ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With reigning IFL player of the year Nate Davis out for the season with a torn ACL, the Duke City Gladiators spent the first few weeks of the season adjusting to life with a new quarterback. Now, after picking up the first win of the season, it appears the team has its answer with Ramone Atkins.


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The former New Mexico highlands quarterback made his indoor debut in week two as a starter before getting benched in the second quarter. Atkins had a forgettable performance as he struggled to move the ball downfield and threw a costly interception.

After his initial struggles, Atkins got another shot at the starting job in week four against the Bay Area Panthers. His second go-around as the signal-caller was much more successful as he threw for 181 yards and five touchdowns while leading Duke City to its first win of the season.

“It was hard. I think about it every now and then, first week in, just how hard my passes were. I was like dang, I really had to question myself, ‘am I really throwing it that hard?’ because normally, it’s normal throwing that hard coming from outdoor. Definitely had to tone it down a little bit.”

It seems a major part of Atkin’s success comes down to his relationship with receiver Dello Davis. Following a 105-yard, three-touchdown performance against Bay Area Davis believes that is only the tip of the iceberg as Atkins continues to develop.

“As you see it’s coming along good. He threw me my first 100-yard game this year, so we’ll just piggyback off of last week and see where we go from there.”

The Gladiators will host the Tucson Sugar Skulls on Saturday before going on the road for five straight games. The kickoff on Saturday is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Rio Rancho events center.