The Duke City Gladiators replaced the New Mexico Stars in the 2015 CIF season. The Stars folded at the last minute after making the schedule and Duke City was waiting in the wings. The Gladiators were a very competitive team, despite drawing very few fans at home games. Three of the four league wins came against San Angelo and had the team won at Texas in their final game, Duke City may have been eligible for the playoffs. A 54-49 defeat prevented that, however. Casey Peters quarterbacked the team, throwing for 1,918 yards, 34 touchdowns and just eight picks. James Cleveland, Roland Bruno, and Dexter Manley led all receivers. The team returned in 2016 for a full season, going 6-6 and just barely missing the playoffs. Duke City was able to draw a decent amount of fans, as well, for only joining the league less than a year prior. This season, while Kasey Peters did return, he quarterbacked only one game. Main duties were split between Bryan Randall and Taylor Genuser, who combined for 56 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and just over 2,400 yards. Dello Davis racked up 35 touchdown catches and 1,262 yards on 91 catches. The team managed just thirteen rushing touchdowns, while allowing 28. The team really surprised with a 70-24 win over San Angelo, part of a streak that saw the Gladiators win four of their first five games. Three of the teams final five games were double-digit losses. The team returned in 2017 and Donovan Porterie was the quarterback for the entire season. He passed for 3,010 yards, 63 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, completing 61% of his passes. He spread the ball around, as well, with four recievers getting ten or more touchdowns in Larry Cobb, Sedrick Johnson, Andre London and Julian Walker. The team put together a 7-5 regular season, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time. However, after losses to Amarillo in the regular season by two, three, and two points, the Venom blasted the Gladiators 70-41 in the first round of the postseason. The Gladiators did hold a road 35-28 win over eventual CIF champion Texas. The Gladiators defense recovered a league best 18 fumbles and had seven defensive touchdowns. A team that began ahead of schedule would finally grow to its full potential in 2018. Caleb Holbrook was the sole passer for the year, throwing for 2,756 yards, 49 scores, and just eight interceptions. He and Justin Kelly combined for 32 rushing touchdowns and 302 yards on the ground. Dello Davis was the favorite receiving target, catching 22 scores and topping the 1,000 yard mark at 1,063. Perhaps even more impressive, was the Duke City defense, which pitched a legitimate shutout against the Texas Revolution, 37-0. Texas was held to 85 total yards and three turnovers in a game where they only had nine first downs. Wichita, Texas, and Salina would score 39, 28, and 27 respectively as the Gladiators made their dominant playoff run, culminating in a 31-27 title victory at home.