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TUCSON, ARIZONA – When the Tucson Sugar Skullslaunched their inaugural season last fall – forming the organization, hiring a head coach then filling the roster– the word “playoffs” was rolled out as a realistic goal for the expansion franchise.

With three games left in the season, a playoff berth is still on the table for Tucson as it gets set to face the unbeaten Arizona Rattlers on Saturday for the third time this season. It’s Military & First RespondersAppreciation Night at Tucson Arena. Kickoff is 6 p.m.

Tucson is 0-2 against the perennial IFL power, but they seemingly closed the gap between the time they were crushed by 35 points in Phoenix in March to the second meeting in April in Tucson where two untimely turnovers converted for Rattlers touchdowns were the difference in a 14-point loss.

The Sugar Skulls are on a three-game winning streak and tied for fourth place in the IFL. The top six teams earn playoff berths. At 10-0, the Rattlers have clinched their playoff berth and are trying to earn home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

“We know we can play with them, it’s just a matter of us playing ball,” said Head Coach Marcus Coleman. “We can’t make the mistakes we made the previous game. We have to make sure we play as complete a ball game as we possibly can.”

The Sugar Skulls emerged from a four-game losing streak in April with three straight wins, two of those on the road at San Diego and Bismarck. They face the Rattlers twice before ending the season against the Quad City Steamwheelers, a June 15 game that shapes up to have major playoff implications. The Steamwheelers are two games behind the Sugar Skulls in the standings but currently hold the tiebreaker by virtue of their April 20 victory over Tucson.

Official Game Notes

2019 Sugar Skulls Game Notes   Game 12   Arizona Page 01

TUCSON, ARIZONA – It will be a special night at Tucson Arena for active military, first responders and veterans Saturday as the Tucson Sugar Skulls try to hand the visiting Arizona Rattlers their first loss of the season.

Military & First Responders Appreciation Night will recognize the service and sacrifices made to make our community safe. Sponsors have donated complimentary tickets that have been provided to military members and first responders. Ticket discounts for military, first responders and veterans are available by contacting the Sugar Skulls office at (520) 573-3000.

In addition to the celebration, the Sugar Skulls are introducing the “Dead Zone” section in the north end zone with tickets discounted for the final two home games of the season. Lower end zone seats that had been priced at $45 will be $25. Upper-end zone seats that had been priced at $22 will be $15. Fans are encouraged to be loud, paint their faces and have an impact on the games as the Sugar Skulls make their push for the playoffs.

“It’s been a great season so far and we’re in the thick of the playoff race,” said Sugar Skulls owner Cathy Guy. “We need to pack The Boneyard for these last two games and make Tucson Arena an extremely tough place for visiting teams to play.”

Among the special events and activities on Saturday:

  • The Sugar Skulls will unveil a yellow and black camouflage jersey for the Memorial Day game. Game-worn jerseys can be signed by the players and will be for sale right after the game and online.
  • A commemorative Memorial Day Sugar Skulls t-shirt will be on sale at the game. Adult sizes are $20. Youth sizes are $15.
  • The first 2,000 fans in attendance will get a Sugar Skulls Rally Towel courtesy of Farhang & Medcoff law firm.
  • A joint color guard of the Tucson Police Department and Tucson Fire Department will present the colors before the game, and the national anthem will be sung by an active member of the Arizona Air National Guard.
  • The Tucson Sugar Dolls will perform a patriotic dance routine at halftime.

Kickoff is 6 p.m. The doors open at 5 p.m. for the Rally Towel giveaway. The pre-game public tailgate party begins at 4 p.m.

The Sugar Skulls head into the game with a 6-5 record and tied for fourth place in the IFL with three games left. The top six teams earn playoff berths. The Rattlers are 10-0 and have already clinched a playoff spot.

TUCSON, ARIZONA – The Tucson Sugar Skulls have back-to-back IFL Defensive Players of the Week with defensive back Micah Eugene Jr. earning the honor this week.

It is the sixth Player of the Week award for the Sugar Skulls playing in their inaugural season.

Eugene, 5’11, 190 pounds from Louisiana St. University, led the Sugar Skulls with seven tackles, an interception, two tackles for loss and four passes broken up in a
52-40 victory over the Bismarck Bucks on Saturday.

The victory helped put Tucson in a fourth-place tie in the IFL with a 6-5 record with three games left to play.

Defensive lineman Rayshawn Henderson won the award a week ago for his performance in a 65-48 victory over the San Diego Strike Force. Defensive back and kick returner Dee Maggitt Jr. has won the award twice, once for special teams and once for defense. Quarterback Matt Behrendt won the award for offense, and placekicker Diego Marquez won it for special teams.

The Sugar Skulls are at home this Saturday to take on the undefeated Arizona Rattlers at Tucson Arena. Kickoff is 6 p.m. Tucson time. The Sugar Skulls are in the thick of the playoff chase, tied with the Green Bay Blizzard for fourth place in the IFL. Six teams earn playoff berths.

TUCSON, ARIZONA – As the Tucson Sugar Skulls head into the final stages of their inaugural season, their playoff scenarios include the possibility of hosting a playoff game, which would take place the weekend of June 22. The next step in their playoff quest is a home game this Saturday against the unbeaten Arizona Rattlers. Kickoff is 6 p.m. at the Tucson Arena.

Riding a three-game winning streak, Tucson is in a tie for fourth place with the Green Bay Blizzard with a 6-5 record. The Sugar Skulls and Green Bay will not play each other this season. The third- and fourth-place teams will host first-round playoff games against the sixth- and fifth-place teams, respectively. The first- and second-place teams get first-round byes.

One game behind Tucson and Green Bay with a 5-6 record is the Nebraska Danger, a team that holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Tucson by virtue of a 53-47 victory over the Sugar Skulls on April 6 in Nebraska. The Quad City Steamwheelers also are contending for a playoff spot and are another game back at 4-7. They also have a victory over the Sugar Skulls, but the two teams will meet in the regular season finale for both teams on June 15 in Tucson. The Steamwheelers visit Nebraska on Friday in a game with significant playoff implications.

The task for Tucson is formidable over the next two games. After Saturday’s game, they have a bye and then travel to Phoenix to take on the Rattlers again on June 8. Arizona won the first two meetings, 63-28 on March 16 in Phoenix, and 55-41 in Tucson on April 14.

With four teams in close proximity in the standings, and with a number of possible scenarios for ties in the standings, here is the IFL tiebreaking procedure from the league’s Operations Manual:

1) Member Teams with matching winning percentages will be selected on a series of tiebreakers. The first Member Team having an advantage in tiebreaker categories will be considered the higher seed. In ties involving three or more Member Teams, once a team is eliminated by the tiebreaker process, the process reverts back to Step 1 for all remaining teams. The tiebreaker process continues in a similar manner until the highest seeded team is determined. The following are the tiebreaker categories in order of relevance:

  1. Won/Loss Percentage
  2. Head to Head Record vs. Opponent(s) Involved in Tie
  3. Opponents Win Percentage (Strength of Schedule)
  4. Head to Head Point Differential vs. Opponent Involved in Tie e) Point Differential for the Season (Total Points Scored Minus Total Points Allowed)

This Saturday’s game is Military & First Responders Appreciation Night with a limited number of complimentary tickets available in pairs for active military and first responders. The tickets are sponsored by local businesses as part of the Sugar Skulls’ SALUTE program. Requests for tickets must be submitted via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Discounts also are available for active members and veterans through the Sugar Skulls office at (520) 573-3000. The first 2,000 fans in attendance Saturday will receive a free Sugar Skulls Rally Towel sponsored by Farhang & Medcoff. 

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