The Bradenton Gladiators entered Saturday's Alliance Bowl V searching for the franchise's first minor-league football championship.
They'll have look for it next season after dropping the title game 35-30 to the Orlando Rage at the Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar.
The loss also ended the Gladiators perfect season as Bradenton finished with a 12-1 record for the 2012 Florida Football Alliance season.
The Gladiators held a 24-20 lead after three quarters, before Orlando quarterback Kyle Israel threw his third touchdown pass of the game that gave the Rage a lead that they would not relinquish.
Bradenton's Craig Carnes, Jeff Charlton, Chauncey Jones and Bonshavior Bean all had touchdowns to account for the Gladiators scoring.
Those four players, however, joined T.J. Grzesikowski, Darian Platt, Keon Hines, Carter Bryant, Gerald Perry, Donte Brown, Jason Greenwood, Nicholas Kirby, Chris Hall and Phillip Chaltis as 2012 AFC All-Stars for their outstanding seasons.
Love named top athlete
Former Palmetto High track star Alexis Love was recently named the Ohio Valley Conference Female Track Athlete of the Year.
The Murray State University junior ran the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes with great success this season. She captured first place in both events at the Shamrock Invitational, Ole Miss Invitational, Hill
topper Relays and Vanderbilt Invitational.
Love's best time in the 100-meters this season was 11.37, while she recorded a top time of 23.18 in the 200-meters.
Love is scheduled to participate in the U.S. Olympic Trials at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore., in late June.
Bulldogs win two
The East Manatee Bulldogs earned two victories in three games with the Storm in some recent flag football competition.
The Bulldog Navy Panther team downed the Storm side 24-22 with Dusty Peebles scoring a touchdown on the ground and recording two, two-point conversions. Zachary Staton had a TD, with Eric Ross adding a TD reception.
The Bulldog Red Panther team's Chad Rex and Andrew Shackelford had solid efforts in leading their team to a 32-8 victory over the Storm.
Meanwhile, the Bulldog Navy Wildcat team earned a 14-14 tie with the Storm's Navy team. Cody Staton tossed TDs to Emma Fazio and Niko Traylor, while Ashton Maas had the game-tying two-point conversion.
Bradenton runners rule
Bayshore's Canaan Meester-Kitterman won the male division and overall title at the DeSoto 5K held April 28 with a time of 16:55.
Former Bradenton Christian cross-country and track standout Emily Egan won the female division with a time of 19:37.
Other male winners included: Jose Angeles (Masters, time of 17:30); Marty Stiegmann (Grand Masters, 17:57); Silky Sullivan (Senior Grand Masters, 23:58); and James Scothorn (Veterans, 25:10).
Other female winners included: Sandy Birczak (Masters, 22:46); Colette Nestel (Grand Masters, 24:41); Patricia Sheridan (Senior Grand Masters, 28:27); and Sylvia Lock (Veterans, 46:18).
All the runners are from Bradenton, with the exception of Angeles (Sarasota), Stiegmann (Glen Allen, Va.), Sullivan (Seminole) and Scothorn (Ellenton).
Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill