The Pittsburgh Power took to the road following a final minute loss to the New Orleans Voodoo. This set the stage for the second installment this season of their rivalry against the Cleveland Gladiators. The Power would not be able to secure the football enough in this game losing by a final score of 71-58.
The Gladiators started with the ball, however their drive stalled after a red zone fumble gave the football to the Power. The momentum fully shifted when quarterback Steven Sheffield found Julian Talley for a 42 yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.
Cleveland though would strike back when quarterback Chris Dieker ran the ball in from three yards out. Chris LeFlore attempted to return the ball on the kickoff but seeing a hole went backwards fumbling the ball in the end zone. Cleveland recovered to take a 13-7 lead after one quarter of play.
Cleveland padded their lead in the second quarter when their leading receiver, Dominick Goodman caught a seven yard pass. This started a back and forth quarter.
The Power again scored on the first play of the drive with Sheffield finding Mike Washington for a 44 yard pass and score. Cleveland answered with a Dieker to Carlese Franklin six yard connection. Talley would score on a 22 yard desperation pass from Sheffield. The pass came on a fourth down where Talley caught the pass at the height of his jump. The Gladiators responded with a touchdown reception by Thyron Lewis. In the closing seconds the Power had a chance to score a touchdown but Head Coach Derek Stingley opted to go with a field goal putting Cleveland on top 35-23 at the half.
The start of the third quarter was all Power. Talley would catch another two touchdowns. At that point, the Power led 37-35, however the tide would turn as Cleveland would score the next 22 points.
Their kicker Aaron Pettrey was injured meaning the Gladiators would go for two points after they scored. The third score created separation and ended the little momentum the Power had from unsportsmanlike penalties. Sheffield had his pass intercepted in the end zone by Marrio Norman and returned for a touchdown. A successful two point conversion gave Cleveland a 57-37 lead after three quarters.
Pittsburgh tried to chip away the lead when Sheffield found Tyrone Collins, however Cleveland ran the ball in from close to keep their 19 point advantage. The Power would score one more time as Talley caught his fifth touchdown pass. The conversion as well as the onside kick failed ending their chances. To add insult to injury, Cleveland would score once more while adding a two point conversion. The Power added a final minute score as Shane Austin connected with Collins.
The Power will be at home next Saturday for their home finale against the San Jose Sabercats.
Pittsburgh Power vs Cleveland Gladiators scoring
Power- Talley 42 yard pass from Sheffield [Julian Rauch kick good] 10:28 7-0
Gladiators- Dieker 3 yard run [Aaron Pettrey kick no good] 4:50 7-6
Gladiators- Pearcy recover in the end zone [Pettrey kick good] 3:50 13-7
Gladiators- Goodman 7 yard pass from Dieker [Pettrey kick good] 10:14 20-7
Power- Washington 44 yard pass from Sheffield [Rauch kick good] 8:56 20-14
Gladiators- Franklin 6 yard pass from Dieker [Pettrey kick good] 4:23 27-14
Power- Talley 22 yard pass from Sheffield [Rauch kick no good]:59 27-20
Gladiators- Lewis pass from Dieker [Dieker run successful]:27 35-20
Power- Rauch field goal 0:00 35-23
Power- Talley pass from Sheffield [Rauch kick good] 12:54 35-30
Power- Talley 25 yard pass from Sheffield [Rauch kick good] 10:58 37-35
Gladiators- Lewis 3 yard pass from Dieker [2 point conversion unsuccessful] 7:36 41-37
Gladiators- Goodman 9 yard pass from Dieker [Dieker to Lewis] 2:37 49-37
Gladiators- Norman interception [Dieker scramble] 0:00 57-37
Power- Collins pass from Sheffield [Rauch kick good] 14:02 57-44
Power- Talley 3 yard pass from Sheffield [two point conversation unsuccessful] 1:14 63-50
Gladiators- Dieker 1 yard run [Dieker pass to Pearcy] :43 71-50
Power- Collins pass from Austin [Collins pass from Austin] :16 71-58