Tucson Sugar Skulls

Tucson Sugar Skulls lose season opener at Northern Arizona

Tucson Sugar Skulls photo

The Tucson Sugar Skulls, playing their first game under head coach Billy Back, lost their season opener 54-48 in the Indoor Football League against the Northern Arizona Wranglers at Prescott on Saturday night.

Mylick Mitchell, formerly of Kent State and Ferris State, was the starting quarterback for the first time as a member of the Skulls.

The first quarter set the tone for a close game with the Wranglers (1-1) scoring first on a touchdown connection from quarterback Josh Jones to wideout Justin Manningweather.

Mitchell engineered a touchdown drive that put Tucson ahead 7-6 by the end of the quarter. 

Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the second quarter, with Mitchell orchestrating impressive drives for the Skulls.

Northern Arizona managed to maintain a slight edge, heading into halftime with a 32-28 lead. 

Back made it a point of emphasis for his team to step it up defensively in the second half.

Both defenses tightened, resulting in a brief stalemate.

Jones found Arsiah McCorker for his third touchdown of the night, putting Northern Arizona ahead 39-28 with 4:23 left in the third quarter.

Mitchell’s 6-yard touchdown run with 1:52 remaining in the quarter cut the lead to 39-34.

On the final play of the game, Mitchell fumbled the snap, but he was able to recover in time to throw a deep pass toward the goal line. Despite his efforts to save the play, the Sugar Skulls’ fate was sealed when the ball was intercepted.

Veteran running back Mike Jones finished with 32 rushing yards and two touchdowns for the Sugar Skulls.

Mitchell rushed for 98 yards and threw for 128 yards with four touchdowns.  

Tucson next plays at the Duke City Gladiators on Saturday at 5:05 p.m. The Sugar Skulls’ home opener is on Sunday, April 14, against the Bay City Panthers at 3:05 p.m.

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