Cleveland Gladiators Win Home Opener

March 4, 2008 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Cleveland Gladiators News Release

CLEVELAND - In front of 17,391 screaming Clevelanders, the Gladiators opened their inaugural season in grand fashion, defeating the New York Dragons, 61-49 on Monday night. The Gladiators begin the 2008 regular season 1-0, while the Dragons slip to 0-1.

Raymond Philyaw earned offensive player of the game honors for his five touchdown performance. Philyaw completed 18-of-23 attempts for 240 yards and the five passing touchdowns, including a 37-yard touchdown strike on the first play from scrimmage to Andy McCullough. The Gladiators led 7-0 after just 25 seconds into the game.

Otis Amey was the beneficiary of two Philyaw touchdown passes while he also added one score on the ground. Amey led all Gladiators receivers with 101 yards and two scores.

Ironman recipient Marlion Jackson carried the ball seven times for a game-high 62 yards and one score. His lone rushing touchdown was the result of a 32-yard scamper in the third quarter.

Dragons quarterback Aaron Garcia left the game early in the second quarter and did not return. His replacement, Rohan Davey stepped in and completed 21-of-30 passes for 249 yards and five scores. He faced pressure from the Cleveland front three all night, and was taken to the ground on four separate occasions.

Kevin Swayne paced the Dragons receiving corps with a game-high 10 catches for 130 yards and three touchdowns.

The Gladiators are home on Sunday, March 9 as they host the Utah Blaze. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. and can be heard on the radio home of the Gladiators - ESPN 850 WKNR. Mike Case and Hanford Dixon will call the action.

The Cleveland Gladiators 2008 season is underway. Group, season and Flex Book packages can be purchased by calling the Cleveland Gladiators offices at 216.685.9000. Single game tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by at all TicketMaster locations, calling 216.241.2121, or visiting www.clevelandgladiators.com.

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