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California Dolphins Lose Heartbreak Thriller To So Cal Gladiators, 45-40

Dolphins vs. Gladiators

By Jay Tando

October 4, 2014

San Fernando, CA – The host California Dolphins battled back from a 26-0 deficit and took a commanding 40-29 lead over the visiting Southern California Gladiators late in the 4th Quarter - but in the end some controversial calls and crazy plays cost them in a 45-40 loss.

The Gladiators opened the scoring with a 6 yard TD run by RB Davion Edwards with 12:04 to go in the 1st Quarter to go up 6-0. They then added an 11-yard TD pass from QB Joe Felix to WR Mike Franco to make it 13-0.

The 2nd Quarter saw the Gladiators add to their lead with a 31-yard TD pass from QB Felix to WR Eric Newman with 10:09 to play in the 1st half to go up 20-0. But they weren't done as the pair hooked up again from 29 yards out to make 26-0 with 6:13 remaining in the 2nd Quarter.

The Dolphins finally got on the board with a 15-yard TD toss from QB Lance Dibene to WR Chris Duvall with 1:02 to go in the half. QB Dibene then found DB Jermel Woods for the 2-pint conversion pass from 13 yards out after 2 penalties pushed them back. They would go to the locker room down 26-8.

But the Fins would come alive in the 2nd half in a big way. QB Dibene would find WR Duvall from 28 yards out to cut the lead down to 26-16 with 12:47 in the 3rd Quarter.

The Glads responded with a 24-yard FG from Kicker Terrence Harts to make it 29-16 at the 8:22 mark of the 3rd Quarter.

Then the Fish came alive with a 32 yard pass from QB Dibene to WR Duvall - who then lateraled it to WR Jalon Clark at the 30-yard line and he scored from there to complete the 62-yard TD play and narrow the lead down to 29-22 with 6:14 to go in the 3rd Quarter.

Things got even better for host California as the Gladiators lined up for a 40-yard FG attempt and it was fumbled by visiting Southern California and picked up by the Dolphins Justin Joyner who then lateraled to Brandon Owens to complete the 77-yard fumble return for a TD and cut the lead down to 29-28 with 3:24 to play in the 3rd Quarter.

That set things up for an even wilder 4th Quarter.

With 5:56 to play in the game the Dolphins finally took their first lead of the contest with a 27-yard TD pass from QB Dibene to WR Duvall to go up 34-29.

Then Fish LB Justin Hardy jumped in front of a Gladiator QB Felix pass and raced 85 yards to the house and suddenly it was 40-29 California on top with 4:13 to play in the ballgame.

The visiting Southern California Gladiators had been outscored 40-3 after being up 26-0 over the host California Dolphins. The Gladiators got up off their backs and responded with a 12-yard TD pass from QB Felix to WR Newman with 3:41 to go in the 4th Quarter to narrow the Dolphins lead down to 40-37.

Then some controversy.

The Dolphins faced 4th and 5 at their own 47 yard line with 2:27 to play in the game. They elected to go for it and the pass was in and out of the hands of the receiver. The Gladiators took over on downs and had the help of a few questionable Defensive penalties to get them down to Dolphins 8 yard line with 34 seconds left. DB Jermel Woods would intercept the ball and go 99 yards the other way to seemingly seal the game. But the Refs called it back saying Dolphins player LB #6 Travis Fountain “was in the neutral zone”. Video review of the play shows that the call was questionable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RBPm01koOg

The Gladiators would be awarded the ball First and Goal at the Dolphins 8 yard line and with 9 seconds to play QB Felix would find WR Franco for the TD pass. The 2-point run play by Felix made it 45-40 and gave the win to Southern California.


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