The Washington Valor won their first game since April last week, but they weren’t able to carry the momentum over to the next week. The Valor were eliminated from playoff contention after an embarrassing 62-28 loss to the Cleveland Gladiators, who blasted the Valor on their home field.
Cleveland got off to an early lead when fullback Jeramie Richardson scored from one yard out to give the Glads an early 7-0 lead. The Valor responded when quarterback Sean Brackett found Justin Wilson for a touchdown to tie the game at 7. The Gladiators would take the lead back when Arvell Nelson connected with Collin Taylor in the end zone to put Cleveland up 14-7.
Cleveland took a two-possession lead when Nelson found Michael Preston to give them a 21-7 lead. The Glads would add two points to their lead when Brackett was sacked in the end zone, giving Cleveland a 23-7 advantage. Washington would cut the lead to single digits when Jimmy Gordon rushed for a touchdown to trim the lead to 23-14. Cleveland would respond with touchdowns from Preston and Taylor to give them a 36-14 lead after three quarters.
Washington would cut the lead to 15 when Brackett hooked up with T.T. Tolliver for a touchdown. After that Valor touchdown, Cleveland would score four more times to take a commanding 62-21 lead.
Washington stopped the bleeding with a touchdown late in the game to cut the lead to 62-28. The Valor fell to 2-11 on the season, and the loss means the Gladiators will be competing in the playoffs. Washington will close out the season on the road against the Baltimore Brigade, who they’ve beaten twice this season.
The Gladiators will clinch the third seed and take on the Tampa Bay Storm Aug. 14 in the playoffs if the Baltimore Brigade lose to the Valor.
If the Brigade win, they will get the third seed and will play the Storm. Cleveland would travel to play the Philadelphia Soul on Aug. 12.