The Tucson Sugar Skulls look to win back-to-back games for the first time this season after beating the Bismarck Bucks 34-27 last Saturday.
Recently signed quarterback Cory Murphy – who rushed for 84 yards and three rushing touchdowns and managed the game efficiently – sparked a fire into a Tucson team that has little room for error if it hopes to make it to the postseason.
The Sugar Skulls (3-7) play today against the Northern Arizona Wranglers (1-9) at the Tucson Convention Center. Kickoff is at 6:05 p.m.
Head coach Dixie Wooten has recently made some changes in offensive playcalling, and Murphy excelled in managing the game despite completing only two of seven passing attempts last Saturday.
“It’s a no-huddle but the way we run it is, we still take time off the clock, We just speed up the pace for the defense, so they can’t get any substitutions.”
While Murphy provided the lift on offense for the Sugar Skulls against Bismarck, it was the play of linebacker Jajuan Harley, which earned him IFL Defensive Player of the Week Honors, that powered the defense into arguably its best performance of the season.
Harley, who had recently switched positions from defensive back to linebacker, finished the game last Saturday with 11 total tackles (10 solo), with 4.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, and a fumble recovery.
Wooten sees some areas the Sugar Skulls need to work on after being outscored by Bismarck 18-7 in the second half, but was nonetheless pleased to come out on top.
“We just got to clean up the little stuff, and we gotta play harder,” Wooten said. “We gotta understand that, but a win is a win, they don’t come often – it’s our third one – and we gotta celebrate.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writing intern Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. He is currently attending Pima Community College where he writes for the Aztec Press. Next semester he will be attending the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU where he will work towards a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies.