Cleveland, OH— The LA KISS (2-1) emerged victorious in a back-and-fourth matchup against the Cleveland Gladiators (1-2) in front of 12,243 fans at the Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday evening.
“Offensively we decided to execute today,” said LA KISS Head Coach Omarr Smith. “We played to our standard today and made big plays.”
LA KISS quarterback Nathan Stanley led the offensive attack by completing 20 of 35 passes for 191 yards and four touchdowns. DJ Stephens was an offensive catalyst. He caught 12 passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Collins tallied four receptions for 31 yards and scored a touchdown. Donovan Morgan added three receptions for 49 yards and a touchdown, while also scoring a rushing touchdown.
Cleveland Gladiators quarterback Dennis Havrilla completed 24 of 39 passes for 236 yards, while throwing five touchdowns and two interceptions. Collin Taylor led the Gladiators offense with 13 catches for 101 yards and three touchdowns. Dominick Goodman caught five passes for 34 yards and a touchdown.
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game Rayshaun Kizer led the LA KISS defense with seven and a half tackles, one interception, while adding an interception return touchdown. Fredrick Obi recorded an interception and five and a half tackles. Brandon Stephens led the Gladiators defense with nine total tackles and an interception. His 49-yard interception return was the AFL Highlight of the Game.
After the LA KISS kicked off to the Gladiators to start the game, Kizer picked off a Havrilla pass on the one-yard line and returned the interception 49 yards for a touchdown. After the Kevin Goessling kick was successful, the LA KISS led the Gladiators by a score of 7-0. On the following possession, Cleveland were unable to get on the scoreboard when Adrian Trevino missed a field goal. At the end of the first quarter, the LA KISS were beating the Cleveland Gladiators by a score of 7-0.
Following the LA KISS turnover on downs to start the second quarter, Havrilla found Taylor for a nine-yard touchdown. The Trevino point after was good, evening the score at 7 with 11:15 left in the quarter. Stanley connected with Morgan for a 14-yard touchdowns pass. Goessling was unable to connect on the point after and the score was 13-7 with 8:23 left on the clock. On the ensuing kickoff, Obi covered the Goessling bar-ball giving the LA KISS the possession. Then Morgan scored a one-yard touchdown rust extending the LA KISS lead to 13. Taylor caught a 14-yard touchdown reception from Havrilla cutting the LA KISS lead to six with one minute left in the half. After the LA KISS recovered the Gladiators onside kick attempt, Stanley’s first pass was intercepted in the end zone. Cleveland took a 21-20 lead when Havrilla found Brandel for an eight-yard touchdown. Rory Nixon ran in a six-yard touchdown but Goessling missed the point after and the LA KISS led by five points. The score at halftime was 26-21.
On the first possession of the second half, Stanley connected with Stephens for a six-yard touchdown. Goessling’s kick was good and the score was 33-21. Taylor caught a Havrilla pass for a four-yard touchdown. After a successful Trevino kick, the score was 33-28, which was the score at the end of the third quarter.
The Gladiators scored first in the fourth quarter when Havrilla capped off a three-play drive with a one-yard touchdown run. After a successful two point conversion, the Gladiators led by a score of 36-33. The LA KISS retook the lead when, on fourth down, Stanley hit Collins on for an 11-yard touchdown. Following an Obi interception, Stephen made a 19-yard touchdown reception. After a successful point after, the LA KISS led 47-36 with 3:06 remaining in the game. Cleveland cut the lead to three when Havrilla found Goodman for a six-yard touchdown. Following an unsuccessful onside kick by Cleveland, the LA KISS were able to run out the clock. The final score, LA KISS 47, Cleveland Gladiators 42.
Next week, the LA KISS will travel to Orlando to take on the Predators on April 23rd at the Amway Arena. Kickoff will be at 4:30 pm PT and the game will be available online live via ESPN 3 and WatchESPN.
|17||Collin Taylor||Wide receiver||0||0||0||13||101||3||0||15||0||0|
|16||Dominick Goodman||Wide receiver||0||0||0||5||34||1||0||10||0||0|
|6||Thyron Lewis||Wide receiver||0||0||0||3||58||0||0||34||0||0|
|10||Larry Beavers||Wide receiver||0||0||0||1||19||0||0||19||0||0|
|44||Phillip-Keit Manley||Tight end||0||0||0||1||16||0||0||16||0||0|
|69||DJ Brandel||Tight end||0||0||0||1||8||0||0||8||0||0|
Under Armour Player of the Game: LA - #10 Nathan Stanley
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: LA - #7 Rayshaun Kizer
Lewis Small Player of the Game: CLE - #17 Collin Taylor
Cutters Catch of the Game: CLE - #16 Dominick Goodman - 6-yard touchdown reception at the end of the 4th
AFL Highlight of the Game: CLE - #1 Brandon Stephens - 49-Yard Interception Return in the 2nd Quarter
ABOUT LA KISS FOOTBALL:
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, two of the greatest showmen of all time, brought pro football to Los Angeles with the formation of LA KISS Football. In just one year, LA KISS has become a phenomenon by taking the KISS mentality and applying it to a sports team. LA KISS represents the fusion of entertainment and sports like no other brand and delivers an all-encompassing in-game experience that is second to none. LA KISS ownership combines over 40 years of success in both entertainment, sports and business. The leadership team looks to challenge and redefine the term “sports entertainment” by applying the KISS mindset to everything they do. For more information, visit lakissfootball.com or follow the team on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.