Saturday, April 22, 2023

Strike Force outlast Sugar Skulls in double-overtime thriller

The San Diego Strike Force emerged victorious in a thrilling back-and-forth battle against the Tucson Sugar Skulls, winning 51-44 in double overtime on Saturday night at Tucson Arena. With this win, the Strike Force improved to 2-3, with a 2-2 record in the Western Conference, while the Sugar Skulls suffered their first loss of the season and now have a 3-1 record.

Tucson started off strong, scoring first with a 19-yard pass from Ramone Atkins to Dylan Person. The Strike Force responded with a 25-yard field goal from USD alum Aedan Johnson to narrow the gap. In the second quarter, the Strike Force took control with two more field goals from Johnson and a touchdown from Edward Vander, leading 16-7. However, the Sugar Skulls managed to close the gap with a touchdown from Mike Jones just before halftime, leaving the score at 16-14.

In the third quarter, the Strike Force extended their lead to 23-14 with a touchdown pass from Rudy Johnson to Marques "Hoodie" Rodgers, but the Sugar Skulls quickly responded with a touchdown from Carrington Thompson, cutting the San Diego lead to 23-22 after a successful two-point conversion.

In the fourth quarter, the Sugar Skulls took the lead with two more touchdowns from Jones and Thompson, but the Strike Force refused to give up. A touchdown pass from Johnson to Kentrez Bell brought them back within striking distance, and with only seconds remaining in regulation time, Johnson connected with Bell again for a 43-yard touchdown catch off the deflection from a Tucson defender. A missed extra point kept the game at 37-37, sending it into overtime.

In double overtime, the teams continued to trade touchdowns until the Strike Force ultimately prevailed with a touchdown pass from Johnson to Rodgers. A forced turnover on downs secured their second win of the season.

The Strike Force will return to the Pachanga Arena next Sunday, April 30th, to face the Bay Area Panthers.

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