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PREVIEW: Week 2 Match-Up Against Cleveland Gladiators

April 14, 2017
The Brigade (0-1) are in Cleveland, OH this Sunday, April 16 for a 3:00 p.m. matchup (rescheduled from Saturday) with the Cleveland Gladiators (0-1) at Quicken Loans Arena. Both teams are looking to rebound from week one losses. Baltimore closed what was a four-score gap early in their matchup with the Washington Valor, but eventually dropped their season opener, 51-38. The Gladiators fell 46-40 at home to the Tampa Bay Storm.

BRIGADE PLAYER TO WATCH: WR REGGIE GRAY – In last week’s showdown with the Washington Valor, Gray hauled in 12 passes for 139 yards – both league highs across all opening-week performances – and a 32-yard touchdown. Playing in his seventh AFL season, the Chicago native now has 711 receptions for 9,156 yards and 223 touchdowns in his career.

GLADIATORS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR BRANDON THOMPKINS – A threat on both offense and special teams, Thompkins registered eight receptions for 98 yards, leading Cleveland in each category, and a touchdown while also leading the AFL in kickoff return average – 20.7 yards per return – in week one.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: BRIGADE DB VARMAH SONIE vs. CLEVELAND WIDEOUTS – Coming off a performance in which he tallied five total tackles and three pass break-ups, Brigade DB Varmah Sonie will have his work cut out for him against the Cleveland wide receiver corps. In last week’s loss to Tampa Bay, wideouts Brandon Thompkins, Larry Brackins and Collin Taylor each registered at least six catches, 80 yards, and a touchdown.

CLEVELAND CONNECTIONS: The Brigade roster features a trio of players with connections to the city of Cleveland. WR Paul Browning and DB Varmah Sonie each spent a portion of the 2015 NFL season with the Cleveland Browns, while DB Brandon Stephens played three seasons (’14-’16) for the Gladiators, registering 75 total tackles, 13 pass break-ups, one forced fumble and one interception. Stephens’ 2016 season was highlighted by a career-high 35 total tackles and his only career forced fumble and interception.

BROADCAST INFORMATION: Sunday's game will be broadcast live on Monumental Sports Network.

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