Soul Clinch First Postseason Bid – The Philadelphia Soul didn’t play in Week 9, but they officially clinched the first-bid to the 2017 postseason. The Soul were guaranteed their spot into the “second season” by virtue of the Baltimore Brigade loss to the Tampa Bay Storm. Clint Dolezel, Dan Raudabaugh and company will have a shot at defending their ArenaBowl XXIX victory in August.
Richardson Sets Rushing Mark for Gladiators – Jeramie Richardson has only been with the Cleveland Gladiators for two weeks, but he’s already in the team’s record books. He finished Week 9 with 14 carries for 37 yards and three TDs. His 14 rushing attempts was the most by a player in Gladiators team history. The only other fullback to have 10+ carries in a game in Cleveland’s history was Marlion Jackson, who had two games with double-digits in rushing attempts in 2008.
Most Rushing Attempts in Cleveland History
Jeramie Richardson – 14 (6/3/17 at Washington)
Marlion Jackson – 12 (6/7/08 vs. Chicago)
Marlion Jackson – 11 (5/2/08 vs. Philadelphia)
Presto, Change-o – Michael Preston has only played in eight career games in the AFL, but he put up a half to remember against Washington on Saturday night. Preston had 10 first half receptions for 94 yards, and he went on to amass a career-high 12 receptions for 105 yards and three touchdowns.
Feelin’ Forty – The Gladiators put up 40 points in the first half of their win over the Washington Valor on Saturday night. It was the most points they have scored in a first half of a game in exactly 365 days. Last year on June 3, the Glads put a 40-spot on the Arizona Rattlers. The 40-14 lead for Cleveland was its largest halftime lead since the middle of the 2014 season. The Gladiators’ 24-point victory was the largest margin of victory since their 70-42 victory over the New Orleans VooDoo in Week 2 of the 2015 season.
Hills Racking Up the Records – Joe Hills recorded his fourth 100-yard game in his last five, in the Storm victory over Baltimore on Saturday night. In the process, he moved into 14th place in career receiving touchdowns, 24th place in career receptions and 25th place in career receiving yards. Not only did he score a touchdown in a 75th game in a row, three shy of the AFL record, but Hills also had a career-first on Saturday: He scored his first-ever rushing touchdown.
Most Receiving Touchdowns in AFL History
11: Siaha Burley: 247
12: Cory Fleming: 235
13: Reggie Gray: 226
14: Joe Hills: 214
15: Randy Gatewood: 212
Most Career Receptions in AFL History
21: Randy Gatewood – 690
T-22: Derek Lee – 672
T-22: Marco Thomas – 672
24: Joe Hills – 667
25: Marcus Nash – 661
26: Ben Nelson – 654
Most Career Receiving Yards in AFL History
21: Hunkie Cooper – 8,599
22: Kevin Swayne – 8,488
23: Darryl Hammond – 8,456
24: Ben Nelson – 8,271
25: Joe Hills – 8,244
26: Tyronne Jones – 8,221
AFL Week 9 Odds and Ends
-Josh Reese stepped into a starting wide receiver role for the Washington Valor in Week 9 and logged his first career 100-yard game.
-Sean Brackett came up just shy of the first 300-yard passing game in Valor history. Still, his 292 yards marks the most by a Washington quarterback this season.
-Rayshaun Kizer picked up his 67th career interception in Week 9. He has three INTs in three games this year and five in his last eight games dating back to last season.
-The Gladiators shut out Washington in the first quarter on Saturday night. It was their second shutout in a quarter this season, the other of which also came against the Valor in the first meeting of 2017.
-Randy Hippeard’s streak of consecutive pass attempts without an interception ended at 201 when Qumain Black intercepted him in the third quarter.
-Hippeard also moved past Bernard Morris into 27th place in AFL history in career touchdown
passes. Hippeard now has 287 career TD tosses.
-Mark Lewis became the fourth player in AFL history to play in 200 career games. If Lewis plays in the rest of Tampa Bay’s games this season, he’ll have the second-most games played in his career behind just AFL Hall of Fame quarterback, Aaron Garcia.
AFL Week 9 Accolades
Top Passing Performances
Sean Brackett (Washington) – 20/36, 292 Yards, 4 TDs, 3 INTs
Randy Hippeard (Tampa Bay) – 29/41, 275 Yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
Shane Carden (Baltimore) – 22/34, 268 Yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs
Arvell Nelson (Cleveland) – 21/28, 260 Yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs
Top Receiving Performances
Joe Hills (Tampa Bay) – 10 Receptions, 124 Yards, 2 TDs
Josh Reese (Washington) – 8 Receptions, 110 Yards, 2 TDs
Brandon Thompkins (Baltimore) – 7 Receptions, 110 Yards, 1 TD
Michael Preston (Cleveland) – 12 Receptions, 105 Yards, 3 TDs
Kendrick Ings (Tampa Bay) – 11 Receptions, 92 Yards, 2 TDs
Top Rushing Performances
Jeramie Richarson (Cleveland) – 14 Carries, 37 Yards, 3 TDs
Sean Brackett (Washington) – 1 Carry, 15 Yards
Randy Hippeard (Tampa Bay) – 4 Carries, 4 Yards
Arvell Nelson (Cleveland) – 2 Carries, 4 Yards
Top Defensive Performances
Fredrick Obi (Cleveland) – 6.0 Tackles, 1 INT
Qumain Black (Baltimore) – 6.0 Tackles, 1 INT
Rayshaun Kizer (Cleveland) – 5.5 Tackles, 1 INT
Terence Moore (Cleveland) – 3.0 Tackles, 1 INT
Greg Reid (Tampa Bay) – 6.0 Tackles, 2 Pass Breakups