The Tucson Sugar Skulls play their first game in this city tomorrow at 3 p.m. at the Tucson Arena against the Bismarck Bucks, and you may ask yourself: Did I see any of these guys play in college?
All of them have a college football background, including playing at Power 5 schools such as Wake Forest, Texas Tech, Miami and North Carolina State. No former Arizona, ASU or NAU players are on the roster, but in time, there will be to add some local interest to the mix.
As it is, four former Southern Arizona high school standouts are on the roster: Linebacker Robert Metz of CDO (who played at Dixie State in Utah), defensive back Cam Gaddis of Santa Rita (Pima), and offensive linemen Alex Rios of Sahuarita and Pima (East Tennessee State) and Antonio Rosales of Tucson High (San Diego State).
The Sugar Skulls are coming off a 65-44 franchise-opening victory over the San Diego Strike Force on the road last week. The Bucks had a week off after a 66-44 loss at the Nebraska Danger on
Some of the standouts in the Sugar Skulls’ win:
— WR Shaquan Curenton (Scottsdale Community College) scored three touchdowns and had a game-high 82 yards receiving including a leaping touchdown catch crashing through the gate in front of the Sugar Skulls’ bench.
— RB Mike Jones (Bethune-Cookman) also scored three touchdowns. He rushed for 43 yards on 11 carries. One of his touchdowns was on an 11-yard pass reception.
— QB Matt Behrendt (Wisconsin-Whitewater) got the starting assignment against San Diego. Behrendt was 4-of-6 for 67 yards and a TD. He ran for another.
— QB Jake Medlock (Valdosta State and Florida International) also handled the signal-calling duties. He started the second half and played the entire half. Medlock was 10-of-14 for 142 yards and four TDs.
— DB Dee Maggitt Jr. (Hawaii) was named IFL Defensive Player of the Week recording two interceptions with seven tackles, one tackle for loss and one pass break-up.
— DL Keith Jones Jr. (Tennessee-Martin), an All-IFL selection last year, scooped up a fumble at the goal line and scored in the first quarter.
— LB Zach Allen (Wake Forest), a fellow All-IFL selection, led the team with nine tackles.
Here are some videos of the Tucson Sugar Skulls when they were standouts in college:
35 Allen, Zach LB 6’2 230 Wake Forest University
16 Behrendt, Matt QB 6’2 205 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
1 Bethel II, Nigel DB 5’9 185 Texas Tech University
82 Brown, Jarid WR 5’11 190 Western Illinois University (transferred from Ohio)
24 James, Kenneth DB 5’10 200 Southern Illinois University
23 Maggitt Jr., Dee DB 5’10 185 University of Hawaii
22 Marquez, Diego K 6’1 215 University of Miami
5 Medlock, Jake QB 6’3 225 Valdosta State (transferred from Florida International)
15 Metz, Robert DL 6’4 250 Dixie State University
64 Montero, Mike OL 6’2 310 Florida International University
29 Morris, Darius LB 6’1 230 Carson-Newman University
99 Nikocevic, Rusmin DL 6’4 270 Texas State University
88 Philip, Shakore DL 6’1 310 Widener University
84 Rasberry, Donovan WR 5’8 170 Winston-Salem State University
67 Rosales, Antonio OL 6’4 305 San Diego State University
6 Sampson, Brandon WR 5’9 180 Midwestern State University
73 Saunders, Trenton OL 6’4 305 Florida International University
10 Thornton, Shad RB 6’1 230 North Carolina State University