With the regular season winding down in the Texas United Football League, the playoff picture is starting to shape up, but the DeSoto Tarantulas aren’t too concerned about that yet, as they have a big test coming up this weekend against the DFW Diamondbacks.
“I want to take care of business this weekend first and foremost,” Tarantulas head coach Giorgio Bostice told Developmental Football USA. “The Diamondbacks are a very good team, they’re not a team to take lightly and just expect to win. They’re fighting for the top seed as well.”
The Tarantulas defeated the Diamondbacks 33-7 earlier this year, but this game has the potential to be an instant classic, as the winner will take the division and the No. 1 playoff seed, not to mention it’s a rivalry game of sorts.
“Our only quote unquote rivals are the Central Texas Apaches and the DFW Diamondbacks,” Bostice said.
Right now, DeSoto leads the division and is fourth overall in the TUFL, with the North Texas Mustangs sitting on top at 10-0 and the Louisiana Lightning and Marshall Arch Angels holding the second and third spots in the league standings.
“As far as our playoff positioning, we had that one hiccup,” Bostice said. “We lost to the Apaches two weeks ago. Besides that, everything has been going pretty well. As far as playoff seed, it’s up in the air. The bottom six teams are still up in the air, but I know we’ll be at home.
“As of right now, we’re a four seed. If everyone wins and everyone advances, we wouldn’t play (the Mustangs) until the conference championship. We’d have to go there to play them.”
A key part of the Tarantulas (8-1) success this season have been the big boys handling their business in the trenches, which has allowed DeSoto to open up its playbook.
“Honestly I would have to say our offensive line has allowed us to have a lot of people produce in different areas,” Bostice said. “As long as our offensive line is clicking, our quarterback can throw and our running back can find running lanes.”
Veteran running back Julius Williams leads the team in rushing with 859 yards and 10 touchdowns, while utility player Delenzia Turner-Green has added another 645 yards and five touchdowns on the ground to go with 502 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
This weekend, Turner-Green and Williams could both surpass 1,000 yards of offense on the season as wide receiver Trey Sims looks to add to his totals of 580 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.
Defensively, linebacker Larrie Moore has logged 85 tackles, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries – including one returned for a touchdown, six sacks and one interception. Defensive tackle Chris Atchison-Lee has been a force in the middle, adding 45 tackles, 10 ½ sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
“We’ve lost a few pieces along the way, but that’s expected with it being football,” Bostice said. “We’re confident enough, that as long as we do our job, we’ll be where we need to be at the end of the year. As long as we take care of business and show up, we’ll be fine.”
Sixteen teams will make the TUFL playoffs, with the higher seed playing host to the lower seed, until the TUFL Championship Game, which will be held at a neutral site.