After falling short in the season opener in Washington D.C., Baltimore’s new arena football franchise put its first-ever win in the books on Saturday night.
Quarterback Shane Carden and wide receiver Reggie Gray led the Brigade to a 52-49 win over the Cleveland Gladiators at Quicken Loans Arena. Carden, a former undrafted signing by the Chicago Bears who played for East Carolina University, recorded six touchdowns and completed 20 of 31 pass attempts. Gray, a veteran Arena Football League-er, caught three touchdowns and recorded 92 yards, all after battling flu-like symptoms the week before.
The Brigade led for most of the game, though Cleveland caught up in the third quarter and traded touchdowns with Baltimore. The visiting team then broke away in the fourth quarter, grabbing a 49-35 lead after a full kickoff return and a touchdown pass. They managed to hold Cleveland off for the remainder.
Here’s a shot of the final touchdown pass:
Coach Omarr Smith was thrilled with his squad’s inaugural victory, but said they have some work to do .
“I am happy to get our first win, I am happy for our players,” he told Monumental Sports Network. “We made it hard on ourselves, made a few mistakes that we were lucky to rebound from but we have to do better.”
The young franchise fell short in the season opener last weekend against the Washington Valor, which interestingly shares the same owner in D.C. sports mogul Ted Leonsis.
The Brigade will play their first-ever home game at Royal Farms Arena on Sunday, May 7, after a bye week and another away game in Philadelphia. Tickets are plentifully available here, starting at $10 a seat.