Gladiators win fourth in a row
by Randy Pascal
The Sudbury Gladiators improved to 4-0 on Saturday at home, doing so in resounding fashion.
Building up leads of 33-7 at the half and 40-7 one quarter later, the Gladiators substituted freely in the final 15 minutes, registering a 41-21 win
over the visiting Hamilton Panthers.
It was just the latest impressive display for a squad that clearly has championship aspirations on their minds. The homeside took to the air early and
often at the James Jerome Sports Complex, with QB Dan Poirier marching the offense downfield, though they settled for a pair of Travis
Perrin field goals (33 and 22 yards) in the opening quarter.
Perrin remained the focus, adding a single (26 yard FG sailed wide) and splitting the uprights for a third time before the visitors countered. Boasting a
lineup blessed with a fair bit of speed, Hamilton struck in quarter two as pivot Flavio Alfico hooked up with Antone Radway-Johnson for a
16 yard pass and run, creating some hope for a competitive outing with Sudbury leading 10-7.
Those dreams were dashed quickly as Christian Battistelli took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 79 yards, the second consecutive game he has
gone end to end. By the time half rolled around, the Gladiators lead had ballooned to 26 points thanks to Perrin (50 yard single), Alex Carrière
(29 yard TD pass reception from Poirier) and Rob Staszak (21 yard TD pass reception from Poirier).
Sudbury coach Brent Richer took full advantage of the situation to find playing time for countless newcomers to the team, with Aaron Campbell
guiding the attack under centre for much of the second half.
Running back Zach Roque increased the lead to 40-7, darting 54 yards for the only scoring of quarter number three, with Perrin capping off his
days work with a second single from 33 yards out in the fourth.
With time running down, Alfico found both Davis Winch and Radway-Johnson in the end zone late, making the score a tad more respectable for the
Adding to the enjoyment of the crowd came the announcement, midway through the fourth quarter, that the Sudbury Junior Gladiators had also
managed to crack the win column, chalking up a solid 41-14 victory over the Clarington Knights on the road. (more details to follow as we get
an opportunity to chat with coach Kevin Ellsworth upon his return home).
Both Sudbury squads are back in action next weekend, with the varsity Gladiators travelling to Clarington to face the Knights on Saturday while the
juniors are in Barrie one day later, battling the Huronia Stallions.
The next home action for either team happens on (Saturday) June 30th when the Junior Gladiators welcome the Twin City Predators to the James
Jerome Complex for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff.