Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of GameDay's for AthletesLTD. It provides Game Day analyses by the players in the game! This edition sees two AthletesLTD writers, Shane Austin of the Cleveland Gladiators, and Brian Reader of the Iowa Barnstormers. This is their third meeting this season and the Gladiators lead the series 2-0. The 9-1 Gladiators are coming off of their first loss of the season to the Pittsburgh Power. The 6-5 Barnstormers are coming in to this game riding a two-game win streak. A win keeps them in playoff contention so expect the Barnstormers to play hard.
Read below for the Iowa v. Barnstormer GameDay Analysis Written by the Athletes:
Watch the game at 8 PM EST (5 PM PST) on CBS Sports Network.
Iowa Barnstormer Player Analysis:
By Brian Reader, Quarterback
After playing this team two times this year, I have the utmost respect for the ClevelandGladiators. They're the most impressive team in the Arena Football League this season. There is a very good reason why their record is 9-1, and that is: they stay hungry the whole game, no matter what the score is. Two weeks ago was unreal! The Gladiators scored 21 points in the final 52 seconds of the game to beat the Philadelphia Soul by 2 points.
In our first matchup, they took advantage of a few mistakes by our team and ended up winning by 7. In our second matchup a couple weeks ago, we had an early lead but let the Gladiators take over by halftime and then we couldn't catch back up.
In order to beat Cleveland we have to play hard all four quarters. There is very little room for error. In order for a Barnstormer win this Saturday, we must put the pedal to the metal, and not let up one bit. Their defense is sound and full of All-Arena caliber players. The Gladiators' Offense executes at a high level and they have the ability to score on every snap. The Gladiators had our number the previous two times, but I feel like this game is a redemption game for the Barnstormers. We need to win this to keep our playoff run alive. And what better to have this one nationally televised on CBS sports network! I have a good feeling about this one!
Cleveland Gladiators Player Analysis:
By Shane Austin, Quarterback
If once wasn’t enough, then twice should do it. Twice still not quite enough? Well then how about a third time. This Saturday at 8 pm EST will mark the third time this season that we will have to face the Barnstormers. Beating a team twice is hard enough as it is, but trying to do it a third time is even tougher. We found that out last week when we faced Pittsburgh for the third time suffering our first loss of the season. So hopefully we can learn from that experience and rebound this week.
Iowa brings a lot of talent and tons of experience, which should make for an exciting game at the Q arena. Also, fellow AthletesLTD writer Brian Reader will be leading the charge on the other side of the ball. Brian and I go all the way back to our college days when Hawaii would face Idaho every year. So I look forward to this matchup and opportunity to face a quality opponent for a third time. And you never know, it might not be the last matchup between us -- there’s always playoffs!