Saturday night the Cleveland Gladiators (0-2) will be looking for their first win of the season, they are the only team in the league without a victory. Another slow start last week to the Baltimore Brigade doomed Cleveland last week and after starting the season 0-2 on their home field, they travel to Tampa.
Cleveland has scored zero points in the opening ten minutes of both games this season. In Week 3, they will see the same team they hosted in week one the Tampa Bay Storm.
Last time they faced each other, neither team scored in the first eleven minutes of the game. In fact, the first touchdown was an interception by Caesar Rayford with 3:25 remaining in the opening quarter.
Cleveland did not score in the first quarter in their week one match up and have scored 14 in the first half of both games during their 0-2 start.
The most interesting story line in this game is how much of Arvell Nelson we will see and where. After not being with the team vs the Storm in Cleveland, Nelson was back on the team last week and we saw him return on defense at jack linebacker. He also came in at quarterback late in the fourth quarter after rookie quarterback Tanner Marsh fumbled the ball (Marsh is not on the active roster this week). Marsh, 26, got the start over newly acquired quarterback Shane Boyd who started in the opening week.
In Week 1, Storm wide receiver Joe Hills was unstoppable, he out-maned the Gladiators defensive backs anytime the ball went his way, he totaled up seven catchers for 53 yards and three touchdowns. The scary thing is Hills is due for a monster game as it took him until the final seconds of the last week’s game vs the Philadelphia Soul to score a touchdown. Hills kept the longest active receiving streak for games with at least one touchdown in all of the Arena Football League going at 70 games.
A game that many fans would argue should had gone down as a win for the Storm after the officials appeared to miss a pass that looked to go backwards, the play was reviewed and they stayed with the original call. Had it gone the other way, it would had been the Storm’s ball and likely lead to at least a six point swing.
The game can be seen on tonight on CBS Sports Network and it will be the Glads first appearance on the network this season. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET from Amalie Arena.