CLEVELAND - Despite closing to within four points of tying the game in the third quarter, the Cleveland Gladiators (2-6) could not catch up in the fourth, falling to the San Antonio Talons (4-4) by a 57-33 score Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena. The loss comes on the heels of the Gladiators recording their first home win of the season the previous week against Chicago.
Thyron Lewis caught three touchdown passes for the Gladiators and also tied for the team lead in receptions with Dominick Goodman with eight. Gladiators starting quarterback Chris Dieker left the game with a shoulder injury in the second quarter and was replaced by Brian Zbydniewski.
The two teams alternated touchdowns in the first quarter and into the second before San Antonio eventually took a 35-21 lead into halftime. Dieker began the scoring with a 38 yard touchdown run with 9:06 remaining in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7. Two of Lewis' three touchdown catches came in the first half, with one coming from 46 yards and one from 13 yards.
In an unusual third quarter, San Antonio scored the only two points of the quarter with a safety 35 seconds into the frame to take a 37-21 lead.
San Antonio, leading 44-33 in the third quarter, took control by scoring back-to-back defensive touchdowns- both courtesy of Jamar Ransom interceptions- to extend the lead to 57-33.
The Gladiators are back in action next Saturday in Pittsburgh against the Power, with the game starting at 7:00 PM.
NOTES: The Gladiators fall to 1-4 on their home field this season… Dieker was making his first start of the season after making his first appearance in a relief role last week in place of Brian Zbydniewski, who took over for Dieker this week… Lewis ended the game with 157 yards on eight catches… The Gladiators outgained the Talons in total offensive yardage by a 289-258 margin… Dominick Goodman caught eight balls, giving him 30 catches over his last three outings.