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Gladiators get another shot at unbeaten Venom

The last time the Duke City Gladiators and Amarillo met, on March 11, the visiting Venom won 70-69 in overtime at Tingley Coliseum. It’s the highest scoring game in the Champions Indoor Football league this season.

The squads will have a rematch Sunday in Amarillo with a 3 p.m. MDT kickoff.

The Gladiators (2-2) have won two in a row since falling to Amarillo (3-0), including last week’s 75-14 home victory over the Centex Cavalry (0-3). But Duke City coach Dominic Bramante and his squad aren’t getting swollen egos because of that victory.

“We started fast, and with them having a new quarterback, a new coach and a new system, it all just snowballed on them,” Bramante said. “The barometer will come this week against Amarillo.

“Health-wise we’re doing good and if we play up to our capability (today), we’ll have a chance to be successful.”

The game features two of the most prolific passers in the league, with Duke City’s Donovan Porterie and Amarillo veteran Nate Davis. Porterie, an ex-Lobo, has a league-leading 20 touchdown passes and Davis is tied for second with 14. They combined to throw for 11 scores in that previous meeting.

Today through Friday will be the busiest stretch of the season for the Gladiators, who will play the Cavalry in Belton, Texas, on four days’ rest.

Bramante grumbles when talking about that condensed schedule, especially with both being on the road.

“We’re not happy about it, but it is what it is and we’ll show up,” he said.

The squad will be on buses for roughly 2,000 miles overall and for about 30 hours on the two round trips.

But at least the Gladiators had an extra day off the past week.

“I told the team that if they beat Centex by three scores they’d get the extra day,” Bramante said. “And they collected.”

TRADE: Duke City reacquired offensive lineman Wondell Rutledge in a trade with Centex this week, sending Tyrone Saunders to the Cavalry. “(Rutledge) played center and guard for us last year, but now he’ll play only at guard,” Bramante said.

NEXT HOME GAME: The Gladiators return home April 15 for a game against the Salina (Kan.) Liberty.