Tucson Sugar Skulls

Neal returns as Sugar Skulls look to bounce back in San Diego

Tucson quarterback Daquan Neal returns to the lineup after sitting out of the game last Saturday in Northern Arizona because of a scheduled tryout with the Indianapolis Colts. (Sugar Skulls photo)

Tucson quarterback Daquan Neal returns to the lineup as the Sugar Skulls look to get back in the win column after a 36-21 loss last Saturday in Northern Arizona when they take on the San Diego Strike Force tomorrow in San Diego.

Neal did not play last Saturday because he had a tryout scheduled with the Indianapolis Colts, leaving rookie quarterback Gabriel Cunningham to run the offense in his first appearance in an IFL game.

Neal’s absence was apparent last week as Tucson struggled on offense, going scoreless in the first half without the IFL leader in completion percentage and touchdown to interception ratio behind center.

The 21 points Tucson scored against Northern Arizona was a season-low and the second-lowest scoring performance in franchise history.

The Tucson Sugar Skulls blew a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter in its previous matchup against San Diego Strike Force, losing 67-66 in its 2022 season home opener at Tucson arena on April 9.

“It was one of the worst games ever; we gotta play defense. Any game that I’ve coached and we score 67 points; the score would be 67-30,” Tucson head coach Dixie Wooten said after the loss to San Diego. 

The Sugar Skulls have gone 3-2 since losing to San Diego, including a franchise-first win over the Arizona Rattlers that capped off a three-game winning streak in Neal’s last appearance on May 7.

Tucson is 1-3 on the road this season. 

Defensive back Cam Gaddis, a former Santa Rita standout and Pima College graduate, recently rejoined the team and will suit up tomorrow for the first time since a season-ending injury in 2021.

The Sugar Skulls (4-4) play tomorrow at San Diego (2-6) at the Pechanga Sports Arena. Kickoff is at 7:05 p.m. You can stream the game on the Indoor Football League YouTube channel.


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.

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