Sugar Skulls win 72-62 shootout over Northern Arizona to end three-game skid

Tucson quarterback Daquan Neal had seven combined touchdowns through the air and on the ground Saturday night at Tucson Arena. (Photo Sugar Skulls)

The Tucson Sugar Skulls defeated the Northern Arizona Wranglers 72-62 to return to the win column after losing three straight games.

Northern Arizona (3-2) got within three points of Tucson at 65-62 with 5:58 left in the fourth quarter after a 3-yard touchdown pass from Wranglers quarterback Kaleb Barker at the wide receiver Quentin Randolph and a successful 2-point conversion on the field from Randolph that followed.

“It’s a seesaw game. It’s like basketball; it’s a seesaw game,” Neal said. “When you get the momentum, it spins, and everything in this league happens very quickly. They came back, fired back and shot him, then we just had to pull ourselves together. We kind of lost the momentum and just had to bring the crowd back to our side and throw it to the offensive side.

And run it, they did.

Tucson Quarterback Daquan Neal connected with Carrington-Thompson on a 41-yard reception to bring the Sugar Skulls to the Wranglers 6-yard line on the next possession. To come back mike jones scored a 6-yard rushing touchdown with 2:47 left in the game to extend Tucson’s lead to 72-62.

The Sugar Skulls defense came out on top on the next possession, forcing the Wranglers to go for a field goal with 32 seconds left. Northern Arizona kicker Brandon Fischer missed the 33-yard kick, virtually sealing the deal for Tucson.

“I just said congratulations to them because a win is a win,” Tucson head coach said Dixie Wooten mentioned. “Winning is not easy in this league. So regardless of the score, I said congratulations to them on the win, but we have to do a lot better.

The 72 points Tucson scored on Saturday are the most in franchise history. The combined 134 points in the game is also a franchise record.

Neal completed seven of 11 pass attempts for 156 yards and four touchdowns. He rushed for 51 yards on 11 carries and had three touchdowns.

Thompson had three receptions for 102 yards with two touchdowns.

Jones rushed for 34 yards on 11 carries and had two touchdowns.

Official attendance Saturday at Tucson Arena was 2,535.

The Sugar Skulls (2-3) play Saturday at Tucson Arena against the Duke City Gladiators (2-4). Kick-off is at 6:05 p.m.

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Editorial Intern ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed the athletics of the Arizona Wildcats since childhood. Murphy is a journalist product manager at the Green Valley News and the Sahuarita Sun. He is currently attending ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies.

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