RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – The Duke City Gladiators are finally in the win column. The first win of the season for the 2021 IFL runner-up was a 50-28 victory over the Bay Area Panthers on Saturday night.

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It was a much better game for Duke City quarterback Ramone Atkins. Following a debut where he was benched two weeks ago, the former New Mexico Highlands quarterback got his second start against Bay Area. Atkins went on to throw for 181 yards and five touchdowns in addition to one TD on the ground.

Dello Davis had a solid outing as well after a brief hiatus from the team. Davis racked up eight receptions for 105 yards and three touchdowns while Jared Elmore finished second in receiving with 70 yards and a touchdown on three catches. Former La Cueva star Ronnie Daniels rushed for 10 yards on four carries and recorded two tackles on special teams.

One of the biggest turnarounds for Duke City was on the defensive side of the ball. The Gladiators got to the Panthers’ QB three times while picking him off once. The 28 points allowed were the fewest given up by the team all season.

The Gladiators have one game remaining on the current homestand. Duke City will host the Tucson Sugar Skulls on April 16 at the Rio Rancho Events Center. The Gladiators are currently 1-3.