Sugar Skulls QB Mitchell returns, new players shine in loss to Arizona Rattlers

Mylik Mitchell threw three touchdowns in his return from injury (Gilbert Alcaraz/Special to

Costly penalties and turnovers proved too much to overcome, despite an impressive performance on both sides of the ball for the Tucson Sugar Skulls, who lost their fourth straight game.

The Arizona Rattlers beat Tucson 38-32 at the Tucson Convention Center on Saturday night.

“I thought the defense played very well tonight,” the head coach said. Billy back saying. “Jaylen Parks I really looked it up and thought Ahmad Lyons He also played well. We have a lot to take advantage of on defense. The offensive timing was a little bit off with Mylik’s first game, so I think we have a lot to build on.”

Tucson (1-5) has struggled mightily against its in-state rivals, posting a 2-9 overall record with the recent loss being 1-5 when playing at home.

Among a long list of unforced errors was one bright spot in the return of the starting quarterback. Mylik Mitchell and the debut of the wide receiver Brian Smith.

Mitchell was sidelined the last two games due to injury and was able to get some extra time to recover during the bye week last week.

Mitchell was shaky early in the game and even fumbled at the goal line during a big touchdown opportunity, but once he found his rhythm, he was the same quarterback who won the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Week award. Week 2.

“I felt good today, I didn’t feel anything bad in my body,” Mitchell said. “They protected my knee for precautionary reasons. I felt good running. I wish I could have run a little more.”

Smith proved to be a huge impact in his first game with the Sugar Skulls, catching two touchdowns despite just joining the team.

“I think I played well, but there’s always room for improvement,” Smith said. “We came up short, but we’re going to practice on Monday, work on some things and take care of Las Vegas.”

Tucson will remain at the TCC next week. The Sugar Skulls will face the undefeated Las Vegas Knight Hawks (7-0) on Saturday at 6:05 pm The Night Hawks have the former Sugar Skulls coach on their roster. Hurtis ChinnWho is your offensive coordinator?

Newly signed defensive back Derrion Rakestraw He also played well in his debut, leading the defense in tackles.

The Sugar Skulls moved the chains about 30 yards toward midfield and finished with a field goal. Demitri Fotinosputting them up 3-0 with 10:55 left in the first quarter.

An awkward bounce on the opening kickoff gave the Rattlers great field position at the Skulls’ 22-yard line. All it took was an offsides penalty by Parks and three plays for the Rattlers to respond with a touchdown of their own.

The 6-yard run was driven in by Jamal Miles and put the Rattlers up 7-3 with 7:38 left in the first quarter.

The Sugar Skulls’ next drive began at their own 7-yard line and only four yards were gained before a field goal was attempted and missed.

Arizona moved to its 15 after the missed kick and marched to the Sugar Skulls’ 3.

A great blocked pass by Parks on fourth down gave the ball back to the Sugar Skulls.

Tucson created some breathing room with an 8-yard pass to Mike Jonesthen ripped apart Arizona’s defense with a 24-yard strike to Jalin Marshall on their first carry of the game, putting the Sugar Skulls at the Rattlers’ 15.

On third-and-seven, Mitchell ran the ball in on a quarterback attempt, putting Tucson up 9-7 after the extra point attempt was missed with 10:16 left in the half.

The Rattlers returned the kickoff to their own 12-yard line. The Sugar Skulls held strong on the first play of the drive, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave Arizona a 15-yard drive to the Tucson 22-yard line.

Arizona ran three straight plays to cap the drive with a touchdown, putting the Sugar Skulls back in the hole at 14-9 with 6:16 left in the half.

Arizona scored another three points after the Sugar Skulls failed to get past their own 15 after coming up short on a fourth-down conversion, leaving Tucson even further behind by a score of 17-9 with 45 seconds left.

The Sugar Skulls got to the Rattlers’ 24 on their next drive before Fotinos kicked a field goal, closing the gap to 17-12 at the end of the half.

The Rattlers received the ball early in the second half and took it to their own 12-yard line. Arizona scored on their second play with a 38-yard touchdown pass, making it a 24-12 game after the extra point with 13:05 left. be played in the third quarter.

Tucson recovered the ball and drove to the Rattlers’ 1-yard line. Mitchell fumbled the ball at the goal line and Arizona recovered it to begin their drive.

The Sugar Skulls defense kept the Rattlers on their side of the field and blocked a fourth down pass to recover the ball with elevated field position at the Arizona 21-yard line.

Mitchell connected with Smith for a 21-yard touchdown pass, cutting Arizona’s lead to 24-18 after the extra point was missed with 3:36 in the third quarter.

Tucson’s strong defense forced a fumble to recover the ball, but the momentum was short-lived as Mitchell also coughed up the ball on the second play of the drive and recovered at the Arizona 19-yard line.

Arizona took advantage with a 28-yard pass to the Tucson 5-yard line. A subsequent rushing touchdown put the Rattlers even further ahead at 31-18 with 13:58 left in the game.

Davonte Sapp-Lynch set up the Sugar Skulls with good field position at the Arizona 21-yard line on the kickoff return.

Mitchell connected with Jones on a 16-yard pass to put the Sugar Skulls five yards inside the end zone. Three plays later, Mitchell found Marshall in the corner of the end zone, making it a 31-25 game with 9:53 left.

Arizona took its time on the next drive, eating up six minutes and driving the ball from its 18 to the Tucson 5 and finally scoring.

The short touchdown pass put the Arizona Rattlers up 38-25 with 3:49 remaining.

The Mitchell-Smith connection grew stronger throughout the game and led to a 27-yard touchdown pass to give the Sugar Skulls some life with a score of 38-31 with 1:41 left.

Tucson’s onside kick attempt failed and Arizona lined up in victory formation to close out the game.

Mitchell was 8-for-14 in his return, throwing for 94 yards, rushing for 31 and completing three touchdown passes. He was also quick to score.

Smith caught three passes for 56 yards and two touchdowns. Jones had three receptions for 31 yards. Marshall had two receptions for eight yards and a touchdown.

Rakestraw led the Sugar Skulls defense in solo tackles with six.

Parks led in pass breakups with three.

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