“It’s like a swish army knife-I’ll bruise them up a little bit, and he’ll come in and just cut them up.”

That’s how Sugar Skulls seasoned vet Mike Jones describes his relationship with fellow running back Benjamin Jones.

“I’m the faster, more lightning guy, and he’s the thunder, you know, he’s the one that’s going to bring that ham,” said Benjamin.

Following his sensational rookie season as a highly productive kick returner, leading the league in kick-off returns in 2021, the Sugar Skulls resigned the special teams’ weapon, and Benjamin began a more prominent role in the backfield alongside the face of the Tucson franchise, Mike.

“I wasn’t coming to take spots or anything like that, I am a team-oriented guy, so whatever the team needed, I was there for that,” said Benjamin. 

“He’ll always tell you, ‘I need a break,’ so if someone could come in here and be a part of that Ironman thing he has going on, and being able to take some of the load off, it’s really a relief for himand it makes him better also, because now he’s not in for 50 plays, running through everyone, taking every rip. Now he can actually be able to trust the guy that’s in the game.”

“He’s the reason why I came back. Off-season, I was looking elsewhere to play back outdoors, but he called me and was like, hey, I like playing with you, let’s come back and do it again, and that’s all it took,” Mike said.

In the team’s most recent win over Duke City, the kick returner turned running back accounted for 38 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.

“He’s actually opened my eyes to a lot more things, as far as smaller things, you know, like ball protection, keeping the ball close to my body when I make moves,” said Mike.

Both Joneses have taken full advantage of having two powerful running backs, a not entirely common finding in the IFL, learning and building from the others’ strengths and struggles. 

“It is starting to show film-wise and game-wise when we are both on the field, good things happen. So, we are trying to figure that part out, but we are just blessed to have two running backs, and I am learning from the best,” Benjamin said.

The two Joneses are two dynamic contributors to the Tucson defense, the second-best in the Indoor Football League.

“I feel like I’m more of the aggressorI like the contact and stuff like that which is good, but you need somebody like Ben, the shifty guy,” said Mike.

“Like I said, I’m going to bruise them up a bit and make them a little something, but he just comes in and cuts them up and goes the distance.”

The forceful duo and the Sugar Skulls host the San Diego Strike Force at Tucson Arena Saturday at 6 p.m. 

“Anytime we are on the field, if you guys watch the game, you’ll see,” said Mike.

“Anytime me and him are on the field, or even if we separate, we’re always going to win and when we come together it’s a one-two thing.”