After their 20-0 defeat of the Antelope Rams Nov. 8 in Parker, the Parker Broncs football team is headed for the Arizona Interscholastic Association 2A quarterfinals. The Broncs, who are seeded No. 5, will face the No. 4 seed, the Santa Cruz Valley Dust Devil of Eloy, Nov. 15 in Eloy.
The Antelope game was a tough defensive battle in the first half.
“They’re tough, tough kids,” Parker Coach Jeston Lotts said of Antelope’s defense. “Hats off to them.”
Neither team scored in the first quarter, and it looked like the game would be scoreless at halftime until late in the second quarter. After an Antelope punt, the Broncs took over with a first down at their own 40-yard line. With 1:38 left, the Broncs had advanced for a pair of first downs on runs from Uriah Martinez. With 1:21 left, quarterback Fabian Lamas unloaded a long pass to Emanuel Alaniz, who ran it even longer for a Parker touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt was good, and the score was Parker 8, Antelope 0.
The Rams came close to scoring with less than a minute left in the half. Quarterback Mickey Carrillo, who was tossing long passes all night, threw one to Dylan Thomas for a Rams’ first down. Carillo unloaded another pass with less than 30 seconds left, but it was intercepted just short of the end zone by Jake Hill.
The Broncs scored twice in the third quarter. With 8:06 left, Uriah Martinez dashed in for a touchdown. This came after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Rams moved the Broncs to first down and goal. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, and Parker led, 14-0.
With 2:29 left in the quarter, Alaniz made a 65 yard run to put the Broncs at first and goal on the Rams’ 5-yard line. Manuel Najera took it in and made the score Parker 20, Antelope 0.
The Broncs had two chances at making the two-point conversion. The first attempt failed, but a holding penalty was called on the Broncs. Moved back but still in possession, they tried again. This time, Lamas’s pass was intercepted.
Late in the fourth quarter, with 2:19 left in the game, the Broncs moved into scoring position again following a long run by Lamas on a quarterback keeper. With less than 30 seconds left on the clock, the Rams effectively conceded the game and congratulated the Broncs on their win.
“This was a tough game,” Lotts said afterwards. “They’re a tough team.”
Lotts said he was proud of the players and how they handled their game plan.
“We ran the ball,” he said. “That’s what we wanted to do. We also threw it at the right times.”
Lotts said he was glad to see Anthony Taylor back and healthy. He added the defensive line dominated the game, with Fernando Gonzalez having a fantastic game for a defensive lineman.
The Broncs are headed quarter-finals. Their opponent will be the No. 4 seed, the Santa Cruz Valley Dust Devils. They reached the quarter-finals by defeating the No. 13 seed, the Chandler Prep Titans, 39-6, Nov. 8 in Eloy.
The Dust Devils placed second in the 2A Agua Fria region. They were 3-1 in their region, 5-2 against other 2A teams, and 8-2 overall. They have demonstrated they can put points on the board. Since their Oct. 4 loss to the Phoenix Christian Cougars (the No. 3 ranked team in 2A in the state), they have won four straight games, including the playoff game against Chandler Prep. The combined score was 204-38.