(Tucson, AZ) Coming into the matchup with the Iowa Barnstormers, Tucson needed a win to get off the “bubble” for the upcoming IFL Playoffs.
The Sugar Skulls had lost their last three games, including the last home against the league leading Arizona Rattlers 55-41 on April 14th. Last week, Tucson didn’t fare any better as they fell to Quad City 72-54.
Tucson won the coin toss and missed a field goal on the first possession, but scored on the next possession on a Jake Medlock two yard run for a touchdown and gave the Skulls the lead 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
Iowa got on the board at 3;48 mark with a 32 yard field goal to cut the Sugar Skulls lead to 7-3.
Early on, Tucson had a slight advantage on execution as they controlled the ball. That culminated on a six yard touchdown pass from Medlock to Shaq Currenton. Skulls up 14-3 at the end of the first quarter.
The Sugar Skulls had seven first downs to one for Iowa in the first quarter and eighty six yards of offense to just forty two for the Barnstormers.
The first possession off the second quarter, Iowa drove right down the field and a blown coverage in the secondary allowed an eight yard wide open pass to Daquan Neal for the score. After the touchdown on the ensuing kickoff, the Sugar Skulls weren’t able to advance the ball out of their end zone and in indoor football rules that give the other team a point, Tucson still led 14-11.
The Skulls got right back on the board with a Mike Jones three yard run off the right side and increased the lead 21-11.
Iowa’s big play offense showed up when quarterback Jazeric Petersonon a twenty nine yard pass to Neal in the back of the end zone. The point after attempt was wide and the Skulls lead shrunk to 21-7.
Indoor Football is like basketball where it’s a game of runs and upo and down, so when Tucson came right back on a Jones four year yard touchdown run and the Sugar Skulls were right back to an eleven point lead 28-17 lead with 1:04 left in the half.
The Barnstormers scored a touchdown right before the half but was brought back on a holding call that forced a fourth down field goal, but as the indoor game goes, Tucson kicked a forty five yard field goal with four seconds left to go into halftime leading 31-20.
Out of the locker room Medlock drove the Skulls down the field to score on one yard run at thee. 9:21 mark. The extra point was blocked, 37-20 Tucson led.
The Barnstormers big play machine came back on a sweet 31 yard pass from Neal to Peterson crashing into the wall in the back of the end zone but maintaining possession. With 4:53 left in the third quarter the Skulls led 37-27.
The rest of the third quarter went scoreless and Tucson maintained its ten point lead 37-27. The Skulls had a huge advantage in first downs 17-8, but total years were close 179-172 Tucson. Iowa’s scoring came on big plays.
The Sugar Skulls in their three game losing streak have not had success in the fourth quarters. Iowa scored a touchdown on their first possession of the fourth quarter when Neal scampered nine yards.
Tucson once again answered when Currenton caught a pass on the right side and jetted into the end zone. The Skulls lead was back to ten 44-34.
The best way to describe this game was a “track meet.” As soon as one slide scored, the opposing team came right back to answer.
The Neal to Hollenback tandem worked again as on a thirteen yard pass and catch and the Barnstormers were back within three 44-41.
The up and down play continued as the Sugar Skull’s Jones ran in for the score from twenty eight yards. Tucson wasn’t fading and led 51-47. The Barnstormers missed a short field goal attempt and Tucson breathed a sigh of relief.
Moments later disaster struck as new kicker Josh Gable’s low field goal attempt was blocked and recovered in the end zone for a Barnstormer touchdown and the Skulls found themselves down 54-51 with 1:05 left in the game.
Lightning in a bottle from Medlock to Currenton on their first play from scrimmage after the Iowa score on a long twenty eight yard flag route. The important point after touchdown was good to put the lead at four and force Iowa to score a touchdown 58-54.
The Barnstormers aren’t nearly the top of the standings for wilting as they marched down the field and scored with just seven seconds left on a dive into the end zone.
After a short kickoff return, Tucson had time for one play. A long filed goal attempt for the tie fell way short and the Skulls losing streak is now at four.
Next game is against is May 4th the San Diego Strike Force who, they’ve beaten twice this season.