ANAHEIM, CA-The Cleveland Gladiators (4-0) had too much fire power in the end for the LA Kiss (2-2) to handle in 40-30 defeat. It was a back and forth battle until the 4th quarter when the lone touchdown belong to the Gladiators to secure the victory. These two teams slugged it out on the field and outside lines as well. The Gladiators shut down the Kiss in Red zone late in game which was the difference.
Cleveland quarterback Chris Dieker spread the ball around to all his receivers. The hottest hand was a local Southern Californian star from Westchester high school Thyron Lewis who 3 touchdowns and 76 yards receiving. Lewis was clearly in a league of his own tonight on the field.
JJ Raterink lit up stat line throwing for a game high 259 yards with 4 touchdowns but he left a few plays on field tonight. Looking back on the game there were opportunities but they were not taken advantage of, allowing for second loss of the season.
The first half was almost dominated by Cleveland but the kicking game left them behind each score. The LA Kiss kept striking back slowly making its extra points count. Midway through the second quarter with the LA Kiss up 14-12 after a 4 yard touchdown catch by wide receiver Markee White the tone was set. These two teams have been feisty with both teams receiving unsportsmanlike penalties. LA Kiss Defensive Back Dexter McCoil was even ejected for throwing a punch during one of the exchanges to leave them shorthanded. The Cleveland Gladiators took a slim 2 point lead into the half 19-17.
The Kiss defense only reached the quarterback Dieker once in the game giving him time to pass freely. That put most of the pressure on DB’s to slow the scoring down. Andre Jones did his best keeping the receivers in front of him and accounting for 5 tackles in 1st half for a total 8 tackeles on the night.
To start the third quarter Quarterback JJ Raterick drove his team 49 yards in 7 plays finding favorite wide receiver DJ Morgan for 10 yards touchdown reception. Then kicker Kenny Spencer followed Cleveland motto of missing extra point making score 23-17 Kiss. Then the teams traded a few more scores in the quarter.
The Kiss kept it close but was not the last team standing, it was the still undefeated Gladiators. The Kiss will get back to work this week during practice and prepare for their next game on the road. The LA Kiss will travel to Iowa Barnstomers (2-2) to play on Saturday 19th of April.