The Parker Broncs made it two in a row for the start of their 2021 season. After winning their season opener Aug. 27 at home against Gilbert Christian, they decisively won their road opener Sept. 3 with a 60-24 win over the Tonopah Valley Phoenix in Tonopah.
“They played well,” Coach Jeston Lotts said of his team. “The whole team played really, really well.”
Lotts said the Broncs had a great first half, but they were slow in coming out in the third quarter.
“That’s when Tonopah did most of their scoring,” he said.
However, Lotts said the Broncs recovered and went on to have a great fourth quarter.
The Broncs moved the ball a lot on the ground, rushing for 470 yards. Much of this could be attributed to Joe Martinez and Anthony Taylor. Taylor ran for 140 yards.
The previous week, against Gilbert Christian, Martinez ran for 167 yards.
Lotts also gave a lot of credit to the Broncs’ linemen, both on offense and on defense. He said they made the offensive gains possible.
“It was just a great team effort,” he said.
On Sept. 10, the Broncs will travel to Wickenburg to take on the Wranglers in the “Battle for the Axe,” the firefighters’ axe that has become the symbol of the rivalry between Parker High School and Wickenburg High School.
Last year’s game was played at Parker High School, and the Wranglers won, 46-38, and earned the right to keep the axe for a year. The Broncs are hoping to bring the axe back with them when they return from Wickenburg.
Lotts said Wickenburg is a “quality” 3A team, and they play tough, physical football, just like the Broncs do.
“The young men (Broncs) are excited to step it up and play a quality 3A team,” Lotts said.
The Wranglers are 1-1 on the season. They defeated the Dysart Demons, 19-0, in their season opener Aug. 27, but then were blown away 60-0 by the American Leadership Academy Gilbert North Eagles Sept. 3.
The 2020 game was the Broncs’ season opener. The season started late and was shortened due to the coronavirus pandemic. It would be the Broncs’ only loss for the season. It was also the first game between Parker and Wickenburg that wasn’t a blow-out in some time.
The Broncs’ next home game will be Sept. 24 against the Antelope Rams of Wellton. Game time at Joe Bush Stadium is 7 p.m.