Two weeks into 2016 Rio Grande Football League action, the El Paso Sun Devils are off to a hot start and are really building some momentum. On Saturday, the Sun Devils took care of business against their cross-town rival the Sun City Reapers 32-21.
“To me, it’s a rivalry game,” Sun Devils owner Darrell Parker told DFUSA. “You’ve got two teams in the city that are playing. Last year the Reapers won and we were 0-2 against the Reapers, but every contest we had was under four points. The first game last year we lost by two and the second one we lost by four.”
That changed on Saturday when the Sun Devils won by 11 behind the legs of their running back and some help from their defense and special teams.
“With special teams, you can change the outcome of the game in like seven seconds with a good kickoff return,” Parker said.
Return specialist David Butler had a big day for the Sun Devils and did just that, returning three kickoffs for 180 yards and one touchdown and a punt for 22 yards. Defensively, Dewuan Crooms added a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown.
“Whoever is the last one standing is the one that’s going to win the game,” Parker said. “They got a good organization and a bunch of great players. Their starting quarterback was our starting quarterback two years ago.”
Running back Tyrell Jackson was a force on offense, toting the rock five times for 180 yards and two touchdowns for the Sun Devils.
“Our offense was really amped up,” Parker said. “Our defense had trouble at first. They spread the ball out very well. Once we made adjustments at halftime, we came out after halftime and they really didn’t do anything the second half.”
The Sun Devils (2-0) are one of only three remaining unbeaten teams in the RGFL, but that number will go down this Saturday as they host the defending RGFL champion Las Cruces Kings (2-0) in the first ever meeting between the two teams.