While Chicago struggled with some sloppiness, the Wildcats sent the home-town fans home happy – a 28-23 triumph over the Cleveland Stallions, playing their first game under new head coach and quarterback Macc Wavy Jr. Chicago turned the ball over six times but kept Cleveland out of the endzone through the first three quarters. Cleveland turned those six turnovers into just 10 points.
Defenses took control of a sloppy game. Chicago’s busy off-season of free agent acquisitions paid off. In the secondary, Maurice Spurgeon (9 total tackles) and Kanye Rockafella (6 tackles, 2 PD, 1 INT) led the way. Blake Hamrac was also active, with four pass knockdowns. Seven different players in total nabbed an interception. Cleveland was forced to punt nine times. Prince Escobar dominated in garbage time, finishing with 13 receptions for 100 yards and a score. Chicago receiver Davius Reid made the play of the week with his catch, broken tackle and spin move that shed half of the Stallions eligible defense on his way for a score.
Chicago (1-0) hosts St. Louis (0-1) next Sunday as the Gladiators hope to rebound from an embarrassing 45-point opening-day loss. Cleveland (0-1) travels to Atlanta (1-0) for the Swarm’s home opener.