In front of 12,243 fans at Quicken Loans Arena, the Gladiators fell in the first of two meetings with the Los Angeles KISS by a score of 47-42, dropping Cleveland’s record to 1-2. KISS quarterback Nathan Stanley threw for 191 yards and four touchdowns while wide receiver D.J. Stephens caught 12 passes for 109 and two touchdowns. Gladiators wide receiver Collin Taylor racked up 13 receptions for 101 yards and three touchdowns in the defeat.
The KISS got the scoring started when defensive back Rayshaun Kizer picked off a Dennis Havrilla pass and returned it 49 yards for a touchdown putting Los Angeles on top 7-0 early in the first quarter. After Gladiators kicker Adrian Trevino missed a 31-yard field goal attempt on the next drive, the KISS offense sputtered themselves, turning the ball over on downs and setting up the Gladiators offense on the KISS nine-yard line. Havrilla capitalized on the very next play to start the second quarter, finding Taylor in the back of the end zone for his first of three scores to even things up at 7.
The Los Angeles offense would respond, as Stanley would find wide receiver Donovan Morgan for a 14-yard hook up. Kicker Kevin Goessling’s missed extra point made the score 13-7 in favor of the KISS. On the ensuing kickoff, Goessling booted the ball off the crossbar leading to a fortuitous bounce and a Los Angeles recovery. Morgan would score again on a sweep from one-yard out to extend the KISS lead to 20-7 with 8:23 remaining in the second quarter.