The Tucson Sugar Skulls take a two-game winning streak into a matchup against perennial powerhouse the Arizona Rattlers at Tucson Arena tomorrow.
Tucson is coming off a 42-41 home win against Duke City last Saturday, which came down to an unforgettable finish in the final seconds. With five seconds remaining, defensive lineman Tony Winslow blocked a PAT, and defensive back Jovon White recovered it in the end zone, slipped through a tackle, and returned it 50 yards for a two-point conversion to win the ball game.
The Sugar Skulls are 0-7 against in-state rival the Rattlers since joining the IFL in 2019, but Tucson running back Mike Jones isn’t focused on that.
“It’s just football; either you got it, or you don’t,” he said. “They get dressed the same way I get dressed, so we’re gonna watch film, and go out there and play football.”
In seven games played between the two teams, the margin of victory for the Rattlers over the Sugar Skulls is 16.8 points, with Tucson coming the closest to winning in its inaugural season when Arizona won 50-49.
Arizona quarterback and reigning 2021 IFL MVP Drew Powell’s 23 touchdown passes this season rank first in the IFL, with Tucson quarterback Daquan Neal right behind him in second place with 21.
Tomorrow’s game marks the first head-to-head matchup between the two quarterbacks and the first time Neal has ever suited up against the Rattlers.
The Sugar Skulls defense will have its work cut out for them tomorrow. Tucson is allowing a league-worst 54.0 points per game, and Arizona is the highest-scoring offense in the league.
The Sugar Skulls (3-3) play tomorrow at Tucson Arena against the Arizona Rattlers (6-0). Kickoff is at 6:05 p.m. In honor of Mother’s Day, all tickets will only be $15.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writing intern Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. Murphy is a journalist product manager with the Green Valley News & the Sahuarita Sun. He is currently attending the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU where he is working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies.