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Tucson Sugar Skulls pick up first win of Dixie Wooten era after routing Duke City Gladiators

Tucson Sugar Skulls pick up first win of Dixie Wooten era after routing Duke City Gladiators

Tucson Sugar Skulls logo

When Dixie Wooten was hired to be the Tucson Sugar Skulls' head coach and general manager 20 months ago, winning became paramount for the Old Pueblo's IFL franchise. 

After last season shutting down and the 2021 schedule sliding to the middle of summer, Wooten didn't pick up his first victory as the new leader of the Sugar Skulls until Sunday evening, when Tucson cruised by the Duke City Gladiators, 55-35, in Albuquerque. 

In Demry Croft's second start at quarterback for Tucson, the IFL rookie accounted for six touchdowns, including five through the air. Croft connected with All-IFL wide receiver Kent Shelby II for two touchdowns on Sunday, bringing Shelby's season total to three scores through the first two games. 

Defensively, Tucson's Mike Minter, Cory Butler-Byrd and Delondo Boyd each recorded an interception in the first half. Coupled with the Sugar Skulls' offense, Tucson took a commanding 35-6 lead at halftime. 

Up next: Tucson (1-1) will host Wooten's former team, Iowa Barnstormers, on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. The Sugar Skulls announced earlier this week that home games at Tucson Convention Center will be at 100% capacity. Masks will be required for attendees. 

Contact sports producer Justin Spears at 573-4312 or On Twitter: @JustinESports

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Sports producer

Justin writes stories and produces digital content about UA football and basketball and high school football. A Tucson native, Justin graduated from the UA in 2017 and is the host of the Wildcast Podcast and a radio host on ESPN Tucson.

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