San Diego – The Cleveland Gladiators started off the game fast and hard behind the strong arm of Arvell Nelson. They say it’s always hard to beat a team three times in a season. Unfortunately that was the fate of the LA KISS who lost 56-52 in first round of the playoffs. The KISS never gave up but few key mistakes determined their fate.
Just think if they don’t allow ball to go off net into fair territory that was recovered by Cleveland for late score and lead 49-46 with 30 second remaining in game. KISS scored on last time in a valiant attempt to come back.
Cleveland held a 20-6 lead after the first quarter of play. The second quarter Cleveland allow the KISS to come back and make this game up for grabs in the second half. Nelson went 13/26 for 202 yards, 3 passing and 1 rushing touchdown and the win. Collin Taylor was his main target on the night with 8 catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.
LA KISS fullback Rory Nixon scampered in for 9 yard touchdown in 3rd quarter and the LA KISS first lead of the game 32-27. Then the KISS defense responded with interception by defensive back Josh Victorian at 6:04 in 3rd quarter. The emotion in build was swelling for the home team. Three plays later quarterback Nathan Stanley hit wide receiver Donovan Morgan for his third touchdown of the game. Stanley threw a nice 27 yard deep fade pass that allowed Morgan to run right underneath it for the catch 39-27. Just think if the game could have ended after 3 quarters of play.
LA KISS head coach Omarr Smith will still hold his head up high after getting his team in playoffs in his first season as coach. He led his team to (7-9) record and the franchise first playoff berth. Even though Cleveland held the same record the LA KISS had defeated them two times already in regular season.
The LA KISS balance attack with wide receiver Donovan Morgan leading his team with 9 catches 132 yards with 3 touchdowns. Always a top performer for his team and someone every team game plans against but can’t shut down. Nixon was the other big play player for LA KISS scoring 3 touchdowns on the ground himself.
Now the LA KISS will have to watch the Arena Bowl at home but they gained some playoff experience for next year run.