The Parker Broncs football team won their first game of the 2019 season with 30-23 win over the Chino Valley Cougars Aug. 23 in Chino Valley. They did it the hard way, coming back from a 23-14 deficit at half-time.

Coach Jeston Lotts came out in the second half and played their style of football. The offense put points on the board and the defense, led by returning 2A Verde Defensive Player of the Year Matthew Baumann, held the Cougars off. The Broncs came away with the win, and learned something about overcoming adversity in the process.

“We learned some good lessons in our first game,” Lotts said.

Uriah Martinez scored two touchdowns for the Broncs. Jake Hill and Manuel Najera also took the ball over the goal line for touchdowns. Lotts said Martinez played very well in his first varsity game.

“It was a sight to see,” he said.

Lotts also praised quarterback Fabian Lamas, saying he threw some great passes for the Broncs’ offense.

The Broncs are now 1-0 overall, and they have yet to face any of their 2A Verde region rivals. They’re in second place in the 2A Verde. The Tonopah Valley Crimson Knights are in first place with a 1-0 record due to their 47-14 win over a region rival, the Glendale Prep Griffins, Aug. 23.

This week, the Broncs will play their first home game of the season when they face the Wickenburg Wranglers Friday, Aug. 30 at Joe Bush Stadium. This will be the annual “Battle for the Axe,” the firefighter’s axe that has become the symbol of the long-standing rivalry between the two schools.

The Aug. 30 game will be Wickenburg’s first game of the 2019 season. Lotts said they are expected to be tough this year, and the school has a good program.

The axe that is the trophy for this game will go to the school that wins the game until the two schools meet again in 2020. For the last three meetings, the home team has won the axe. Wickenburg won it in 2016 and Parker won it in 2017. The 2018 game was played in Wickenburg, and the Wranglers won, 35-0. That game was cut short when the officials called it at half-time due to lightning strikes near the field.

Due to early deadlines with the Labor Day weekend, the Pioneer will not be able to have a story about this game in its print edition for next week. However, a full story will be on the Pioneer’s website, www.parkerpioneer.net, with a link on the Pioneer’s Facebook page.

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