The axe is back in Parker. The Parker Broncs football team defeated the Wickenburg Wranglers, 36-6, Aug. 30 at Joe Bush Stadium, and they won the right to keep the firefighter’s axe that is the symbol of the rivalry between the two schools. The axe will stay at Parker High School until the next meeting between these two football teams in 2020.
Wickenburg won the axe in 2018 with a 57-0 win in Wickenburg. That game was cut short by the officials due to lightning strikes near the field. Since 2016, the home team in the meetings of these two teams has won the axe.
The game was the Broncs’ home opener for the 2019 season.
Against the Wranglers, Parker Coach Jeston Lotts said the Broncs played like they did in the second half against Chino Valley the week before.
The Broncs took the lead early on a pair of touchdowns from Emanuel Alaniz. By the middle of the second quarter, they led 12-0. They also took advantage of some mistakes by the Wranglers. With 8:02 left in the second quarter, the Broncs found themselves at First & Goal following a face mask penalty. Alaniz ran the ball in with 7:45 left in the first half.
On their next drive, Wranglers’ quarterback Calogero Dicamillo hit Michael Flinn with a 30-yard pass reception to put Wickenburg on Parker’s 18-yard line. On the next play, Jake Hill recovered a Wickenburg fumble, and this set up Parker’s next score. With the Broncs again at First & Goal, Fabian Lamas took in a quarterback keeper for a Parker touchdown with 34.6 seconds left in the half. Uriah Martinez got the two-point conversion, and the Broncs led, 20-0 at halftime.
Martinez would score three two-point conversions on the evening.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, but the Broncs added to their lead twice in the fourth quarter. With 9:55 left in the game, Lamas hit Manuel Najera with a 35-yard touchdown pass, which was followed by Martinez with the two-pointer.
The Broncs final score came with 8:49 left. The Wranglers were at Fourth & 26 when they tried to punt. The punt failed, and Najera grabbed it and carried it in from Wickenburg’s 20-yard line for his second touchdown of the evening. Martinez carried in his third two-pointer of the evening and the Broncs were up, 36-0.
The Wranglers finally got on the board in the last moments of the game. With 1:25 left, Dicamillo, who had been throwing long passes that were incomplete all evening, hit Troy Adamo with a 40-yard pass to place Wickenburg at First & Goal. With 36.6 seconds left, Bryson Alder carried the ball in for Wickenburg’s only touchdown of the evening. The two-point conversion was no good, and the final was Broncs 36, Wranglers 6.
“We came out and played our game of football,” Lotts said after the game. He added it was really a team effort, and he couldn’t single out any specific players for praise.
“They just did everything they were supposed to,” Lotts said of the team.
The Broncs are now 2-0 overall. They’re in second place in the 2A Verde behind the Trivium Prep Crimson Knights. The Crimson Knights are also 2-0, but both of their wins have been against other 2A teams. The Broncs have yet to face any 2A opponents.
This week, on Friday, Sept. 6, the Broncs will travel to Kingman to take on the Kingman Academy Tigers. The Tigers had their first game of the season Aug. 30, and they lost to the St. Johns Redskins, 41-0.
Lotts said the Broncs are getting ready to face the Tigers.
“They’re athletic,” he said. “We’ll try to get them into our game.”
The Broncs next home game won’t be until Sept. 27, when they take on the Veritas Prep Falcons. Game time at Joe Bush Stadium is 7 p.m.