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Sugar Skulls still in playoff hunt

May 3, 2019 - Indoor Football League (IFL) - Tucson Sugar Skulls News Release

TUCSON, ARIZONA - It was a less than productive month of April for the Tucson Sugar Skulls who lost all four games in the month, including a heartbreaker to the defending IFL champion Iowa Barnstormers last weekend.

But as the calendar flips to May, the Sugar Skulls still find themselves in the thick of the race for a playoff spot, tied for sixth place with the Quad City Steamwheelers for the final slot in the IFL playoffs. Both teams are 3-5 and will meet in the final game of the season.

Between now and then, the Sugar Skulls have business to take care of to stay in the hunt beginning with back-to-back games against the San Diego Strike Force, a team the Sugar Skulls have beaten twice this season. The teams will play at the Tucson Arena on Saturday, May 4 at 6 p.m. The teams then make a quick turnaround to face each other Thursday, May 9, in San Diego.

"We're right on the edge but we have to be able to close out games," said Head Coach Marcus Coleman. "It's up to us to correct our mistakes, move forward and make sure we're dialed in this weekend."

The Sugar Skulls continue to lead the league in total offense averaging 275.3 yards per game. They are led by running back Mike Jones who leads the league with an average of 61.4 yards rushing per game. Jones is fourth in the league in scoring with 96 points coming on 14 rushing touchdowns and two receiving.

Defensively, the Sugar Skulls gave up 34 fourth-quarter points in the loss to the Barnstormers and are looking to regain early-season form when they went 3-1 during the month of March.

Linebacker Zach Allen is among the league leaders in tackles (7.4 average per game) and sacks (4). Defensive lineman Keith Jones Jr. returned to the roster last week after a tryout in the Arena Football League and recorded his third sack of the season.

Notes & Numbers

- The Sugar Skulls are 2-0 against the Strike Force, the IFL's other new franchise playing its first season. Tucson opened its inaugural season with a 65-44 win in San Diego on March 3, and then won 51-31 at home on March 31.

- Mike Jones' 109 yards rushing against the Barnstormers last week was the first

100-yard rushing game for the Sugar Skulls.

- Jones has scored at least two touchdowns in all but one of his seven games played. He was inactive for the Sugar Skulls' second game of the season but has started every other game.

- Zach Allen is fourth in the league in tackles for loss with 8.5. That includes four sacks which puts him in a tie for fourth place.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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