing for 282 yards, 6 touchdowns, completing 22 of 33 pass attempts and no interceptions. Dello Davis dominated the contest with 5 touchdowns on 12 receptions and 182 yards. Davis leads the league in scoring with 27 season touchdowns equating to 162 points. Receiver Sedrick Johnson grabbed 1 touchdown reception and is third in the league for number of receptions with 44. On defense Ray Berry had 1 interception and 1 forced fumble. The Gladiators ran 53 plays for a total offense of 339 yards and possessed the ball for just less than 34 minutes.
The Gladiators go on the road for a third week in a row and face the Amarillo Venom next Saturday May 14th in Amarillo, Texas. Kick-off is set for 6:05 PM mountain time at Amarillo Civic Center Coliseum and can be watched online at dukecitygladiators.com/watch.