Fans of the New Mexico Stars have known for months their team would be playing a pro indoor football home game today at the Santa Ana Star Center.
But which foe would they be rooting against?
Originally, it was going to be the Abilene Warriors, a member of American Indoor Football along with the Stars. But that team folded in no time.
Next up were the West Texas Renegades, an unaffiliated team from El Paso. But that’s the team that forfeited a home game to New Mexico two weeks ago. Thus, the Stars quickly uninvited the Renegades for their scheduled return trip.
After that, the Stars filled the April 9 hole with the Austin Colts, a team that was admitted to AIF last week. The welcome mat was still out as of late Thursday morning.
But then a text from the Colts popped up for Stars co-owner Tracy Duran around noon, which led him to call Austin GM John Cardenas.
Eventually, both parties realized the Colts wouldn’t be able to make the trip and that Austin was shutting down. Cardenas did not return an email message from the Journal .
Duran went to “Plan D” mega-pronto.
“The league got involved and said, ‘Hey, maybe Steel City would be able to play, since Corpus Christi was not going to go (up there) as scheduled this week,” Duran said in a phone interview Thursday night.
Thus, on two days’ notice, the Menace will head to Rio Rancho for today’s game.
“(Menace coach/GM) Terrence Foster was very gracious to do so,” Duran said.
Steel City is the team the Stars beat 34-14 in the opener March 11 in the Star Center.
LAST WEEK: The Stars, under new head coach John Fourcade, fell 59-53 at Corpus Christi on Monday night in a wild finish capped by a 38-yard TD pass by quarterback Quincy Carter, an ex-Dallas Cowboy, to Alex Darley with 2 seconds left.
“I know a lot of guys who played for (the Fury) and they have a lot of experience, so I’m proud of our guys for playing so well despite hot having that experience,” Fourcade said.
He pointed out that middle linebacker Kendrick Causey, who had 1.5 sacks, excelled for the Stars.
“He’s a beast,” Fourcade said. “I’m trying to get him out of here (to a higher league).”
Other stars for the Stars were LaVaughn Macon, who caught three TD passes from Percy Turner and returned a kickoff 52 yards for a score. Kurtis Green also caught three scoring passes from Turner, including a 20-yarder with 25 seconds left that created the 53-53 tie.
Ex-UNM Lobo Jeremy Denson threw two TD passes for Corpus Christi.
LUCKY KID(S): Duran said that a lucky young fan or two — or three — from the team’s Kids’ Club will be selected to join the team on the bench today. Said Duran of Fourcade: “Last week he was grabbing kids out of the seats and asked them to pick a play to run.”