The Cleveland Gladiators hosted the Arizona Rattlers in ArenaBowl XXVII to end the 2014 Arena Football League season. The Rattlers were 3/1 favorites to win the game at the start of the season while the Gladiators had 20/1 odds at the start. Meanwhile, the game ended up having pick-em odds with -110 payouts for either team to win the game.
What made the line so close on the day of the game came from the close records that the teams had. The Rattlers were 15-3 in spite of losing three of their last four games. Meanwhile, the Gladiators were 17-1 and set a record for the most wins in the regular season in AFL history. The Gladiators were a little more defensive as they outscored their opponents 991-782 while the Rattlers had a 1151-905 lead on their teams.
The Gladiators kept it close and were down 14-6 after one quarter. Kerry Reed had an interception return for a touchdown to give the Rattlers a quick two-touchdown lead for a brief period of time in that quarter.
However, the Rattlers quickly pulled away in the second quarter to take a 44-13 lead at the half. Nick Davila had four touchdown passes while Cliff Dukes sacked Gladiators quarterback Shane Austin for a safety. One of the touchdowns for the Rattlers in that quarter came on a one-play, four-second drive that went just ten yards.
Dominick Goodman had three touchdown receptions for the Gladiators in the second half. Still, it was not enough to get the team to catch up as the Rattlers took a 72-32 victory. Davila was named the MVP of the game with nine touchdown passes.
The Arizona Rattlers proved to be rather powerful in this match-up and took home their third straight ArenaBowl title. This was also the fourth straight year that the team reached this game. The Cleveland Gladiators reached the game for the first time ever and will be hoping to come back in the future.