The Tucson Sugar Skulls are playoff bound in their first season as an Indoor Football League franchise. They are the first IFL expansion franchise to earn a playoff berth in their first year of existence.
“We never would have accomplished this amazing goal without the support of the Tucson fans and the business community,” said Sugar Skulls owner Kevin Guy. “We’re honored to be the first expansion team in IFL history to make the playoffs.
“The playoffs are a reality because of the leadership shown by Head Coach Marcus Coleman,” Guy added. “We will give everything we have to represent Southern Arizona in a way that represents what our fans deserve.”
The Sugar Skulls earned the playoff berth with a winner-take-all, 55-50 victory over the Quad City Steamwheelers on Saturday night at Tucson Arena.
“It was just a matter of us coming together, getting the right players in here, making sure we’re on point and carrying that out,” said Coleman. “And we did that. We got in.”
Tucson will open the playoffs on Sunday, June 23, visiting the Sioux Falls Storm after qualifying as the No. 6 seed in the IFL. The Sugar Skulls finished the regular season with a 7-7 record and tied for fifth place with the Nebraska Danger. However, the Danger earned the fifth seed by virtue of their victory over the Sugar Skulls in April. Nebraska will visit the Green Bay Blizzard in the other first-round game on Friday.
The Tucson-Sioux Falls winner will face the No.2 seed Iowa Barnstormers in the United Conference Championship the weekend of June 29 in Des Moines, Iowa. The Barnstormers earned a first-round bye with a 12-2 record. The Green Bay-Nebraska winner will face the unbeaten Arizona Rattlers the same weekend in the Intense Conference Championship. The two conference champions will play for the IFL championship in the United Bowl the weekend of July 6.
The Sugar Skulls will conduct a regular week of practice this week and then travel on Saturday for the game in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Kickoff is 1 p.m., Tucson time, on Sunday at the Denny Sanford Premier Center. The game can be watched via live stream on the IFL YouTube channel.