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