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Cleveland Gladiators Division Champs After 67-55 Win Over Pittsburgh Power

A Cleveland football team beat a team from Pittsburgh to clinch a Division Championship on Friday night. While we all know it wasn;t the Cleveland Browns - the NFL is still at a labor impasse, though it appears the owners and players are on the cusp of a deal - those words still sound pretty sweet to Cleveland sports fans.

I'm talking, of course, of the Cleveland Galdiators, who clinched the American East Division in the Arena Football League with a 67-55 win over the Pittsburgh Power down at The Q. The Gladiators will enter the AFL Playoffs as the #2 seed in the American Conference and have guaranteed themselves of a home playoff game in the process.

Quarterback Kurt Rocco, who played his college ball at Mount Union, was 25-35 for 297 yards and eight touchdowns - yes, I said EIGHT TOUCHDOWNS - as the Gladiators broke open a tight game by scoring the first 20 points of the 4th quarter.

"We're all excited to be going to the playoffs, but we've still got work to do," Rocco said.

While you can't confuse the AFL for the NFL, there is plenty of NFL star power involved in both teams. The Gladiators have Browns Legend Bernie Kosar as a consultant for the team while the Power are partly owned by 4-time Super Bowl Champion, and Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Lynn Swann.

In a back and forth game that is synonymous with the Arena League's fast-tempo style, the Power led 48-47 entering the 4th quarter. The Gladiators scored the next 20 points, however, scoring touchdowns on three straight possessions while taking advantage of two Power turnovers.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.