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Sugar Skulls shine after adding MVP quarterback

Sugar Skulls practice
Posted at 1:59 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 16:59:46-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Tucson Sugar Skulls got off to a fast start Sunday in Las Vegas, winning their season opener 48-39.

They have a revamped roster this season, after missing the playoffs in 2021.

The Sugar Skulls added one of the Indoor Football League's top quarterbacks Daquan Neal.

"I'm going to bring that MVP-level quarterback play," said Neal in a recent interview with KGUN 9.

In just one game as a Tucson Sugar Skull, Neal has played like an MVP. He threw four touchdown passes and ran for another, in the Sugar Skulls season opening victory at Vegas.

Neal has been reunited with Sugar Skulls Head Coach Dixie Wooten.

The two teamed up in Iowa in 2019, to win an Indoor Football League United Bowl Championship.

"Quarterback is the face of the team," explained Neal. "As long as you've got a good quarterback and a good head coach, that's a dynamic duo."

Neal brings plenty of experience to a position where the Sugar Skulls struggled last season.

"Everything happens so fast," Neal said. "It's like you got to kind of know what you're doing before the play even starts. If you don't, then the speed is going to take over."

He was able to slow things down in 2019, not only winning the United Bowl with the Barnstormers, but also IFL MVP. He's the first rookie to ever win the award.

The North Carolina native gives a lot of credit to Dixie Wooten. It's why he jumped at the chance to reunite with the head coach in Tucson.

"He's like a big brother to me," said Neal. "He brought me in and he definitely developed my skills as a quarterback. Now, I'm top tier in the IFL, as far as quarterback play. Off the field he's going to make sure that you do everything to make sure you're good."

"By him being in Tucson with me, I feel great," said Dixe Wooten. "At the end of the day, when you have a quarterback that understands and plays the caliber of football that he plays, we've got a chance to win a championship."

Tucson travels to Texas Friday to face the Frisco Fighters. The Sugar Skulls home opener is April 9 at Tucson Arena, when they host the San Diego Strike Force.

Pat Parris is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. He is a graduate of Sabino High School where he was the 1982 high school state track champion in the 800 meters. While in high school and college, he worked part-time in the KGUN 9 newsroom. Share your story ideas and important issues with Pat by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.