Two unbeatens collide on Saturday as the El Paso Sun Devils host the defending Rio Grande Football League champion Las Cruces Kings in a battle for first place and the first ever meeting between the two teams.
The Kings are coming off a 34-24 home victory over the Alamogordo Desert Dawgs (1-1) and the Sun Devils are coming off a huge 32-21 win over their rival the Sun City Reapers (1-1).
“The Sun Devils are tough,” Kings CEO Derek Smith told DFUSA. “This is the first time we have played and the Kings management has nothing but respect for the Sun Devils and their organization. We expect a great game and do not look past this game. They have a lot of firepower and we know that we need to come with our A-game or it will be a long day for the Kings.”
The Kings are led offensively by quarterback Ryan Farley, a player the Sun Devils have yet to face but are already very aware of.
“We’ve got to keep him at bay,” Sun Devils owner Darrell Parker told DFUSA. “We’ve got to keep them from dictating what we’re going to do on defense and offense. Our defensive coordinator is going to do his best to look at any film we have and do his best to game plan for him.”
The Sun Devils will rely heavily on offensive weapons, receiver Bekarr Holmes and running back Tyrell Jackson.
“(Holmes) is our over-the-top player, our big play receiver,” Parker said. “Last week against the (Curry County) Cats, he had five receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns. He draws attention and once he draws attention and they play the pass, the run opens up.
“It’s any given Saturday, we have a bunch of guys that are good. One week it can be one dude, the next week it could be another guy. We have so many good receivers and so many good backs, it’s going to be somebody’s time to shine.”
Jackson has rushed for more than 200 yards so far in this young 2016 season.
“This whole week is going to be preparation for the Kings,” Parker said. “Preparation is key. They got a good offense with their quarterback and we got a good defense and a good secondary so it’s going to be a good game.”