For the second straight Saturday night at Tingley Coliseum, the Duke City Gladiators made a second-half surge in a Champions Indoor Football game.
Unlike last week, however, the late burst didn’t result in a victory.
The league-leading Dodge City Law (5-1) earned its fifth consecutive win by holding off the Gladiators 47-43 before an announced crowd of 1,004.
The Gladiators (1-2) fell short despite outscoring the Law 30-14 in the second half and forcing five turnovers overall – including two just shy of Duke City’s goal line.
Last week, Duke City outscored San Angelo 22-0 in the final 17 minutes in earning a 51-34 victory.
Dominique Carson was the villain for Dodge City, scoring four touchdowns, but he also was responsible for two of the turnovers.
There was plenty of scoring and drama in the closing minutes.
With 54.1 seconds left, the Gladiators shaved a 40-29 deficit to 40-35 on a 2-yard run by Emmanual McPhearson. The 2-point try failed.
The back-breaking play from Duke City’s standpoint came on the next play when Jercorey Quarterman returned an onside kick for a score and a 47-35 Law edge.
Duke City scored again on a James Cleveland 9-yard pass from QB Kasey Peters with 6.4 seconds left, which combined with the 2-point conversion made it 47-43. But Dodge City recovered the next onside kick and ran out the clock.
The Gladiators played without running back Seth Smith, whose hamstring injury caused him to sit out. He had 108 rushing yards and two TDs last week.