After a well earned bye week, the Gladiators join the 2022 Play-off fray.
The Miami Spartans took down the Space Coast Tarheels in last week’s wildcard round to earn the right to travel to Bradenton.
The Glads host this quarter final due to a 8-1 record and look to extend their 9-game post-season win streak with the first step to a 4th straight Championship Title.
The Gladiator Offense has been putting up 37.9ppg will look to get on a roll early against a Miami squad that gives up 21.3ppg. Undersized but quick they lack the depth to resist the constant grind of a run game that goes north & south.
The Spartans are surprisingly stout at the goal line but most teams they have played do not have as good or a run game as the Glads.
The Spartans are use to putting up only 14.8ppg and should struggle against the Gladiators who allow a miserly 8.9ppg…
The Spartan offense is very QB-centric, whether it is a designed run or a scramble to throw, as the Quarterback goes, so goes the offense. He does has accuracy issues so expect both sacks and interceptions in this game.
If the Gladiators come out focused and minimize mistakes, they could put this game away early and power there way to the Conference Championship. G7
Gladiators Drop a Game They Dominated
Gladiators Win the 2021 FFA 2.0 Federation Bowl I
In a physically dominating performance the Southwest Florida Gladiators win their 4th championship! Even more impressively they have made history by winning 3 titles in a row. Yes sir, the elusive 3-Peat has been achieved.
The Gladiators are the first team in FFA/FFA 2.0 history to win 3 titles in a row
and they did it with a perfect, undefeated season. Over this 3 season
championship stretch, the Gladiators are an impressive 37-1. I believe that is
what they call a DYNASTY!
This years Federation Bowl was held in Lakeland Florida on a nice turf field.
The Gladiators were the away team and got the non-airconditioned locker
room, Crazy that any stadium in Florida has a hot box for a locker room but
that is the case at Lakeland HS where the championship game was held.
The Gladiators were well prepared to meet the South Conference
Champion South Florida Wolverines. In 2019, the last completed season, the
Gladiators beat the Wolverines 29 - 0. It was the first shut out in
championship game history and became known as the Donut Bowl. A title the Gladiators loved but the Wolverines, well, not so much love.
The Wolverines came into the game with a chip on their shoulders and redemption on their mind. They also came in as the 4 point favorite and had the FFA 2.0 MVP at QB. All eyes were on how their MVP lead, explosive offense would stack up against the mighty Glad defense.
The Gladiators came in with a 3-peat on their minds. Win this game and the word dynasty could be used with no argument. The Gladiators QB Demarcus Sexil was the runner up for league MVP and was ready to show why he should have won.
There was a large crowd and the stage was set for a battle that would also determine the #1 ranked team in the nation.
The Gladiators came out hot and drove right down the field. It looked like the Gladiators scored on their opening drive but a missed call by the Refs changed a touchdown into a fumble and a touch back for the Wolverines. The Wolverines were unable to do much with the ball and kicked back to the Gladiators who promptly drove down and scored putting the Gladiators up 7 - 0. The Gladiators defense continued to smothered the Wolverines offense but the Glads did make some mistakes that kept an additional 14 points off the scoreboard. So at halftime the score was Glads 7, Wolverines 0.
In the second half it was more of the same. Gladiators QB Sexil continued to dominate and to show why he should have been the FFA 2.0 MVP and of course the entire Gladiator sideline kept everyone aware of that fact. By the end of the 3rd quarter the score was Gladiators 13, Wolverines 6.
It should be noted that the Gladiator defense sacked and harassed the Wolverines QB all night until he was knocked out of the game in the 3rd quarter. The Gladiator linebackers and defensive line were more that the Wolverines could handle and with 3 minutes to go in the 4th quarter the score was 20 - 13 Gladiators. The Glads were driving again. but a silly penalty stopped the drive and they had to settle for a field goal attempt. The field goal would pretty much ensure a Gladiator victory, but that didn't come easily. There were multiple penalties and the Gladiator kicker, with ice in his veins, actually made the field goal 4 times before it counted. The final score was Gladiators 23, Wolverines 12. The 2021 FFA 2.0 Federation Bowl Champions are the Southwest Florida Gladiators and are the first to 3-peat. The 2021 Gladiators have officially become a dynasty. The GORRILA GANG is King!
Gladiators Win Big Against the Port Orange Stallions
On February 13th the Gladiators traveled north of Daytona to meet the Stallions. The Stallions
are a young team with a great QB and receiver tandem. They also have a talented running
back that has caused problems for the first few teams they have faced. Even though the
Stallions were 0 - 3 coming into the game, they had played each team very close. But now
they have to take on the defending champions.
I could get into a long winded recap of the game but suffice it to say, the Gladiators dominated
every aspect of the game. The score was 25-0 at halftime. In the second half everyone got to
play and many got to play in positions that they never have before. Even with that the Glads
were about to score again when the lights went out on the field. After waiting for 10 mins or so
for the lights to come back on it was decided that the game was over with the score Gladiators
25, Stallions 0.
There were several takeaways from this game. First of all the Gladiators defense is very
tough. In fact they have something like 25 sacks in the first 2 games alone. They also have
around a half dozen interceptions. It is going to be tough for any team to put points on the
board against the Glads defense.
Secondly, the Gladiator offense is loaded with size and talent. They have a slew of quality
running backs, some fantastic receivers and multiple talented quarter backs. I believe that when they get it all worked out and have their timing down they will be virtually unstoppable.
The week the Gladiators travel to the Dunedin Pirates who are playing in St. Petersburg this year due to Covid and stadium issues. Come see this potentially explosive divisional game at Childs Park in St. Pete. The game starts at 5pm, see you there!
Well...the 13-game regular season winning streak came to an end on a day where it seemed everything went wrong. The Glads had issues on offense, defense, special teams with penalties galore… BUT ...with all those errors, they still almost pulled it out in the end. The Glads spotted the Thunder 7 pts on their first drive when a blown coverage and then poor containment allowed a cheap TD… The Thunder Offense had one other scoring opportunity in the first half at the goal line but were turned away. For the rest of the half, the Defense shut down drive after drive. The Glad offense had penalties and several Tds slip through their fingers but finally tied it up just before half on a long drive that culminated in a QB sneak. The second half saw a blocked punt for a score and then later a short field run to give the Thunder 21-7 lead going into the 4th. But much like the first half, the Glad Defense shut them down. After several mishaps to spoil promising drives, the Offense used a double pass to set up another QB sneak for a score, but a poor snap cost them the extra point. Down by 8pts, the Defense stepped it up and drove the Thunder backwards and then forced them into a bad punt. The Glads used that opportunity to march the short field and hit the fade to score their third TD. The 2pt conversion failed as did the promising on-side attempt. With no Timeouts to stop the clock, time ran out. In essentially their second practice the Glads struggled through errors that will be ironed out for the post season. The one streak the Glads really care about is the Post Season, and that streak is still intact... Speaking of streaks...the Glads host the Stingrays in Week #5 in an attempt to extend their 23-home game regular season winning streak.Type your paragraph here. - G7
Gladiators are known as the Gorilla Gang
USA Bowl National Championship Game
Gladiators were invited to participate in the 2021 USA Bowl held in Daytona Florida. Teams are chosen
from all over the country based on the win loss records. You pretty much have to be a league champions
to even be considered.
The Gladiators were asked to play the Carolina Palmetto Hurricanes. Now it is well known that when
these teams come down to play they are in fact all star teams made up of the best players they can
find. In some cases they are loaded with active college players.
The Gladiators came into this game ranked below the Hurricanes and were the underdog. Now that sounded like a challenge.
Coach Perry of the Gladiators along with the excellent coaching staff came up with what turned out to be a brilliant game plan. They simply put the ball in the hands of the talented running back core and pounded the ball behind the biggest offensive line in the league. Then the terrific Gladiators defense did what they needed to do.
The Gladiator offense drove the ball for nearly 8 minutes on the opening drive but came up short with an interception in the endzone. The Gladiator defense then took over and struck first with a safety. Glads were up 2 - 0. Then later in the first quarter the defense made a rare mistake and gave up a long touchdown pass. The first quarter ended 6 - 2 Hurricanes. The second quarter was more of the Gladiators pounding the ball down the field. They pounded it in for an 8 - 6 Gladiator lead. Then the Hurricanes struck again with another deep pass and the score was 14 - 7 Hurricanes. But before halftime the Gladiator defense struck again with another safety so the halftime score was 14 - 9 Hurricanes.
In the second half the Glads came out pounding the ball again to a now tiring Hurricanes. They pounded the ball down the field and scored to take a 15-14 lead. Then went for the extra point and it was blocked and run back for 2 points by the Hurricanes for a 16-14 point Hurricane lead. But the Gladiators weren't done. A touchdown and a late field goal iced the game for the Gladiators with a punishing 26- 16 win.
In nearly 2 decades in the FFA (Florida Football Alliance), the Gladiators have accomplished a great deal. Their first 10 years, under previous ownership, and operating under the Bradenton Gladiators name, they had 3 appearances in the FFA Championship game. Then 9 years ago the ownership passed to Derek and Rose Greenwood and the name changed to Southwest Florida Gladiators. Since then the Gladiators have gone on to appear in 4 Championship games and win all 4 of them in only 7 seasons. They were also the first and only team to accomplish a 3 peat in the FFA. In fact, the SWFL Gladiators have been the winningest team in Florida since 2015.
But now there is another big change. The FFA is no more, and the Gladiators have joined the EAFL. EAFL stands for the Elite American Football League and was founded in 2021. The EAFL is entering its 2nd season and has grown to twice its first season size. There are currently 40 teams in the EAFL, and it is being called a "Super League". There is no other league in the US with this many teams.
The Gladiators have started the preseason ranked #4 overall in the EAFL, but they won't stay there very long. Their opening game is against the #1 rated Bay Area Reapers, last years EAFL Champions. The Gladiators are looking to make a statement in game one.
The 2023 season starts on February 25th at the Reapers home field in St. Petersburg. Make sure you set aside February 25th to see the 4-time Champion Gladiators take on the EAFL Champion Bay Area Reapers. We will see who the big gorrilla is.
4 Time FFA Champions!
4 Conference Championships | 6 Divisional Championships | Record of 72 - 10 since 2015 | 58 - 4 Since Coach Gerald Perry became Head Coach!
W 27-15 2/25/23 @ Bay Area Reapers
W 30-0 3/04/23 vs Lakeland Jokers
W 3/11/23 @ Southeast Florida Reapers
W 42-14 3/18/23 vs Orlando Americans
W 21-16 4/01/23 vs West Coast Soldiers
W 37-36 4/08/23 @ Miami Spartans
W 21-14 OT 4/15/23 vs Dade County Raiders
W 57 - 0 4/29/23 @ Orlando Americans
W 48 - 26 5/06/23 vs Miami Spartans
W5/13/23 @ Lakeland Jokers
5/20/23 Play in Round
5/27/23 First Round
6/3/23 Second Round
6/10/23 Conference Championship
6/24/23 Championship in Brunswick GA
Red = a Forfeit Win
Gladiators Sink Pirates Ship
This game was billed as the Football Federation Alliance (FFA) game of the week. On paper it looked good. The defending champion Gladiators at 2-0 against the up and coming Pirates at 1-1. The Gladiators had first knocked off the #1 rated Soldiers and then traveled to Daytona to beat the Stallions. The Pirates had first beaten the Duval Raiders and then traveled to Georgia where they were handed a defeat on the road by the Grizzlies. Would the Glads continue their winning ways or would the Pirates bounce back from the tough road loss?
As an interesting twist to this game, it turns out that these two teams would play each other back to back. They would play on the 20th and then again on the 27th. This can change some strategy as neither team will want to show everything in their first meeting.
So how did it go? Well, this game was never close. The Gladiators jumped out to a 20 - 0 first quarter lead and never looked back. The final score was 54 - 6 Gladiators. The Gladiators dominated every aspect of the game, practically scoring at will. The speed and the power of the Gladiators was simply overwhelming. The Pirates played hard and my hat comes off for the effort. But they simply were no match for the Gladiators.
Gladiators Win Opener Against the #1 Rated Team in the FFA
For the Southwest Florida Gladiators it was their first game of the regular season and for the West Coast Soldiers it was their second game. This game was a matchup of the defending FFA Champion Gladiators and the only team that beat them last season.
The Glads felt that they had played very poorly in last years matchup and had something to prove. The Soldiers had beaten the best team in Florida, the Glads, and wanted to prove it wasn’t a fluke and that they deserved their #1 ranking this year.
This was a very heated contest that started nearly 2 weeks before the game with online bantering and posturing. By the time the game happened it was naturally at a fever pitch.
This contest would happen at the Gladiators home field whereas the last
time these two teams met happened at the Soldiers field. The second
matchup last year didn’t happen since the season was cancelled due to
It surprised no one when this game turned out to be a hard-hitting affair
dominated by 2 great defenses. For much of the first quarter neither offense
could get much going. In the second quarter the Glads struck for the game’s
first touchdown. On the extra point the Glads false started and got a flag.
This backed the ball up and on the second attempt the extra point was no
good. We went to halftime with the score Glads 6, Soldiers 0.
The second half started with the Soldiers sustaining a drive and scoring a
touchdown. They went for a 2-point conversion which the Gladiator defense
stuffed. The score was now 6 – 6. Later in the 3rd quarter the Glads with a combination of hard running and a spattering of passes along with some great scrambling by their new QB managed to score again with a nice touchdown pass. This time the extra point was good and the 3rd quarter ended with the score, Glads 13 and Soldiers 6.
In the 4th quarter the Gladiator defense turned it up another notch. The Soldiers could drive the ball but as they would approach the red zone would run into a brick wall of Gladiators. The game ended when the Soldiers threw a pass that was tipped and went right into the hands of the Gladiators defense.
It was a good game with both teams leaving it all on the field. The next matchup between these two teams will happen on the Soldiers home field. It will be a big game that may very well determine who wins the division and gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.
The First Game of The Gladiators Season is Here!
The Gladiators last took the field early last March. Since then, they we have been on
Covid lockdown. Well, they are back and are looking better than ever. They have added
exciting talent all over the field including a brand new quarterback. And this week they
kick off at home against the West Coast Soldiers. This is a divisional game and is a
young but strong rivalry.
Last season the Gladiators stumbled at the Soldiers in a rare poor showing. So, there is
a lot of interest in playing up to their potential to start the season.
The Gladiators played 3 weeks ago in the USA Bowl National Championship Game and
pulled off a hard hitting 26 - 16 victory. Everyone could see the potential of this team even
with all of the mistake that kept it close.
If you want to see what may be the biggest game of the entire regular season, then you
will not want to miss this game!
The Gladiators are doing something different this game. You do not have to sit in the
stands. You are free to bring a folding chair and pull up a seat down the side lines and
watch them game. Admission is only $10 for adults and $5 for kids 8 - 11. Concessions
will be open and is being run by the Bulldogs Pee Wee Football organization.
It should be an exciting game, see you there.
Gladiators Dominate Soldiers But Almost Lose Game
This was the third meeting of the Gladiators and the Soldiers in 2021. The first game the Gladiators won 13 - 6 in a defensive battle. The second meeting the Gladiators won 34 - 30 in an offensive shootout.
The second game saw the Gladiators down 14 - 30 towards the end of the 3rd quarter. But a cheap hit on a Gladiator player followed by a classless celebration seemed to light a fire under the Glads. What followed was 20 unanswered points by the Glads including a game winning touchdown pass with 26 seconds left in the game.
So with no love loss between these two teams, it was time for game 3, the Conference Championship, for the right to go to the FFA Championship game.
The Gladiators came out and played solid football dominating the Soldiers both on offense and defensive. But the Gladiators kept shooting themselves in the foot. They missed 2 field goals, had one touchdown called back due to a silly penalty and blew another touchdown with an interception near the end zone. The game should have been 27 - 0 at half but with all of the errors was only 7 - 0 Gladiators.
By the end of the 3rd quarter the score was 15 - 6 Gladiators. The 6 points of the Soldiers came off another Gladiator mistake.
The 4th quarter is where it got crazy. The refs made a terrible call which cancelled an interception that would have stopped a Soldiers drive. The Gladiators lost their cool and the very next play the Soldiers scored.
Then with only 6 minutes left in the 4th the Gladiators committed what could have been a terminal mistake. The center snapped the ball when the QB wasn't looking and it sailed past him down to the 2 yard line. A few plays later the Soldiers put it in the end zone and took their first lead of the game 19 - 15.
On the next drive the Glads threw an interception after driving the length of the field. If the Soldier could get 1 first down they could run out the clock. But the Gladiator defense stepped up and forced a punt.
Needing a TD to win with under 2 minutes left and with no timeouts remaining, the Gladiators backs were against the wall. But QB Mark Sexil and his great receiver core had victory in mind. They drove down the field. With under 40 seconds left in the game the Soldiers made a huge mistake. They pass interfered with the Gladiator receiver in the end zone. The ball was placed on the 1 yard line. The Glads lined up and their huge offensive line shoved the ball into the end zone on a QB sneak. Glads convert on the 2 point conversion and went up 23 - 19 with just 17 seconds left in the game.
Glads win and go on to the FFA Championship Game for the 3rd time in a row. No team has ever won 3 FFA titles in a row but the Glads have a chance in Lakeland on May 22nd. Don't miss this chance to see history made. Come to Lakeland and cheer your hometown Gladiators on to what we hope is a historic victory!
GLADIATORS SHOW BIG IMPROVEMENT
If you were to take the same test twice, you’d expect a better score. That is how the Gladiators can view the next couple of weeks as they take their 2nd trip through the Division. Up first was Fort Meyers in a rematch of last week’s 32-0 win… It was apparent that things were already better when they scored on the second drive and the halftime score was 10pts better than the previous week.
There were several things that were greatly improved. First, no meaningful turnovers. The only one being an end of half heave. They showed off a devastating and varied run attack. The stable of talented running backs showed tough-nosed power and speed, making one look forward to the combinations of punches that will be thrown in future matches. The passing game was efficient and still carried the scoring. The Defense not only kept the Stingrays out of the endzone but scored themselves. Special teams were solid.
Many would consider a big win as having little learning value or at worst, “Rat Poison” but the Glads still left quite a bit of things to improve on. The run game is still getting its footing and should develop an identity in the next couple of weeks. Still waiting for those explosive scoring runs from outside the redzone. The passing game still needs improving their "on-time passing" timing as well as winning more 50-50 balls. In general, you just feel the offense can do much more even though they are already leading the league in scoring at 33.8ppg.
Lack of discipline on outside containment on the Defense, has been a thorn so far this season. Weak recognition of pass pattern combinations hampers the defensive backs, and this defense needs to improve their scramble drills when the offense is unpredictable, like when Receivers and QBs improvise. That last minute score that was given up was one of those plays...and could play a large part on whether the Glads host one or more playoff games. That lone score given up dropped the Glads from second least points allowed in the league to fourth...allowing 9.8ppg.
Special Teams have been solid and sometimes asking for them not to lose a game for you is enough. But just like the running game, you feel there could be a whole lot more here. There are explosive plays that seem to be just on the brink of happening. There are the kick-off and punt returns that seem one step from scoring, punt blocks that just miss the fingertips or kick-offs where the offense could be pinned inside the 20yd line. At some point this season, Special teams will be relied on to win the game.
So, in taking the previous 32-0 win...on the road for a 42-6 destruction of the Stingrays, we our starting to see the team that is the current 3-Peat Champions reappear. The next couple of weeks we will need to see continued improvements as the opponents gradually step up in difficulty. First up...the Pirates this Saturday (March 5th) afternoon at 5pm at Dunedin HS. - G7
GLADIATORS START TITLE DEFENSE
GLADIATORS WIN DIVISION
This game was the Football Federation Alliance (FFA) game #8, game of the week. It pitted the 2 best teams in the northern conference against each other with a division title on the line. Back on February 6th these two teams met for the first time and the result was a 13-6 Gladiator win in what was a defensive battle. Nearly 2 months later they met again but this time the offenses had their day.
At the end of the first quarter the Soldiers had a 6-0 lead. Early in the second quarter the Gladiators got in the end zone. A bit later the Soldiers scored again. But just at the end of the second quarter the Glads got into the end zone and both teams went into halftime with the score 14-14.
The third quarter wasn't so kind to the Gladiators who fumbled on the opening possession. The Soldiers capitalized and went up 22-14 with a well executed 2 point conversion. The Gladiator defense continued to struggle and gave up another touchdown late in the 3rd quarter giving the Soldiers a 30-14 lead. With the way the Gladiators were playing, this lead looked pretty insurmountable. But, the football gods failed to tell the Gladiator players and coaches.
On the next Gladiator drive an ugly hit by a Soldier player got him ejected. This seemed to rev up the Gladiator players and coaches and after calm was restored they drove right down the field and scored but missed the 2 point conversion. The score going into the 4th quarter was 30-20 Soldiers.
The 4th quarter went back and forth but the Gladiator defense just wouldn't break. Finally with about 4 minutes remaining the Gladiators scored again and made the 2 point conversion to bring the score to 30-28.
With only 4 minutes remaining and after a poor squib kick the Soldiers had the ball in great field position. The Soldiers were going to be all about running out the clock. But with 1:50 to go in the game the Soldiers were forced by a very aggressive Gladiator defense into a very big mistake. The Soldiers threw an errant ball the ended up being a lateral. The ball was picked up by the Gladiators and run back to nearly mid field. Now it was all on the Gladiator offense. They had 50 yards to go in 1:46.
With 14.6 seconds left on the clock the Gladiators completed the comeback with a touchdown pass to a waiting receiver in the end zone. Final score was Gladiators 34, Soldiers 30. And with the win the Gladiators won their 3rd division title in a row..
GLADIATORS JOIN NEW LEAGUE
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