Orlando Predators Square Off Against Cleveland Gladiators
This week the Orlando Predators (2-13) are facing off against the Cleveland Gladiators (7-8), for their second meeting of the 2012 season. The Gladiators captured the first game against the Predators during Week Five in Cleveland, winning 41-24. The all-time series between the two franchises favors the Predators with a 10-6 lead over the Gladiators.
Since joining the Predators through a trade with Arizona on May 28, Orlando wide receiver Glen Fox has provided a nice offensive spark to the team. Through five games, Fox has 52 receptions for 532 yards and five touchdowns. Though Fox has only been with the team for five weeks, he is tied for second on the team in receptions (52), fourth on the team in reception yards (532) and is tied for fifth on the team in reception touchdowns (5). Fox’s continued success on offense will be crucial this week to pull out a win against the Gladiators.
The Predators are facing off against one of the top defenses in the AFL this week in the Gladiators. Through 17 weeks, Cleveland is ranked first in scoring defense, second in pass defense and second in the AFL in total defense. Defensive backs Levy Brown and Joe Phinisee have been standouts for the Gladiators on defense this year, with Brown notching 74.5 tackles and 8 interceptions in 13 games, and Phinisee hauling in 70.5 total tackles and 5 interceptions for the team. The Predators offense, led by quarterback Chris Leak, will have to come prepared to play against a Cleveland defensive unit that serves as one of the best in the AFL.
The Predators defense will also be put to the test this week as they face quarterback John Dutton and a solid Cleveland offense. Through 17 weeks, Dutton has completed 332 passes, thrown for 3675 yards and 72 touchdowns. His favorite target this season has been wide receiver Dominick Goodman. Goodman currently ranks first in receptions per game and fifth in the AFL in receiving yards per game. Goodman has hauled in 141 receptions for 1437 yards and 30 touchdowns through 14 games played. The Predators’ sixth ranked passing defense will have to try and limit the connection between Dutton and Goodman to help them get the win this week.
Up next, the Predators hit the road to take on the in-state rival and defending ArenaBowl Champion Jacksonville Sharks (7-8) on Saturday, July 14. The Sharks captured the first matchup against the Predators in Week 12, winning 55-37. The 7:00 p.m. game will broadcast live on Brighthouse Sports Network and OrlandoPredators.com/Live.