Las Vegas Gladiators game notes
Date: Sunday, February 22, 2004
Kickoff: 12:00 PM PT
Site: Van Andel Arena (Grand Rapids, MI)
Officials: Referee: Wes Fritz, Umpire: Tony Payne, Head Linesman: R.G. Detillier, Line Judge: David Chesney, Back Judge: James Cole
THE GAME CAN BE HEARD
On ESPN in Las Vegas with Andrew Siciliano handling play-by-play and Mike Pritchard with color commentary.
THE SERIES GLADIATORS VS. RAMPAGE
This will be the third meeting between the Gladiators and the Rampage. The teams have split the first two meetings, with each team winning on their home field. In the last meeting, Grand Rapids outscored the Gladiators 41-0 in the second and third quarters to en route to a 69-21 win in Grand Rapids. Game MVP Clint Dolezel, then playing for Grand Rapids, threw for 190 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Rampage.
WHATS AT STAKE
One team will fall to 0-3 and take a huge hit in a run for a playoff spot with only eight teams making the 2004 postseason.
If the Gladiators win, it would
· Give Las Vegas a 2-1 record against the Rampage
· Give Las Vegas an 1-2 overall record
· Give Las Vegas a 1-1 road record
LAS VEGAS GLADIATORS (0-2)
Date Opponent Time Result Score
Feb. 6 @ Colorado 6:00 L 42-43
Feb. 14 Los Angeles 12:00 L 55-62
Feb. 22 @ Grand Rapids 12:00
Feb. 29 New Orleans 12:00
March 7 @ Georgia 9:00 AM
March 14 Arizona 3:00
March 20 @ San Jose 7:30
March 27 @ Orlando 4:30
April 4 Chicago 3:00
April 10 @ Arizona 7:00
April 25 Detroit 12:00
May 2 Indiana 12:00
May 8 @ Philadelphia 4:30
May 16 San Jose 12:00
May 22 @ Los Angeles 7:30
May 30 Columbus 12:00
All times PST
GRAND RAPIDS RAMPAGE (0-2)
Date Opponent Time Result Score
Feb. 8 @ Chicago 3:00 L 30-50
Feb. 14 Colorado 12:00 L 37-55
Feb.22 Las Vegas 3:00
Feb. 28 @ San Jose 10:30
March 6 @ Dallas 8:30
March 14 Los Angeles 12:00
March 26 @ Indiana 7:30
April 4 Arizona 3:00
April 10 @ Detroit 7:30
April 17 Indiana 7:30
April 23 @ Colorado 9:00
May 1 Austin 7:30
May 8 Chicago 7:30
May 14 @ Columbus 7:00
May 22 @ Carolina 7:30
May 29 Detroit 7:30
All times EST
GLADIATORS VS. RAMPAGE
BY THE NUMBERS
Statistical GLADIATORS RAMPAGE
Category (2004 Per Game) Rank Stat Rank Stat
Total Offense 5 272.0 19 162.5
Rushing Offense 15 13.0 14 16.5
Passing Offense 4 259.0 18 146.0
Total Defense 8 242.0 13 270.0
Rushing Defense 3 10.0 13 25.0
Passing Defense 11 232.0 13 245.0
Scoring Offense 11 48.5 18 33.5
Scoring Defense 18 52.5 19 52.5
GLADIATORS LAST WEEK
FINAL PASS KNOCKED DOWN AS THE GLADIATORS FALL TO THE AVENGERS
Las Vegas, NV, February 14, 2004 Clint Dolezels pass to Terrill Shaw was knocked away by Army Ironman and ADT Defensive Player of the Game Kevin Ingram as time ran out as the Los Angeles Avengers defeated the Las Vegas Gladiators 62-55 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
The Gladiators had two shots from the three-yard line to score with under :05 seconds remaining, but both of Dolezels passes were incomplete.
Los Angeles scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:53 remaining when Tony Graziaini, the Baby Ruth Offensive Player of the Game, hit Joe Douglass from 27 yards out to put the Avengers ahead.
Graziani finished the game completing 23-of-30 passes for 265 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions. He spread the ball around the field to six different receivers, including eight receptions to Greg Hopkins for 103 yards and two touchdowns.
For the Gladiators, Dolezel finished the game with 312 yards passing on 24-of-32 completions tying a Gladiators team record with eight touchdown passes. Shaw caught eight passes for 142 yards and four touchdowns and Cornelius Bonner tallied nine catches for 125 yards and three scores.
GLADIATORS NEXT WEEK
The Gladiators will return home to the Thomas & Mack Center on Sunday, February 29, as they take on the expansion New Orleans VooDoo. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 PM PT and the game will be televised on NBC.
Frank Haege (Third Season 17-15, 0-2 in playoffs)
The Las Vegas Gladiators third-year head coach can look back upon his first two seasons in the AFL and boast about his wide array of accomplishments. Haege led the Gladiators to the fourth-best record in the AFL and their first-ever playoff berth in franchise history in 2002.
The 2003 season was the first for the Gladiators in Las Vegas and Haege led them to a second consecutive playoff appearance and an 8-8 record.
In 2002 the Gladiators 9-5 record and first place finish in the Eastern Division of the National Conference was the biggest turnaround in AFL history. The Gladiators finished the 2002 regular season with seven more victories than the previous season.
Haege was named the second head coach of the New Jersey Gladiators on August 23, 2001. Haege brought with him six players and an assistant coach from the Steamwheelers.
Previously, he spent two years as the head coach and director of football operations with the Quad City Steamwheelers (af2) in 2000 and 2001. Haege posted a remarkable 37-1 record, including an undefeated 2000 season.
Haege is in his tenth season in the Arena Football League.
Bob Cortese (Third Season, First with Rampage, 13-19 record)
On August 21, 2003, the Grand Rapids Rampage announced the hiring of Bob Cortese (kor-TEEZ) as the second head coach and director of football operations in franchise history.
Cortese brings six seasons of Arena Football experience, seven Coach of the Year awards and more than three decades of involvement at the professional, collegiate and high school levels to Grand Rapids. In 32 seasons as a head coach, the Rochester, N.Y., native has compiled an overall record of 244-102-9 (.705), including a 13-17 mark in two AFL seasons (2000-01) with the defunct Oklahoma Wranglers.
During their inaugural season in Oklahoma City, the Wranglers reached the AFL quarterfinals after battling through the league's toughest schedule. At the time, Corteses club earned the distinction of becoming the lowest seed (#10) to ever win an AFL playoff game, authoring a 52-38 road upset of New England in the first round.
GLADIATORS NOTES AND TRENDS
As familiar as Stockton and Malone were to the NBA, Clint Dolezel and Terrill Shaw are to the AFL. In three seasons, Dolezel and Shaw made names for themselves while with the Grand Rapids Rampage. In their fourth season together in a new setting, Dolezel and Shaw are the bread and butter of the Gladiators offense. They led the Rampage in 2001 to their only ArenaBowl championship and followed up in 2002 and 2003 with playoff appearances. Both men have etched their names in the Rampage record book. Dolezel completed the 2003 season by setting team-records with 4,430 yards passing with 89 touchdowns. Shaw set team-records with 1,658 receiving yards, 41 receiving touchdowns and scored 254 points.
Paul LaQuerre and Hardy Mitchell were traded to the Rampage during the off-season, along with Sedrick Robinson, for Clint Dolezel. LaQuerre was a member of the Gladiators for two seasons and completed the 2003 season as the Gladiators Lineman of the Year. The Gladiators acquired Mitchell during the 2003 season and he played in four games. Robinson was later shipped to Columbus to play for the Destroyers from the Rampage.
Cornelius Bonner set career-highs against the Los Angeles Avengers last week with nine receptions for 125 yards and three touchdowns. His previous career-highs were while he was a part of the Chicago Rush organization when he caught seven receptions twice in his career, most recently was on May 18, 2003, against the Indiana Firebirds, had 107 receiving yards on May 18, 2002, against the Georgia Force and totaled three touchdowns on July 7, 2001 at Grand Rapids.
In his first home game in Las Vegas, Clint Dolezel tied a team-record with eight touchdown passes in a game. Four touchdown passes were thrown to Terrill Shaw, three to Cornelius Bonner and one to Marcus Nash. His personal record is 10 and he has hit that mark twice, once while with the Texas Terror in 1997 and once with the Houston Thunderbears in 1999. The previous Gladiators record was set in 2002 when Jay McDonagh connected for eight touchdowns against Grand Rapids.
After two weeks of action, the Gladiators have three players in the top-ten in receptions. Clint Dolezel has been able to find Terrill Shaw (15 receptions, sixth), Marcus Nash (15 receptions, sixth) and Cornelius Bonner (14 receptions, ninth) on almost every offense possession.
Agony of Defeat
Going into week three, the Gladiators have lost their first two games by a combined total of eight points. In the first game of the season the Gladiators lost by a final score of 43-42 to the Crush. In week two the Avengers beat the Gladiators 62-55. Both games came down to the final minute of play for the decision.
The Red & Black rank number one in the league in yards per play at 7.7 and are tied for first in fourth down efficiency. They have converted 2-of-2 on fourth down attempts.
Terrill The Terrible
Terrill Shaw bypassed the 4,000 yards receiving mark last week against the Avengers after catching passes for 142 yards. Shaw currently has 4,025 receiving yards in his five-year career on 291 receptions. On the season he has 15 receptions for 219 yards and four touchdowns.
Marvin Taylor was traded to the Gladiators just one week prior to the start of the 2004 season and has had no problem adjusting to his new surroundings. He currently leads the team in tackles with 10.5 and is only 12 tackles shy of reaching 100 for his career.
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