Amarillo T.X. – The Duke City Gladiators (2-3) tried to even things out with the Amarillo Venom (4-0) for the 2017 season but came up just short once again. The Gladiators barely lost to the Venom 62-59.
The battle between the Gladiators and Venom is and always will be a shootout when the two teams meet.
The 1st quarter started off with the Venom scoring quickly in just under 2 minutes. It didn’t take long for the Gladiators to answer back as it only took 1 play for RB Antonio Bray to rush 45 yards and score with 12:34 on the clock. Two minutes later, Amarillo made a drive to add to their lead. The Venom added another 3 points with a field goal kick from the 12 yard line. Kicker Brian Weems equalized the field goal with one of his own from the 13 yard line and 2:57 left in the first. The Venom utilized the time down to the final seconds with another touchdown pass to end the 1st quarter 24-10.
It didn’t take long for Duke City to get back on track with another touchdown grab for 4 yards by WR Larry Cobb who would have a total of 2 touchdown catches in the game. The Gladiator defense couldn’t contain Nate Davis and the Venom as they capitalized on two more scoring opportunities to close out the first half by a score of 38-17.
There was a refocus session for the Gladiators at halftime as the 3rd quarter showed a completely different Duke City team. The Gladiators initially had the first possession in the second half and made haste to score in just one play with a 41 yard pass to Bray for a touchdown. The defense stepped up as the line forced Amarillo to fumble the ball in which Jayson Serda scooped it up and returned it for six. Then the Gladiator line forced another fumble resulting in a turnover on downs for Amarillo. Porterie easily connected to WR Julian Walker for a 16 yard touchdown leap and roped in the score to tie it all up 38-38. It was 21 points in just under 7 minutes. Amarillo’s Felton kicked a field goal to pull ahead by 3 with 3:37 remaining in the third. A wacky turn of event for the Gladiators took place as a 10 yard rush by Lucien Walker was deemed a fumble by the officials. The call would result in a turn over for the Gladiators and Amarillo would score on that drive to close out the third quarter 48-38.
In the 4th quarter, Porterie took just 6 seconds to connect with WR Dexter Manley for a 35 yard bomb. Manley’s touchdown would bring the Venom lead down to just 3 again. With 13:15 on the clock, Amarillo’s Nate Davis scored to spread their lead 55-45. It was Deja Vu for Porterie to Manley as they connected with each other for another touchdown for 16 yards and a score of 55-52. From this point it became a back and forth game between the Gladiators and the Venom. Amarillo would score with 9:08 on the clock and then Porterie would toss to Cobb for a 42 yard TD once again. With the score set at 62-59, Duke City had an opportunity to capitalize on an Amarillo turnover on downs. The Gladiators drove to set things up for a 1st and goal with just under 5 minutes to go. Porterie couldn’t find an open receiver and ended up throwing a game ending interception.
The Venom defeated the Gladiators for a second time this season. Duke City will face Amarillo two more times this season with one game at home and the other on the road.
QB Porterie completed 18-36 passes, 293 passing yards, 6 TD passes and 2 interceptions. Receivers Dexter Manley and Larry Cobb both had 2 touchdown receptions to their name. On the defensive side, Fatu Ulale and Kyle Patterson both had 1 sack while Jayson Serda had 2.
The Gladiators play their sixth game of the season on the road and the second installment against the Centex Cavalry. The matchup takes place this Friday April 7th, 2017 with kick-off at 6:05 PM Mountain Time in Belton, Texas. Fans can watch the game online at DukeCityGladiators.com.