In a game that featured an early 21-0 Gladiators lead, six lead changes and seven touchdown passes – four of them to Dello Davis — from Duke City quarterback Ramone Atkins, the Duke City Gladiators held off the visiting Tucson Sugar Skulls, 57-52, on April 16 at the Rio Rancho Events Center.
Atkins’ TD pass to Jared Elmore knotted the score at 49 with 2:52 remaining in regulations.
A 50-yard (the length of the field) field goal gave Tucson (1-3) a 52-49 lead with 55 seconds to go.
But for the second week in a row, the Sugar Skulls’ secondary coughed up a passing touchdown late in the game, with Elmore giving Duke City a 55-52 lead following the missed PAT.
Tucson (1-3) had a chance to tie with a 57-yard field goal attempt with four seconds on the clock, but the snap sailed past the kicker and bounced in the back of the end zone for safety to end the game.
Duke City (2-3) plays its next four games on the road: Frisco (April 23), Tucson (April 30), Bay Area (May 7) and Las Vegas (May 21). The Gladiators’ next home game is on May 28 at 6 p.m. when San Diego Strike Force visits the Events Center.