The Tucson Sugar Skulls beat northern Arizona 56-38 on the road Saturday night, but failed to make a playoff appearance.
Tucson needed to beat northern Arizona, and Sioux Falls and Bismarck needed to win their games on Saturday for the Sugar Skulls to advance to eighth and final playoff spot.
Two of those three events happened, but Duke City outlasted Bismarck as Tucson pulled away from northern Arizona early in the fourth quarter.
Tucson quarterback Cory murphy arguably has his best performance in a Sugar Skulls uniform, finishing with 149 passing yards, 38 rushing yards and five total TDs – four in the air and one on the ground.
Malik stanley was Murphy’s best receiving target, finishing with a top 45 yards and two touchdowns.
Matt Elam led the team with 6.5 total tackles.
The Sugar Skulls kicker Jimmy camacho was signed by the BC Lions from the CFL earlier this week, leaving Tucson without a kicker on Saturday night. Ryan balentine replaced by Camacho, and the Sugar Skulls kept northern Arizona 13.8 yards per return.
The Sugar Skulls ended the season winning five of their last seven games after a slow start to the season.
In a post-match press release, Sugar Skulls’ media service thanked fans for their support during the season.
“The Tucson Sugar Skulls would like to thank their fans for another amazing season. While it didn’t end as we had hoped, the four-game home winning streak to end the season was fueled by the amazing Sugar fans. Skulls who filled the Boneyard. Thank you! “
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com Editorial Intern Kevin murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed the track and field of the Arizona Wildcats since he was a child. He currently attends Pima Community College where he writes for Aztec Press. Next semester he will attend ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he will study for a BA in Mass Communication and Media Studies.