Week 13 Preview
TUCSON, AZ -Â One week removed from a thrilling home win, via a late two-point conversion by quarterbackÂ Demry CroftÂ in the final seconds of the game, the Tucson Sugar Skulls (2-6) hit the road to face off against the Spokane Shock (5-2). Â
The game will take place on Saturday, July 17 at 5:10 p.m. MST (6:10 p.m. MS) at the Spokane Arena (see below for streaming information).
Balancing the Offense
Running backÂ Mike JonesÂ led the charge in the last win against the Gladiators. Scoring a season-high four touchdowns, he is tied for second in the IFL in rushing TDs (13).
And with the help of rookie QBÂ Demry Croft, who is third in the IFL in rushing yards-per-game (428), the Sugar Skulls are currently ranked fourth in rushing TDs (23).
Wide ReceiverÂ Ryan BalentineÂ is also ranked fourth in the IFL in receiving yards (422) and receptions (35). This is impressive because he missed last week's game. With Balentine back in the lineup against the top-ranked Shock pass defense (107.7 YPG), both he and Croft will look to continue the connection that has Tucson performing at the fourth-best passing offense in the IFL (143.2 YPG).
The front line of the Sugar Skulls refused to let the Duke City Gladiators run the ball last week, allowing only a single yard on the ground.
Now, the Sugar Skulls fifth-best rushing defense (68.1) will look to follow up that performance by stopping the third ranked rushing offense of Spokane (77.9). The Shock's offense is led by RB Davonte Sapp-Lynch, who's ranked seventh in rushing yards-per-game (37.8) and shares the IFLs longest single rush of the season at 44 yards.
Last week, defensive backÂ Matt ElamÂ was all over the field in the Sugar Skulls win, including a diving pass breakup that sent him over flying the wall. Elam leads the team in pass-breakups with eight on the season, which ranks him at sixth in the IFL. DBÂ Delondo BoydÂ also continues to make an impact in the secondary as he owns a team-high 46 total tackles on the season.
The Shock defense will look to stop the high-flying Sugar Skull offense with its third-ranked scoring defense (35.1 PPG) that's led by Domini Sanders. Sanders is tied for third in the IFL in interceptions (2) and tied for seventh in passes defended (9).
The offense of the Shock is known for explosive games this season but ranks near the middle of the IFL in most offensive categories. Spokane currently has the sixth-best scoring offense (42.7 PPG), the eight-best total offense (206.6 YPG) and QB1 Charles McCullum leads the Shock against a Tucson defense that sports the fifth best passing efficiency in the IFL at 133.2 yards-per-game.
Where to Watch
The Tucson Sugar Skulls and Spokane Shock kick off at 5:10 p.m. MST (6:10 p.m. MS) this Saturday. The contest will be Tucson's fourth nationally televised game on Stadium & watchstadium.com this season.
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Indoor Football League Stories from July 17, 2021
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