With their 60-24 win over the Glendale Prep Griffins Nov. 1, the Parker Broncs will be hosting a game in the first round of the state 2A playoffs. They’ll face the Antelope Rams of Wellton at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8 at Joe Bush Stadium.
The Broncs are ranked No. 5 in Arizona Interscholastic Association power points, while the Rams are ranked No. 12.
The Rams were 4-1 in the 2A Salt and placed second in their region behind Veritas Prep. They’re 6-2 against other 2A teams and 7-3 overall. The Broncs defeated them, 38-24, Sept. 20 in Wellton.
The winner of the Parker-Antelope game will face the winner of the game between No. 4 Santa Cruz Valley and No. 13 Chandler Prep the following Friday, Nov. 15.
The Broncs’ game against Glendale Prep didn’t start out like the lopsided affair it eventually became. The Broncs got on the board first, but the Griffins stayed with them for the first half. In the first quarter, the Broncs scored on a pass from Fabian Lamas to Kyle Dyer and a run from Manuel Najera. Uriah Martinez got a two-point conversion.
The Griffins responded with wide receiver Malachi Mizysak scoring two touchdowns, one in the first quarter and the other just after the start of the second quarter.
Glendale Prep also showed resiliency in the first half. At one point, quarterback Samuel Terpstra was sacked and the Griffins were at 4th down and 15. Terpstra unleashed a long pass to Mizysak that gave the Griffins a first down deep in Broncs’ territory. A few minutes later, this led to another score by Mizysak that made the score Parker 20, Glendale Prep 18.
The Parker boys also showed some resiliency after setbacks from penalties. With 4:25 left in the first half, Emanuel Alaniz made a 60-yard run and was brought down within reach of the Griffins’ goal line. However, the play was called back on a holding penalty by the Broncs.
The Broncs responded by moving down the field quickly, getting four first downs on the next five plays. With Parker at first and goal, the Broncs got the ball over the goal line with 1:30 left in the half. At halftime, the score was Parker 28, Glendale Prep 18.
The Griffins scored first in the second half, to close the gap to 28-24. However, that would be all they would get. The Broncs’ defense turned into a brick wall, and the offense was all over the field. The Broncs would score four more times in the second half, and get the two-point conversion each time to make the final score Parker 60, Glendale Prep 24.
Parker Coach Jeston Lotts acknowledged the Broncs’ defense was much better in the second half.
“We were uncomfortable at the start,” he said. “We made some adjustments. They knew what they had to do.”
The Broncs finish the regular season with a record of 3-1 against their 2A Verde opponents. They were 5-1 against 2A teams, and 9-1 overall. Their only loss was a 41-28 loss to the Trivium Prep Crimson Knights Oct. 4. Trivium Prep went undefeated and won the 2A Verde region title. Their overall regular season record was 9-0, and they are ranked No. 2 in the state in 2A.
Lotts said he’s proud of the team and what they’ve accomplished. He added they still have a lot to do.
“Now it’s week to week,” he said.