ARENA: Baltimore beats Cleveland for first win ever, 52-49

Chris L. Brown
baltimore beats cleveland
baltimore beats cleveland

Last week, Cover32/Ravens reported that the Baltimore Brigade of the Arena Football League is a proud team and a talented team. This week, they proved it for 60 minutes. On the road, powered by a 6 touchdown day by new starting quarterback Shane Carden, Baltimore (1-1) defeated the Cleveland Gladiators (0-2), 52-49.

Carden has been on a tear. Having played only 75% of the offensive snaps for the Brigade’s season, he has produced 11 touchdowns. A whopping eight of them have gone to tandem receivers Reggie Gray and LaQuan Williams, who have scored 4 each, and lead the league in that category.

This was also a gutty defensive effort, as the Brigade registered 5 sacks and 2 turnovers.

There were a couple of key points that went the Brigade’s way.

[Yahoo! Sports readers: if you cannot see the videos, please click here.]

First, they stopped the Gladiator’s first drive and then scored on their own to go up 7-0.

Later, when Cleveland had come back to tie the score at 21 in the 3rd quarter, the Brigade refused to fold and scored on an impressive 21-yard touchdown pass from Carden to Gray. The defense was offside on the play, but the Brigade obviously declined the penalty in favor of the score.

After Cleveland remained consistent, tying the score at 35, Varmah Sonie of the Brigade scored on a 50 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

The Brigade then stopped the Gladiators, and LaQuan Williams caught a ricochet pass to extend the lead to 49-35.

Video clips courtesy Baltimore Brigade/Monumental Sports

With time ticking down and facing a 4th down, the Brigade’s Pat Clarke nailed a 20 yard Field Goal to put the Brigade up by 10 with less than 1 minute left. Cleveland was able to rally for a touchdown, but Baltimore recovered the onside and the rest was literal history for this upstart team.

Coach Omarr Smith flashed approval, but continued on his imperative-improvement motif from last week: “I am happy to get our first win, I am happy for our players. We made it hard on ourselves, made a few mistakes that we were lucky to rebound from but we have to do better,” he told press afterward.

Going from week one to week two, they already have done better. A bye week welcomes them in time to demonstrate this on their third straight road game afterward, vs. the Philadelphia Soul.

For now, fans of this #FootballFix can rest assured, yet another team from Baltimore refuses to lay down, despite the odds.

For extended game highlights, visit the Baltimore Brigade website.



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