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Gladiators look to rebound from brawl

The Duke City Gladiators, coming off a home debut that few fans in attendance will forget, will meet the San Angelo Bandits in a Champions Indoor Football league game tonight in Tingley Coliseum, with kickoff at 6:05.

BRAMANTE: Says Bandits are a tough opponent

BRAMANTE: Says Bandits are a tough opponent

Last Saturday, the expansion Gladiators (0-1) were involved in a brawl late in the first half of their exhibition game against All-Stars Mexico. One Duke City player was ejected along with three All-Stars, including two who leaped off the bench to join in the mayhem.

When referee Land Clark couldn’t restore order to his liking, he called off the game with just over a minute remaining in the second quarter with Duke City leading 27-13.

Combined with the Gladiators’ 56-16 road loss to the Texas Revolution a week earlier in their season opener, Duke City coach Dominic Bramante said he had a lot of work to do this week to ready for the Bandits (0-3).

“We’ve got to learn how to come together and play cohesively,” he said in a phone interview Thursday night. “This week we’ve taken some positive steps.”

Despite the Bandits’ 0-3 record, Bramante said his club is in for a stiff challenge.

“They’ve lost close games – they might be the best 0-3 team I’ve ever seen,” he said.

The Bandits, who have played three straight home games, opened with a 42-36 loss to Texas, then fell 47-45 vs. Dodge City before losing to Amarillo 50-32.

After today, the Gladiators will continue their five-game homestand at Tingley next Saturday against Dodge City. On April 18, Duke City will face Amarillo. That game is to be followed by an exhibition April 26 against an all-star team of metro-area firefighters and police. All games are to begin at 6:05 p.m.

DISCOUNT SEATS: Fans who attended last week’s aborted game can get in to tonight’s game at half price ($5) by showing their ticket stub from the exhibition or with proof of purchase.

Also, today there will be a $5 parking fee at Expo New Mexico.