Las Vegas Gladiators game notes
GLADIATORS VS. DRAGONS: THE FACTS
Date: Friday, February 11, 2005
Kickoff: 7:00 PM PT
Site: Thomas & Mack Center (Las Vegas, NV)
Officials: Referee: Steve Pamon, Umpire: Jeff Carr, Head Linesman: Brent Durbin, Line Judge: R.G. Detillier, Back Judge: Tony Lombardo
THE GAME CAN BE HEARD
On ESPN Radio 920 in Las Vegas with Andrew Siciliano handling play-by-play and Mike Pritchard with expert analysis.
THE SERIES GLADIATORS VS. DRAGONS
This will be the seventh meeting between the teams. The last meeting between the teams came in Week 14 of 2003, when the Gladiators lost in the final :40 seconds of the game, 43-42 at the Thomas & Mack Center.
WHATS AT STAKE
If the Gladiators win, it would
· Give the Las Vegas a 4-3 record vs. the Dragons
· Give Las Vegas a 2-1 overall record
· Give Las Vegas a 2-0 home record
LAS VEGAS GLADIATORS (1-1)
Date Opponent Time Result Score
Jan. 30 Los Angeles 12:00 W 46-37
Feb. 5 @ SanJose 6:00 L 31-66
Feb. 11 New York 7:00
Feb. 20 Georgia 3:00
Feb. 26 @ Nashville 5:30
March 4 Austin 7:00
March 12 @ Columbus 4:00
March 19 @ Arizona 6:00
March 28 San Jose 7:00
April 3 @ Colorado 12:00
April 8 Grand Rapids 7:00
April 17 @ Philadelphia 10:00 AM
May 1 @ Chicago 10:00 AM
May 7 Dallas 7:00
May 14 @ Los Angeles 7:30
May 22 Arizona 12:00
All times PST
NEW YORK DRAGONS (1-0)
Date Opponent Time Result Score
Feb. 5 Dallas 10:00 AM W 55-45
Feb. 11 @ Las Vegas 7:00
Feb. 19 Nashville 4:00
Feb. 27 Arizona 12:00
March 6 @ Philadelphia 9:00 AM
March 12 Georgia 4:00
March 19 @ Austin 5:30
March 26 @ Columbus 4:00
April 2 Chicago 4:00
April 10 @ Los Angeles 12:00
April 15 @ Orlando 4:30
April 24 Philadelphia 10:00 AM
April 29 @ Dallas 5:30
May 7 Columbus 4:00
May 15 @ Tampa Bay 10:00 AM
May 21 Colorado 4:00
All times PST
GLADIATORS VS. DRAGONS
BY THE NUMBERS
Statistical GLADIATORS DRAGONS
Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 16 38.5 4 55.0
Scoring Defense 13 51.5 7 45.0
Total Offense 7 291.5 16 227.0
Total Defense 3 251.0 5 259.0
Pass Offense 8 266.5 15 212.0
Pass Defense 7 235.5 3 225.0
Rushing Offense 6 25.0 10 15.0
Rushing Defense 8 15.5 14 34.0
Pass Rating 13 89.3 7 108.9
Pass Defense Rating 9 107.3 4 87.1
Turnover Margin 15 -1.00 3 1.00
Sacks By 2 4 15 1
Sacks Against 2t 1 1t 0
3rd Down Conversion % 16 18.2 1 77.8
Opponent 3rd Down Conversion % 14 63.6 11 55.6
Red Zone Offense Scoring Percentage 11t 75.0 11t 75.0
Red Zone Defense Scoring Percentage 11 81.2 6 71.4
GLADIATORS LAST WEEK
GLADIATORS COME UP SHORT IN SAN JOSE, 66-31
San Jose, CA, February 5, 2005 San Jose SaberCats quarterback Mark Grieb passed for six touchdowns, three of those to the Offensive Player of the Game Calvin Schexnayder, as the SaberCats defeated the Gladiators, 66-31, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA.
Las Vegas turned the ball over six times including two fumbles, two interceptions with two turnover-on-downs and were held scoreless in the second half.
During the first half, the Gladiators started off behind 12-0 before quarterback Clint Dolezel connected with OS Marcus Nash on the first offensive play of the game for a 34-yard touchdown. San Jose would then tack on four more touchdowns to the Gladiators three and close out the half with a 40-31 lead entering the break.
With more than seven minutes remaining in the first half, Nash caught a 31-yard pass thrown by Dolezel and was forced over the railings by SaberCats DS Omarr Smith and would not return to the game.
Nash would leave the game with four receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Las Vegas would not recover from Nashs departure and would be outscored 33-17 by San Jose.
Dolezel finished the game completing 18-of-30 for 258 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
The SaberCats rushed for four touchdowns including two by U.S. Army Ironman of the Game FB/LB Matt Kinsinger and one by each WR/DB Ryan Fernandez and WR/LB Shalon Baker.
Grieb led the San Jose offense with 23-of-31 completions for 275 yards and one interception to go along with his six touchdown passes.
The Gladiators return home next week to face the New York Dragons on Friday, February 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center. The game will be heard on ESPN Radio 920 with Andrew Siciliano and Mike Pritchard handling the call. Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling the Gladiators office at 702-731-4977 or logging onto www.lvgladiators.com.
Ron James (First Season, 1-1)
Ron James enters his first season as the head coach of the Gladiators. He spent the previous three seasons as assistant head coach/offensive defensive line/special teams coach.
James previously served as line coach for the Houston ThunderBears and Director of Player Personnel from 1999-2001. He is entering his seventh season in the Arena Football League.
Prior to his time in the AFL, James served as the Assistant Football coach, offensive line coach and Admissions Support Officer at Army in 1998 and 1999. Army captured two Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL) rushing titles during his stint, averaging more than 257 yards per game.
James spent five seasons at Kentucky Wesleyan College, where he served as associate head coach for the final four years. James began his stay at Kentucky Wesleyan in 1993 as offensive coordinator in addition he managed the offensive line. In 1994, James was promoted to associate head coach at Kentucky Wesleyan and added defensive coordinator/secondary coach to his repertoire.
James coached a combined fourteen years at the collegiate level. In 1992-93, he served as defensive coordinator/secondary coach at Hartwick College. From 1989-1991, James was defensive coordinator/linebacker coach at St. Lawrence University. He began his coaching career in 1986 as a linebacker coach at Siena College (New York) and served as head coach of the junior varsity team.
James was a four-year starter at offensive tackle at Siena College. An N.C.F.A All-America First Team and two-time First-Team All-Conference selection, James also saw action at defensive tackle. He earned a BA from Siena and a MBA from Rockefeller College, which is a subsidiary of the State University of New York at Albany.
Weylan Harding (First Season 1-0)
Weylan Harding will begin his first season as the new head coach of the Dragons in 2005. He joins the team from Columbus, where as the Destroyers' defensive coordinator he established a reputation as a highly-regarded defensive coach. He feels it is a great honor to coach the team he once played for and that it his passion to bring a championship to the franchise that started him on a path from player to coach in the AFL.
Harding has spent the last three seasons as the Columbus/Buffalo franchise's defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. After his career as an AFL player concluded, Harding took his first coaching assignment with the Destroyers as their defensive backs coach for the 2000 season. Under his direct guidance, DS Prentice Taylor was an All-Rookie selection. The following season he mentored the defensive backs for the Rochester Brigade of arenafootball2, including current San Francisco cornerback Dwaine Carpenter who later followed him back to Buffalo. The Destroyers brought Harding back as their defensive coordinator in 2002. In 2003 the Destroyers' defense finished as the top-ranked unit in the AFL, allowing only 219.1 yards per game. His unit also finished second in the league in total defense with 238.5 yards per game, four in scoring defense with 46.9 yards per game and fourth in team interceptions with 21. He made the move with the franchise to Columbus for the 2004 season.
As a player, Harding was a defensive specialist for the Iowa Barnstormers - now the Dragons - Nashville and Portland before retiring as a player with Buffalo in 2000.
Harding had a standout collegiate career at Iowa State University where he was a key component to their defensive unit in the early '90s. In his junior season, he was named to the All-Big 8 team with 74 tackles and 21 pass deflections.
At Iowa State, Harding majored in English. He is currently single and resides in Oyster Bay, NY.
Offensive Player of the Game
Week Opp. Player
1 LA Marcus Nash (LV)
2 SJ Calvin Schexnayder (SJ)
ADT Defensive Player of the Game
Week Opp. Player
1 LA Antuan Simmons (LA)
2 SJ Omarr Smith (SJ)
Army Ironman of the Game
Week Opp. Player
1 LA Dameon Porter (LV)
2 SJ Matt Kinsinger (SJ)
AFL TOP 10: League Leaders after Week 2
Player Rank Category Stat
Clint Dolezel 9 Total Offense 254.0
8 Passing Yards 509
8 Avg. Passing Yards Per Game 254.5
1 Had Intercepted 4
Rod Robinson 1 Passing Completion % 75.0
Frank Carter 1 Rushing Touchdowns 3
3t Scoring 18
5 Rushing 23
5 Yards Per Rush 4.7
1t Fumble Recoveries 1
1t Rushing TDs 3
2t Sacks 1.5
Coco Blalock 5 Kick Returns 9
8 Kick Return Yards 147
Mark Lewis 2t Scoring (kickers) 16
2 Field Goals Made 3
3t Field Goal Attempts 3
5 PAT Percentage 88.9
2 FG % 75.0
Rodney Filer 9 Rushing 14
8 Yards Per Rush 4.0
Marcus Nash 1 Receiving Yards 244
1 Receiving Yards Per Game 122.0
9 Yards from Scrimmage 115
Marvin Taylor 2t Passes Defended 4
6t INT Return Yards 16
Dameon Porter 1t Interceptions 2
6t INT Return Yards 16
Wilky Bazile 2t Sacks 1.5
Steve Konopka 20 Sacks 1.0
PLAYER MILESTONE CURRENT NUMBER TO GO
Clint Dolezel 600 Touchdown Passes 582 18
Clint Dolezel 30,000 Passing Yards 29,359 641
Coco Blalock 2000 Receiving Yards 1,996 4
GLADIATORS NOTES AND TRENDS
FIRST THINGS FIRST
On the first play of the game in Week 1 against the Avengers, QB Clint Dolezel connected with WR/LB Coco Blalock for a 46-yard touchdown. In Week 2 against the SaberCats, Dolezel found OS Marcus Nash for a 34-yard touchdown pass on the Gladiators first offensive play of the game.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
The Red & Black are 1-7 all-time on Friday games and have not played a Friday night game since April 19, 2002, when the Gladiators were based out of New Jersey and played the Destroyers in their former home of Buffalo.
The Gladiators FB/LB Rodney Filer will be facing his former team, the New York Dragons for the first time. He played for the Dragons organization for the previous six seasons. Last season, he led the Dragons with 84 rushing yards with three touchdowns.
For the Dragons, WR/LB Mike Horacek comes back to his former home for the first time since playing for the Gladiators from 2002-03. Another familiar Dragon is FB/LB Jamaal Cherry. He graduated from Clark High School in Las Vegas where he was regarded as a top prospect. He was a also a first-team All-State pick in his junior and senior seasons and lettered in baseball and basketball while also competing on the track squad.
WAITING IN THE WINGS
In the second game of the season, backup QB Rod Robinson saw his first action of the season and went 3-of-4 for 31 yards passing. Robinson was with the team last season and played in seven games while going 7-of-10 for 88 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. He also rushed the ball 11 times for 37 yards and one touchdown. He previously played in the NFL in 2002 as the number three quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars and in 2001 with the Indianapolis Colts as their number three quarterback.
LETS DO IT AGAIN
OS Marcus Nash surpassed the 100-yard receiving plateau for the second consecutive game of the season. Despite only playing in 23 minutes, Nash caught four passes for 128 yards with two touchdowns. Last season, he led the League in games with 100 yards or more receiving in eight games.
With his second interception of the season coming against the SaberCats last week, WR/DB Dameon Porter brought himself one interception shy of 30 for his career. He is currently tied with the League lead in interceptions. In 2001, when he was named the Ironman of the Year, he intercepted 12 passes and in 2002 he picked off 10.
QBs Clint Dolezel and Aaron Garcia have faced each other five times since both of them joined the Arena Football League in 1995. In those five games, Dolezel has come out on top three times. The last meeting between a Dolezel lead team and a Garcia lead team was on February 16, 2003. Dolezel lead the Grand Rapids Rampage over the New York Dragons with the final score 66-63.
Las Vegas is the only team in the Arena Football League without a rookie on its roster to start the 2005 season.
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