It’s been three weeks since the Rio Grande Football League defending champion Las Cruces Kings have taken the field, but don’t expect them to come out flat Saturday night against the New Mexico Rush in the first ever meeting between the two teams.
“The mood around the team doesn’t change,” Kings CEO Derek Smith told DFUSA. “It was a long layoff and we are anxious to get back on the field. The Rush just came off a tough game against the (West Texas) Drillers and I know that they will try to make a statement by coming down here and trying to dethrone the Kings.”
With one half of the RGFL season already in the books, teams are starting to find their niche as it’s time to put up or shut up, with the playoff picture beginning to take shape.
“We’re expecting it to be a hard fought game,” Smith said. “This is the second half of the season and teams are looking to get those playoff spots. Even though this is an out-of-division game, overall records count when it comes to standings. Anything can happen now. Teams should be more familiar with their players and teams and it is around this time that teams start to click better.”
The goal for the Kings all season has been to go undefeated and repeat as RGFL champions and so far they are right in stride of their expectations. However, five more teams are gunning to give the Kings their first loss before the post-season rolls around.
“For the Kings to continue their reign in the RGFL and remain perfect, we just have to play Kings football,” Smith said. “Execution and hard-nosed football is what we are going to have to play when the Rush come to town.
“We know that the Rush are tough. They have a few players that are starting to get into their groove and we know that many of them will try to come down and make a statement. It’s always fun playing a team from that area because we know they take football pretty serious over there.”
If the Kings (5-0) win, they would clinch a playoff and if the Rush (2-3) win, they will hold on to their No. 2 spot in the Eastern Division for at least one more week.