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Gladiators gunning for top seed in South

The Duke City Gladiators (6-3) already have secured a berth in the Champions Indoor Football playoffs with three weeks of the season remaining. Saturday night they are looking to lock up the top seed in the South Division and the corresponding home playoff game in the first round.

The Gladiators, who took a one-game lead over Amarillo last week with a 60-43 victory at Tingley Coliseum, and who own the tiebreaker with the Venom, are on the road in Enid, Okla., for a game against the expansion Oklahoma Aces. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. MST.

Coach Dominic Bramante said from Enid on Friday afternoon after a 10½-hour bus ride that he doesn’t fear his team will overlook an Aces squad that is 2-7, with its only two victories coming by forfeit. One of the losses was 72-6 at Tingley on April 13.

“It won’t be a problem for me (to get motivated), and our players know this is an important game – not only for us, but for the Aces,” he said. “They are looking for a signature win, and who better to do it against than the defending champions?”

The Gladiators will be welcoming back ex-Duke City receiver Clifton Rhodes. He played for them last year before leaving for the Texas Revolution in the offseason. When the Revolution was disbanded last month, the Gladiators selected him up in the dispersal draft. Also taken was Robert Kent, who is now the team’s starting QB.

Also, the Gladiators will be with a new kicker, for this week only. Because their two regular kickers are unavailable for personal reasons, Duke City signed Billy Perry of Broken Arrow, Okla., to fill the void.

UP NEXT: After next week’s bye, the Gladiators will close the season with a home game June 22 against the Salina Liberty.

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